While every smile is a beautiful one, having crooked teeth is a significant point of insecurity for many individuals, and can even cause dental health issues. However, if you’re past the age of 15, the thought of having to wear metal braces for over a year can seem like a worse fate than having a few teeth out of place. What if there was a way to straighten your teeth without getting a mouth full of metal? This is where Invisalign comes in. If you’re in the Stafford, VA or Washington, DC area and are looking for a straighter, more aligned smile, consider Invisalign.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the brand name for a common orthodontic treatment that straightens teeth over time using a thin clear plastic aligner. These aligners are typically made from a BPA-free flexible thermoplastic called SmartTrack and are custom fit to your mouth.
Invisalign can be used for a variety of dental alignment needs. These include:
- Bite issues such as over bite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite
- Tooth gaps
- Crowded teeth
While some more severe dental issues may need other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign has been proven to greatly improve the concerns above.
How Does it Work?
Invisalign works by gradually moving your teeth with different sets of aligners. You will wear each aligner for approximately two weeks, then switch to the next set. Each aligner gets slightly closer to where you’d like the end result to be. The total treatment time typically lasts one year but can change based on the patient’s specific needs.
When first wearing a new set of aligners, they will feel slightly tight and possibly uncomfortable, but this only lasts a few days while your teeth are adjusting. The aligner will feel much looser by the end of the two weeks but be sure to keep them in for the full time to prevent any setbacks in your progress.
Invisalign aligners are removable, but it is highly recommended to only remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing your teeth, and cleaning the aligner itself. The aligners should be worn for at least 20 hours a day for maximum effectiveness.
Once you’ve completed an Invisalign treatment plan, you will most likely have to wear a retainer to maintain the alignment you’ve achieved.
Pros and Cons of Invisalign
- It’s more aesthetically pleasing than traditional braces
- They’re less likely to get damaged or broken since you can remove them for eating and cleaning.
- You can brush and floss your teeth easier than trying to maneuver around metal brackets.
- A popped wire or broken bracket can be sharp and cause injury. Invisalign removes this risk.
- Invisalign is not a perfect solution for more severe or complex dental problems. There is a risk of losing your Invisalign while it’s not in your mouth.
- Forgetting to wear the Invisalign at least 20 hours a day can reduce its effectiveness. Your teeth will be sore for the first few days of wearing new aligners.
If you’re a teenager or young adult in the Stafford, VA or Washington, DC area who would like to have straighter teeth or fix bite issues, but don’t want the look or hassle of metal braces, Invisalign may be a great treatment for you. Be sure to consider all of the pros and cons and follow the treatment plan specifically prescribed by your orthodontist.