If you’re thinking about clear braces and Invisalign in particular, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of this teeth straightening treatment. Here are ten truths we think you should know about Invisalign before you decide whether it’s the right treatment for you (we will, of course, always discuss the pros and cons of any treatment with you before you decide to go ahead).
1. You have to wear Invisalign clear braces for at least 20 hours a day
Although Invisalign clear braces are popular because they’re removable, it’s important to know that you should only take your aligners out to eat or for very special reasons. For them to be effective, you will need to wear your Invisalign clear braces for at least 20 hours a day, although 22 hours is preferable. This means that you will have just two hours a day to eat your meals and clean your teeth. Wear your aligners half-heartedly and you won’t see the results you might otherwise enjoy.
2. It can take a few days to get used to speaking
Most patients find that it takes them a couple of days to learn how to speak properly while wearing their Invisalign aligners. You may find you have a lisp at first but people usually adapt quickly and their speech returns to normal with practice.
3. You may have to cut back on drinks and snacks
Twenty-two hours wear time is a big portion of your day. Every time you remove your Invisalign aligners to have a drink (other than water) or a snack, you will need to clean your teeth before you put your aligners back in. This time all adds up, so you may find yourself snacking less and having fewer coffee breaks during your treatment. For most people, this is an unexpected bonus that leads to weight loss because they cut down on snacks and sweet treats, as well as evening glasses of wine, deciding it just isn’t worth having to clean their teeth again.
4. Coffee, tea and red wine can all stain clear braces
This is linked to the point above, but another reason that you may decide to cut back on how much coffee, tea or wine you drink is that these can all stain your aligner unless you have cleaned your teeth very thoroughly. If your aligner becomes stained, it will then become more noticeable, defeating to object of having an ‘invisible’ orthodontic treatment.
5. You should carry your toothbrush everywhere
As you will need to brush your teeth any time you eat or drink during your treatment, you’ll become adept at brushing in all manner of places. To make life easier, most people leave a toothbrush and toothpaste at work, and have a travel teeth cleaning kit that goes everywhere with them.
6. Invisalign isn’t the right treatment for everyone
As with every orthodontic treatment currently available, Invisalign isn’t the right option for everyone. However, it can be used to treat most orthodontic issues, such as crooked teeth, gaps between your teeth or minor over/under bits. If you have a more complex case, we may suggest an alternative treatment or you may need to wear Invisalign aligners for longer than average.
7. Clear braces are virtually painless
Each time you change your Invisalign aligner, you may experience a couple of days of discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the pressure of the new fitting. However, patients who have worn metal braces in their teens tell us that this discomfort with Invisalign is far more manageable and short-lived in most cases than with fixed appliances.
8. You need to keep your aligners clear
It’s not just your teeth that you need to keep clean when you wear Invisalign. You will need to follow our instructions to keep your aligners clean too. Remember not to use toothpaste to clean your aligners as toothpaste can be abrasive and damage the aligners, making them far more likely to stain and trap odours.
9. You may need ‘finishing’ aligners
Towards the end of your treatment, we may decide to further enhance the alignment of your teeth with a final set or series of ‘finishing’ aligners aimed at making small corrections to your alignment. This can sometimes extend the length of your treatment but should be worth the extra time when you see your finished smile.
10. You will probably need to wear a retainer
One of the most common reasons that people who’ve previously had fixed braces come to us for Invisalign treatment is that they didn’t continue to wear a retainer after their previous orthodontic treatment ended.
The thing is that our teeth are always moving. Over time, the forces of biting, chewing, talking, tooth loss and other problems can all cause our teeth to drift out of alignment. By wearing a retainer, you can help your teeth stay in the right position permanently.
We may advise you to wear your last Invisalign aligner as a retainer throughout the day and night initially, or we may create a new retainer for you. Over time, we may suggest that you wear your retainer at night only, and you may eventually be able to drop your retainer wear to two or three times a week. Every case is unique so the advice we give you about wearing a retainer will reflect what we feel is best for you.
If you are looking for clear braces in London and would like to know more about Invisalign and other orthodontic treatments as Crescent Lodge Dental Practice, call us on 020 7622 533 to book a consultation.