In this month’s first Gentle Dental blog we got into the basics of straightening teeth with the invisible alternative to metal bands and wires, Invisalign. At our Edison practice, we field lots of questions about Invisalign from parents and teens. Everyone wonders how clear acrylic trays that seem more like sport mouth guards than orthodontics can do the job of moving teeth.
Let’s get into a few of those typical questions in this second Gentle Dental September blog.
Can everyone use Invisalign to straighten their teeth?
Invisalign is a great solution for patients who need moderate correction, typically either to close gaps between teeth or to generally straighten their overall smile. Invisalign cannot accomplish major movement, however. This is the domain of traditional orthodontics because this will probably need to be augmented with headgear. Also, if you’re an adult looking to straighten his or her teeth, if you have bridges or dental implants, you probably can’t benefit from Invisalign.
How much do I have to wear the Invisalign trays?
To achieve the movement, patients need to wear their Invisalign aligner trays for 22 hours each day. Obviously, this includes while sleeping. The only time you should take the trays off is to eat and drink (other than water), and for brushing and flossing your teeth. Some patients think the 22-hour requirement seems like too much but compare that to traditional braces; they are on your teeth 24 hours a day, every day.
How often do patients need to come in to Gentle Dental during their Invisalign treatment?
We see our Invisalign patients once every six weeks during their Invisalign treatment duration. This allows us to check your progress and be sure everything looks as planned. Plus, these visits are the time we give you your next three sets of aligner trays.
How long do Invisalign treatments generally take?
Most of our Invisalign patients average about one year for the movement of their teeth. This, of course, varies by the patient, but timeframes generally fall between 6 months and 18 months.
How do you care for the Invisalign trays?
There are different ways you can clean your trays. You can simply brush them with your toothbrush and toothpaste. Or you can soak them in denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, or the official Invisalign crystals to keep them clean and sanitized. Another option is to use clear anti-bacterial hand soap. You simply put some of this liquid soap in your trays and work it around with your fingers, and then rinse them off.