Ask kids in the 12 and under crowd, and you’ll get an enthusiastic response to wearing braces on their teeth and getting to select colorful elastics. However, posing the same question to teenagers and adults doesn’t elicit such an excited reply. A major complaint about traditional braces is how they affect the patient’s appearance. There is a revolutionary alternative available today called Invisalign, which can improve your smile without negatively impacting your appearance.
Often called “clear braces,” Invisalign involves wearing a series of clear plastic aligners to shift your teeth. The removable aligners are worn over a period of one to two years, and your orthodontist will monitor your progress through visits every four to six weeks.
Almost everyone is a candidate for Invisalign. It can be a great option for teens and adults with fully erupted, healthy teeth. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if Invisalign is right for you:
• Wearing the aligners: the outcome is only as good as the treatment. You must agree to consistently wear the aligners about 22 hours a day, only removing them to eat, brush, or for special occasions.
• Temporary changes in your speech: sometimes the aligners can cause a minor alteration in your speech as you get used to a new set of aligners. This usually goes away as you get used to wearing them regularly.
• Teeth grinding: grinding or clenching your teeth excessively can put extra wear on your aligners. Ask your orthodontist about whether this could impact your success with Invisalign, as each case is unique.
• Staining: if you are hooked on coffee, tea, or other items known to commonly stain teeth, your aligners may get stained as well. Be careful about consuming too many staining items without brushing soon after.
Invisalign is becoming one of the most popular choices for people interested in straightening their teeth without wearing traditional braces. Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to help you determine if you are a good candidate, and to get you started on the road to a beautiful smile.