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Many people of all ages desire straighter teeth and a healthier smile, but do not wish to be encumbered by braces. Whether braces are undesirable because of the look or the maintenance required, Invisalign can help straighten teeth while avoiding these factors. Invisalign is an alternative to braces that is just as effective in most cases and can be used to correct many of the same issues. Invisalign is typically unnoticeable, making it a popular choice for tooth alignments and corrections.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a system that uses clear plastic trays which are inserted over the teeth to correct spacing issues, crooked teeth, and bite complications. The plastic trays are customized to fit the individual. Trays are replaced as progress is made in correcting issues, typically about every two weeks. Trays are removable, which can make tooth care easier and allow wearers to eat as normal.
All issues which are present should be thoroughly discussed with the orthodontist prior to beginning Invisalign, as attachments may be necessary to correct certain issues. The orthodontist will make a guide that shows each projected step of the Invisalign process. This guide should be reviewed in depth to ensure understanding and satisfaction with the process.
Living with Invisalign
Invisalign does not inhibit wearers from eating certain foods the way that traditional braces do. However, wearers must remove the Invisalign trays prior to eating or drinking anything except water, and then brush and floss before reinserting the trays. This process makes snacking or sipping more difficult. Invisalign should be worn approximately 22 hours each day, so it is recommended that wearers do not keep the trays out for extended periods in order to snack. New Invisalign customers often find that the process changes eating habits and increases the consumption of water.
How Invisalign Feels
While the trays may feel uncomfortable at first, most Invisalign customers find that the trays become less noticeable over time. There is typically less pain associated with the trays than with traditional braces. An orthodontist should be contacted if the trays become unbearably painful or cause any cuts inside of the mouth. While it can be tempting to feel the trays with the tongue, this should be avoided so that the tongue does not get scratched.
Tooth and Invisalign Care
Tooth care with Invisalign is similar to tooth care without the system. The Invisalign trays should be removed, and the wearer should brush, floss, and rinse with a mouthwash as normal. The trays should then be reinserted and worn as recommended. When the trays are taken out, the trays should be cleaned inside and outside using a cleaning kit which is supplied by the orthodontist or simply by brushing with a toothbrush and rinsing. A dentist should be visited approximately every six months for cleanings and check-ups.