Many people feel self-conscious about having crooked or misaligned teeth. While wearing orthodontics will realign your teeth, traditional braces made from wire and metal tend to stand out. This can make you feel even more self-conscious about your smile — especially if you are getting braces as an adult.
Invisalign is an inconspicuous solution for straightening teeth as the treatment uses removable plastic trays to realign teeth. You get the benefit of a straighter smile without looking like you are wearing braces.
If you are considering starting Invisalign, here are 7 things you should know before you start.
1. For best results, keep your trays in as much as possible
Invisalign uses clear trays to realign your teeth. Although these trays are transparent, they are still somewhat noticeable and will take some getting used to. As a new wearer you may be self-conscious about people looking at your mouth or taking your retainers out to eat in public.
While your trays may take a few weeks to get used to, you should wear them as much as possible. The more you wear your trays, the faster your teeth will realign. You’ll also start to notice them less (and so will other people) if you wear them constantly. In general, you should only take your trays out if you are eating, drinking or brushing your teeth.
2. You may have a speech impediment at the beginning of treatment
Invisalign is much less noticeable than traditional wire braces. However, when you first start wearing your trays you may speak with a lisp. This is because the tray alters the way your tongue can move against your teeth which impacts your speech.
Make sure you don’t take your trays out to speak, especially in the early days of getting them fitted. The more you practice speaking with them in, the faster your lisp will disappear.
3. Invisalign treatment length can vary
There’s no guarantee that Invisalign will be faster for realigning your teeth than traditional braces. Some people only have to wear their trays for one year, while others have to wear theirs for much longer. It all depends on what your teeth are like and how much work it will take to get them into alignment.
Your dentist will be able to tell you how long they expect your treatment to last. The good thing about this treatment is the transparent trays make it easier than traditional braces to see how much progress your smile has made. Provided you wear your trays enough, you’ll be presented with new trays every two weeks to bring your teeth into the correct position. Failure to wear your trays enough will impact the length of your treatment.
4. You’ll need to be dedicated to your dental care
Traditional braces come with some downsides — such as forcing the wearer to avoid certain foods, and making it difficult to floss. Invisalign are far easier to care for than wire braces, but you’ll still need to look after your teeth and your trays during treatment.
With Invisalign, every time you eat food you will need to brush and floss your teeth. If you don’t, food particles will end up coating your trays and teeth in plaque and sugars. You’ll need to put aside a few extra minutes after you eat when you are out at school or work. Putting together a dental care kit that you can take on-the-go can help make this feel more effortless.
As well as cleaning your teeth after every meal, you’ll need to look after your aligners too. Cleaning is relatively easy. All you need to do is clean them with a toothbrush using your regular toothpaste.
5. Your eating and drinking habits will need to change
While using Invisalign does not require any food restrictions like traditional braces, there are still some changes like traditional braces do, there are still some changes you’ll need to make to your eating and drinking habits. First of all, you’ll need to take your trays out before you eat any food. It can be a good idea to always bring a napkin, paper towel or cloth with you while you’re having lunch. You can easily wipe away any saliva that comes off your trays as you remove them to eat.
You may notice that your mouth is dryer than usual after wearing Invisalign trays. This is because the trays feel like a foreign object, and when first fitted tight trays can cause swelling and irritation. Your body may respond by producing less saliva. Drinking water regularly will help to alleviate the feeling of dry mouth. It will also help you avoid bad breath.
6. You’ll need to wear a retainer after treatment
Just like traditional braces, you will need to wear a retainer at night after your Invisalign treatment has finished. A retainer helps keep your teeth straight for the rest of your life by preventing them from being able to move back into their old positions. Without a retainer, your teeth may move slightly and undo some of the hard work you’ve paid for.
The good news is, wearing a retainer is exactly like wearing an Invisalign tray. You’ll already be comfortable wearing one at night and you’ll know exactly how to care for it.
7. You may need adjustments to your teeth before Invisalign treatment
With any type of orthodontics, work sometimes needs to be done on your teeth before any treatment can be started. If your mouth is crowded, your dentist may recommend having a tooth or teeth removed so that your teeth can move back comfortable into the space created. If your teeth are too big you may need them filed down in some places for a better fit of your retainer.
If you are interested in straightening your teeth and want to avoid the look of traditional braces, Invisalign could be for you. Talk to the friendly team at Gentle Dental today about treatment options. Book a consultation now.