How Does Invisalign® Work?
Invisalign® straightens your teeth using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable, and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. They gradually and gently shift your teeth into place. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference to your daily life.
Depending on the individual and the shape of their teeth, attachments may be necessary for a successful treatment with Invisalign®. Attachments are applied on teeth of a certain size, shape, or even a particular angle, which may need added leverage to move into position. These small, tooth-colored shapes are hardly noticeable and easily removed after treatment is completed.
Does Invisalign® Hurt?
Those who have experience with traditional braces (or know someone who has) may be wary of the process, thinking that it will be just as uncomfortable. Compared to metal braces, Invisalign® is known to be significantly easier to adjust to and live with. The smooth shape of the aligners means no abrasion on the lips or gums. When it’s time to switch a set of aligners out for tne next pair, most patients do experience discomfort for a day or two as their teeth adjust to the new shape.
Caring for Your Invisalign®
1. Rinse Your Aligners
It’s important to rinse your aligners every time you remove them from your mouth. Rinsing them under water washes away saliva and food particles, helping to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria. Failing to rinse can harm your teeth and discolor your aligner.
2. Keep Your Teeth Clean
While undergoing treatment with Invisalign®, most patients quickly get into the habit of brushing and flossing after each meal. Taking a few moments to care for your teeth after every meal, snack, and non-water beverage is crucial to keeping your aligner clean and smile healthy. If you find that you’ve forgotten your toothbrush on an outing, rinsing thoroughly with water can help wash away sugar, acid, and harmful bacteria.
3. Use an Antibacterial Soap to Clean Your Aligner
Many people undergoing treatment make the mistake of using toothpaste to clean their aligner—unfortunately learning that this can damage the material, making the aligner appear cloudy. Instead, use a dye- and fragrance-free antibacterial soap to clean your Invisalign® tray twice per day.
Who is a Good Candidate for Invisalign®?
Our qualified Evanston dentist can determine your candidacy with a comprehensive evaluation of your dental health. Those who are undergoing ongoing dental treatments or are not otherwise in good oral health may not qualify for treatment with Invisalign®.
When considering invisible aligners, it’s important to keep in mind that some lifestyle adjustments need to be made for the treatment to be effective. If you are unable to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day, or have dexterity issues that make putting an aligner in and removing it a challenge, there are other orthodontic options that may be a better fit. Smoking can also interfere with a person’s Invisalign® treatment, as the habit can discolor the appliance.
Before & After Photos
Please view our before/after Invisalign® photos in our smile gallery, or watch our before/after Invisalign® movies below. Follow us on Facebook to view any new cases or learn about our Invisalign® specials as they become available.
Contact Our Evanston Dentist
If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate for Invisalign®, please call our Evanston dental office at (847) 864-8151 to set up consultation with one of our doctors, or feel welcome to request an appointment through our webpage.