Who does not want to show off great looking teeth? For many adults, their smiles feature crooked teeth, unsightly gaps, or overcrowding that can take its toll on confidence levels. While many adults desperately want these issues fixed, the thought of traditional metal braces may be holding them back from seeking help. Thankfully, there is an alternative -- Invisalign®. This revolutionary tooth alignment system straightens teeth in half the time of traditional braces but without the metal wires, brackets, and the hassles that many of us were previously accustomed to.
At Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA, Dr. Jeffrey Allred offers this innovative orthodontic treatment to align and straighten teeth without the use of traditional metal braces. If you have been considering Invisalign as an alternative option to metal braces to straighten your teeth, Dr. Allred provides eight simple tips to help get that fantastic, straight smile of your dreams.
Benefits of Invisalign®
Commonly called “invisible braces,” Invisalign has widely been used by teens and adults who are wanting to correct imperfections or make slight improvements to their smile. Young adults love Invisalign because they can straighten their teeth without the potential social effects of metal braces. Invisalign is different than traditional metal braces as it uses clear, removable trays that gently reposition the teeth. There are so many benefits of this system, including:
- Invisalign is hard to notice because of the clear aligners
- Patients can comfortably wear the clear, plastic aligners for long periods of time
- You can clean the aligners easily
- Aligners can be removed for eating, cleaning, and special occasions
- No food restrictions unlike traditional metal braces
How to get the most out of your Invisalign aligners
1. Wear your aligners a minimum of 22 hours a day
The aligners, or trays, that are adjusting and moving your teeth into a proper place will not work if they are not worn. San Marcos, CA patients who wear their aligners less than 22 hours a day, have counterproductive results, prolonging the straightening process. Invisalign is more convenient with faster results than traditional braces. However, patients must commit to wearing their aligners for at least 22 hours a day. Wearing your aligners according to schedule means your teeth will straighten on time and you could possibly even finish quicker than expected.
2. Follow order and timing
Dr. Allred will provide you with detailed instructions about the Invisalign process. Following the instructions, adhering to your directed wear schedule, and wearing your aligners in the right order will improve your smile quickly. Dr. Allred will let you know when it is time for new trays, to keep the straightening process on track and to enhance the appearance of your teeth. There is also a specific order to follow to keep your teeth or bite moving in the right direction. Being on schedule with your next set of trays, in the correct order, is imperative to get the best results.
3. Brush and floss
Following good dental hygiene practices and taking proper care of the aligners or trays are an essential part of the Invisalign process. Brushing and flossing after each meal are crucial. Food or debris left on your teeth can be trapped when wearing your aligners, leading to tooth decay or irritated gums. Invisalign trays should be cleaned regularly with mild soap and water, not a toothbrush and toothpaste. Harsh abrasives can scratch or damage them as well as not clean them properly. Cleaning your Invisalign trays keeps them free of stains or discoloration so your "invisible braces" stay invisible.
4. Invisalign aligners may feel awkward at first
Patients in San Marcos, CA, should expect an adjustment period while you get used to these new devices on your teeth. At first, it may feel a bit awkward, and you might even experience a little discomfort, but eventually, your mouth will adjust to them. Slight changes in your speech are typical when you first start wearing the aligners. It is called the "speech learning curve," and practice makes perfect. To keep with the 22-hour daily commitment, keep them in, and practice talking. Your mouth will adjust to aligners, and your speech will improve to where you no longer realize you even have them on!
5. A post-treatment retainer keeps your teeth straight
Just like with traditional braces, you will need to wear your retainer at night when done with your Invisalign treatment in order to keep your teeth in proper alignment. If you don’t continue to wear your retainer, straight teeth may make slight unwanted adjustments.
6. Invisalign is not an option for everyone
Invisalign is not ideal for every person. If you have severely crooked teeth or an extreme overbite or underbite, then traditional braces or oral surgery may be your best option. Invisalign treats common issues like gaps, slight bite issues, and some cases of overcrowded teeth but is not always the best option for more complex orthodontic problems. Dr. Allred of Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA, will assess your mouth and teeth and determine if Invisalign is your best course of action.
7. Your case is your best friend
When you get your aligners, they will come in a case. Always carry that case with you. When it is time to eat, placing your aligners in the case can help avoid the costly mistake of throwing them in the trash. Stowing your aligners in a safe place protects them and your progress.
8. Be cautious of staining
Some foods and beverages are more prone to staining your teeth. Any remains of stain inducing agents that are caught between your teeth and your aligners could lead to more intense staining of your teeth and your aligners. Beverages and foods such as coffee, tea, berries, and wine should be consumed with caution. Diligently brushing your teeth after you have finished eating or drinking these items is recommended before reinserting your aligners.
If you are interested in improving the look of your smile with straighter teeth, then Invisalign® may be your solution. An excellent alternative to traditional braces, this fantastic treatment can provide you with a straighter, more attractive smile in a short amount of time. Dr. Jeffrey Allred's eight simple tips can help pave the way for a smooth and hassle-free experience with your new aligners. If you want to learn more and see if you are a candidate for Invisalign, contact Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA, today.