Are you thinking about straightening your teeth with Invisalign® orthodontic aligners? If so, you probably have questions. Making a decision on whether to proceed with a treatment can be confusing, so it’s important to get the facts before you rush in. Invisalign can change your life for the better by giving you a beautiful smile and the confidence to show it off. However, your treatment will go more smoothly if you know what to expect and can plan for it. Here are some of the most common questions patients ask when considering Invisalign.
Can kids wear Invisalign?
It depends on how you define “kids.” Invisalign should only be used with patients who have all their adult teeth and whose jaws have finished growing. This doesn’t always happen at the same age for every child, so it’s crucial to have your dentist assess a young person’s candidacy for Invisalign. To determine whether your child is old enough, Dr. Gore will examine your child’s teeth and consult recent x-rays. Most kids can wear Invisalign by about age 16, but many are ready at a younger age. Teen Invisalign info right here.
What are the aligners made of?
Invisalign aligner trays are made from clear acrylic that has been customized to fit your teeth. This is essentially a form of firm plastic, which means that it can be damaged by heat or pressure. Leaving your aligners in a hot car can ruin them, for example, and drinking hot drinks can change how they fit. One of the reasons why you should never chew any food when wearing the aligners is because this can cause them to crack.
How long do I need to wear Invisalign?
Individual treatment plans will vary significantly, based on your level of malocclusion (misalignment) and how much your teeth will need to shift. This may be as little as 9 months, or as many as 18-24 months. When you meet with Dr. Gore, he will develop an Invisalign treatment plan that plots out the amount of time you can expect to wear your aligners. One thing that is constant among all patients, however, is the need for a daily wear average of 20-22 hours. All patients will need to sleep in their aligners and wear them whenever they aren’t eating or cleaning their teeth.
Will Invisalign affect my daily routines?
At first, Invisalign requires some adjustment. Do you tend to snack or graze? Maybe you sip coffee throughout the morning. With Invisalign, you will find that designated meal times become far more important to your routine. Every time you eat food or drink a beverage (anything other than plain water), you will need to brush and floss the teeth very carefully before replacing the aligners.
Any food residues left on the teeth when you put in the aligners can lead to enamel damage or rapidly advancing decay. Diet sodas may not have any sugar in them, but they do contain acids that erode tooth enamel and pigments that can stain. Since you will not have the benefit of saliva to neutralize acids and rinse away food, even a diet soda needs to be brushed and flossed off the teeth. For this reason, you will also need to get into the habit of bringing an oral hygiene kit with you wherever you go!
Will Invisalign affect my speech?
Invisalign will change the way that air flows around your teeth, so it may affect how you pronounce your consonants. Most patients report that it doesn’t take much time to adjust to the aligners—maybe a week or two—before they sound like themselves again.
Is Invisalign better than metal braces?
The Invisalign system has proven to be equally effective as metal braces for cases of mild-to-moderate crowding and malocclusion. There is no evidence to suggest that one orthodontic technique is “better” than another, since they can typically achieve the same positive results in a safe manner. Patients certainly prefer Invisalign’s less-obvious appearance, so if appearances matter to you, you may find Invisalign to be a better choice.
Does Invisalign hurt?
It’s true that some patients report feelings of discomfort and pressure when they first put in a new set of aligners. However, patient responses indicate that the sensations may be worse when having metal braces tightened. Why might this be? Because the changes are more gradual and constant (i.e., every two weeks, rather than every four weeks), Invisalign may not put as much immediate pressure on the teeth. The good news is that very few patients find these sensations significant enough to abandon their treatment.
Does insurance cover Invisalign?
Many insurers cover Scottsdale Invisalign the same way they cover braces. Some will pay up to a certain dollar amount, and patients are responsible for remaining costs. If you are unsure of your benefits, contact our office and we will help you determine your coverage.
If you have further questions about Invisalign, contact Rod W. Gore, DDS to schedule an orthodontic consultation. We will take the time to answer your questions and assess your candidacy, so you can make an informed decision for your oral health. Call us today at 480-585-6225.