Invisalign, the orthodontic devices that use clear aligning trays to straighten teeth in older teenagers and adults, are a great advancement in orthodontal technology. Rather than having to deal with traditional metal braces to straighten your teeth or correct an overbite, underbite, or misalignment, Invisalign will do the job without being quite so obvious.
Not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign, however. Children and younger adolescents who are still growing aren't a candidate for Invisalign, and some issues are too severe and outside the scope and require traditional metal braces instead.
While Invisalign may not be as noticeable as regular braces, they do still require the patient adhere to properly using and caring for the devices. Here's a look at what you should know if you are considering the Invisalign option.
Invisalign Devices Require Commitment On Your Part
Your teeth aren't going to change unless you wear your Invisalign devices faithfully. They should be worn approximately 22 hours of every day. This means they are worn when you sleep, which can take some adjusting to for most people. It's not uncommon for people to awake in the morning and see they removed them in their sleep. The Invisalign trays should only be removed when drinking and eating. They can be removed when needed, such as for a special engagement or when participating in sports, such as football, where a mouthguard is used, but the less you wear them, the longer correction will take.
Invisalign Devices Require Removal Before Drinking And Eating
While you don't have to worry about not eating things like popcorn or caramel apples like you do with regular metal braces, you may still need to adjust your habits. You can drink plain water with the Invisalign aligners in, but that's it. If you're accustomed to sipping on soda, tea, or coffee all day, this will require a major shift in habits.
You also cannot eat anything with the aligners in, not even a tiny nibble. They aren't built to stand up to the force of chewing. You will also need to floss and brush your teeth after eating before putting your aligners back in our mouth. Additionally, you will not be able to smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, or chew gum. It's best for those with caffeine and nicotine habits to give them up before starting treatment.
Invisalign Devices Require Cleaning
Your doctor will provide you with the Invisalign cleaning system. In a pinch, they can be brushed with a soft toothbrush, toothpaste, and cool water. Hot water will warp and distort the tray, making it unusable. They should be cleaned before you put them back into your mouth after removing to eat or drink. Between brushing and flossing after you eat or drink anything plus cleaning the trays, this may require an adjustment, especially at work.