Here at White Orthodontics, our experienced orthodontists and staff know the importance of having a straight, healthy smile! With two orthodontic practices conveniently located in O’Fallon and Florissant, MO, White Orthodontics is proud to offer state-of-the-art orthodontic treatments to successfully straighten your teeth, including offering Invisalign for both teens and adults!
As Invisalign clear braces are quickly becoming a more popular and effective alternative to traditional metal braces, it’s crucial for all of our patients to fully understand the ins and outs of the revolutionary Invisalign system, thus ensuring a mouth full of healthy teeth during your Invisalign treatment period.
What are Invisalign aligners?
While wearing traditional metal braces is still the most common way to straighten teeth, they tend to be clunky, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful to wear! As many older teens and adults need braces to correct their smile, wearing highly-noticeable metal braces is not always the most fun option. Traditional braces use metal brackets and wires that are bonded to the teeth with dental cement, making it easier for food and bacteria to get stuck in the mouth, and more difficult to properly clean your teeth.
Invisalign relies on a series of clear, removable plastic trays (aligners) to straighten teeth. These aligners are virtually invisible when worn, and can be easily popped in and out for short periods of time to eat, drink, brush, and floss. This means that almost no one will know you are straightening your teeth! Due to the versatility of Invisalign, it’s much easier to adjust to life with your new aligners versus getting used to the semi-permanence of traditional metal braces.
How does Invisalign work?
Getting metal braces can sometimes be a trial and error process with no immediately discernible date of when they can be removed. With Invisalign, that’s a thing of the past! Beginning with a smile scan, Invisalign patients know exactly what to expect from the moment the scan is complete. Invisalign’s iTeroElement® Scanner provides immediate, comprehensive knowledge on the condition of their mouth, and how long the treatment plan will take to straighten their teeth.
For each stage of treatment, Invisalign will manufacture two plastic mouth “trays” or “aligners,” one to fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You will wear this first set of trays for two weeks, for a minimum of 22 hours per day. You will then move on to the next set of aligners in your series to accomplish the next stage of gradual movement. You will continue this process, as indicated by your O’Fallon family orthodontist, until your teeth have reached their rightful positions!
What are the benefits of Invisalign over traditional metal braces?
If you’re a candidate for Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, you’ll notice the amazing benefits over traditional metal braces right away! Some Invisalign advantages include:
Caring for your Invisalign aligners
Every time you remove your Invisalign trays, it’s crucial to clean them properly! Dry saliva and plaque create a perfect breeding ground for foul-smelling bacteria. Soaking your aligners in denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, or the official Invisalign cleaning crystals are all excellent options for keeping your trays clear and sanitized.
You can also clean your aligners with a clear, antibacterial soap. Clear, antibacterial soap is an excellent and inexpensive way to keep your aligners clear, fresh, and free from harmful bacteria. As a side note, it’s not advised to use toothpaste to clean your trays, as this will scratch the plastic and create places for bacteria to live inside your aligners.
Keeping your mouth extra clean
With the convenient ability to remove your Invisalign aligners at any time, it’s integral to keep your teeth adequately brushed and flossed daily. While your aligners are pressed tightly against your teeth, your saliva will not be able to naturally wash away any of the gunk left behind, causing unwanted bacteria build-up directly on the enamel of your teeth. Thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal will help maintain great oral hygiene during your Invisalign treatment process, preventing plaque, tartar, and cavities.
What’s the difference between Invisalign and Invisalign Teen?
For teenagers who want the amazing benefits of Invisalign, there’s a specialized option that’s perfectly suited for the teenage lifestyle. In addition to all the benefits of regular Invisalign, Invisalign Teen comes with a number of advantages custom-tailored to all teenagers:
- Eruption tabs: Eruption tabs hold space open for teeth that haven’t finished erupting yet.
- Blue dot wear indicators: Emblazoned on every aligner, these tell doctors, parents, and teens themselves if the aligners are being worn long enough.
- 6 extra sets of aligners: Every treatment course comes with 6 free replacement aligners, so there’s no need to worry about losing aligners.
As a whole, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen offer a plethora of advantages over traditional metal braces! With removable trays, no sharp or protruding edges, and a shortened treatment time, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are better alternatives to clunky, traditional metal braces.