Do you ever feel self-conscious about smiling because your teeth are crowded or crooked? Maybe you needed braces as a kid, yet never had the opportunity? Perhaps you’re in an important business meeting or interview and would like a little more confidence as you close the deal. With today’s advanced dental technology, you can get the smile of your dreams without having to deal with the discomfort of traditional braces. By having Invisalign, hardly anybody will know you’re having orthodontic treatment.
If you want to close a gap in your front teeth or correct a misaligned smile, you’ll discover why many of your neighbors in the Austin area have chosen Dr. Gary Cash to get that awesome smile they deserve.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Traditional braces consist of metal or ceramic brackets glued to your teeth. They are connected with wires and elastics that help move your teeth into the proper position. Invisalign on the other hand is a set of custom-designed removable clear aligners that slide over your teeth.
You receive a new Invisalign aligner tray every couple of weeks, and each tray is made slightly different, designed to move your teeth a little each time. When you get your new aligner, you’ll discard the old one and start using the new trays.
What to Expect During Your Treatment
Over the course of treatment, you’ll start to see dramatic changes in your smile, but there will be things you’ll notice and experience, all of which are completely normal.
Before we fit your first Invisalign trays, we put on a series of attachments to a few of your teeth, which are small pieces of white composite. These attachments help the aligner trays fit snugly around your teeth and help with the movement of your teeth. When treatment is complete, we take them off and smooth your teeth so you’d never know they were there.
Does Invisalign Hurt?
Invisalign treatment can be an unusual sensation. Perhaps some initial pain when you start on a new aligner (which quickly goes away). When teeth are moved, the stress on the roots can cause a little pain or discomfort. We can advise you on some mild pain relief tablets if necessary. After a few days, the pain will subside.
How Long Does it Take?
Depending on the severity of your misalignment, it can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months. When you come in for your Invisalign consultation, we’ll show you an animated model of what your new smile will look like and the gradual movements over time. You’ll see exactly how long it will take and the movement of every tooth.
We do ask you to wear your Invisalign aligners throughout the day, only removing for eating and cleaning your teeth. If you forget to wear them, or leave them out for hours on end or overnight, then the treatment time will increase.
Since you’ll be coming in for a follow up appointment every few week, we’ll be able to tell if you’ve been wearing them!
Caring for Your Aligners
Since you’ll be taking them out for eating (perhaps drinking) and cleaning, make sure to keep your aligners somewhere safe, like in a napkin or on a clean surface. Keep them away from curious dogs and cats! “The dog ate my Invisalign” is not a story we like to hear!
When cleaning, rinse out with clean water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste. It is too abrasive and will scour the delicate plastic. You may soak the retainers in mouthwash to freshen them up, but definitely no toothpaste.
We recommend that you keep your Invisalign retainers in for approximately 22 hours a day, only taking them out for cleaning your teeth and eating.
You’ll take out your aligner trays before eating. We’ll recommend you keep a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste with you so that you can clean your teeth after every meal. You don’t want to have any bits of food stuck to your teeth that could start to breed bacteria and damage your teeth. Your mouth’s natural saliva washes particles of food off your teeth, but when you’re wearing your Invisalign retainers, that doesn’t happen. That’s why it’s important to brush your teeth after every meal.
Patients often ask us if they can drink while wearing Invisalign. The answer is yes, but if you drink colored liquids such as red wine, coffee, tea, sodas etc, then there is a chance you can stain your aligners. If that happens, the stains do not easily come out.
Caring for Your New Smile After Treatment
After your treatment has been completed and you have your awesome new smile, we are going to ask you to wear a retainer for a period of time to avoid having your teeth revert back to their old positions. This retainer is also clear, just like you would have for traditional orthodontics. You do not change out this retainer. Try to wear it as much as possible for the first 90 days, then wear at night time.
Common Patient Questions
Will it Affect my Speech?
You may develop a slight lisp at the start of treatment because your tongue hasn’t got used to having Invisalign in your mouth. It won’t last long – the more you talk, the quicker you’ll get used to it and the quicker your speech will adjust.
Always take a spare case with you to store an extra aligner. In the event something happens to the new aligner, you can always pop the old one back in your mouth. We can also give you the next one in the series if you’ll be out of town for a few weeks.
Will it Work for Me?
The best candidates for this kind of treatment are teens and adults. It is not recommended for young kids (elementary school) because their teeth are still growing and straightening their teeth is more complex. The older you are, the longer it will take for teeth to move to the optimal position.
Invisalign works best to correct gaps in your teeth and correct minor to moderately crowded teeth. If you have a more complicated issue, like a severe overbite or under-bite, we’ll recommend you look into the more traditional type of orthodontic correction.
- The clear design of Invisalign provides privacy and discretion throughout the orthodontic treatment.
- The aligners are easily removable, giving you the freedom to eat and drink and brush without interference.
- Because they are removable, you’re able to practice good oral hygiene such as flossing without the use of special floss threaders or special toothbrushes.
- Because they are metal-free, the aligners are comfortable and won’t irritate the soft lining of your mouth.
- The whole set of aligners will be created right at the start of your treatment, eliminating the need to come back for adjustments and saves you time in the dentist’s chair.
- Invisalign’s ClinCheck software enables you to see your treatment plan from start to finish, giving you a good picture of your future smile.
Is Invisalign Expensive? Are There Cheaper Alternatives?
You may have seen ads for mail order teeth straightening where you bypass the dentist and save a bit of money. You take an impression of your teeth at home, or visit a local dentist who takes an impression, then it gets sent off to the labs, Every few weeks, they send you a new aligner. Yes, it can save you a little bit of money, is it worth it? Are you worried about cost or price?
Your teeth should be monitored by a dentist throughout the whole process to ensure everything is moving properly. People have been known to lose a tooth because of this “DIY teeth straightening process”. You don’t want that to happen! Gums can get irritated if the aligners don’t fit properly which could lead to other issues. So, balance up the short-term price savings vs. the longer-term cost, not to mention the potential for dental complications.
Rest assured, patients at our office have really good outcomes, and are glad they made the investment in their new smile!
Call our office to ask about your personalized new smile. You have questions, we have answers.