Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment method for adults and teens who want to straighten their teeth without the obvious look of braces. But before choosing Invisalign, there is some important information you should consider.
1. You must wear your aligners full time.
Invisalign treatment is a full-time commitment. In order for this orthodontic treatment option to work, you have to wear your aligners for a minimum of 22 hours a day, every day. You should only ever take them out to eat, or when you’re brushing or flossing your teeth.
For many patients, it's very tempting to just take a break with these removable orthodontic appliances when the going gets tough. If you think you may not be able to resist, Invisalign might not be the right choice for you.
2. It can be hard to talk at first.
Until you get used to talking while wearing your new aligners, you may find you’re doing a lot of lisping and mumbling. For advice on talking with braces (much of which applies to Invisalign too) click here.
3. Invisalign may not be right for you.
Invisalign is a great choice for minor or moderate orthodontic problems. More complex issues, however, may ultimately take an extremely long time with Invisalign, making braces a better choice.
4. You’ll have to brush after EVERY meal.
And we promise, you’ll want to do it. Not brushing after eating and then just popping your aligners back in means you'll be sealing food particles in against your teeth under your aligners. It won’t feel or look good, and more importantly, it creates a paradise for bacteria that cause tooth decay and foul breath. To prevent these problems, invest in a travel tooth brush or keep one in your desk at work.
5. They can stain.
Your Invisalign aligners may become stained by certain drinks. You don’t have to take your aligners out to drink your coffee, but nonetheless you may want to devote some of your (maximum) two-hour aligner break each day to that morning cup of coffee.
6. Those extra snacks may not be worth it.
You’ll have to be somewhat mindful and strategic about how and when you eat. If you want a snack mid afternoon, it may not be worth it to take out your aligners, eat, and then also take the extra time to brush and floss. Be sure to eat enough at meals to last you between meals, or you're making a lot of extra work for yourself.
7. It doesn’t really hurt!
Invisalign aligners are typically quite comfortable to wear. Regular braces require adjustment appointments which can cause a lot of discomfort (since the braces are essentially being tightened), and this simply isn’t an issue with Invisalign. You may feel a some pressure of discomfort when you change trays every two weeks, but for most people, this is very minimal.