If you’re thinking about straightening your teeth, but don’t want to mess with braces, you’ve got one other option: Invisalign.
Invisalign braces are a clear, discreet form of braces, ideal for many adults and teens reluctant to commit to traditional metal wires. Still, they might not be the ideal choice for everyone looking to straighten up their pearly whites.
If you’re unfamiliar with the product, check out these five Invisalign retainer facts you should know about.
1. Straight Teeth Don’t Just Look Better; They’re Healthy
Properly aligned teeth might give you more confidence in your smile, but they also play a role in how other people see you. According to a survey, nearly 30% of Americans say the first thing they notice about someone’s face is their teeth.
Beyond the social implications, straight teeth prevent jaw pain and rubbing against the inside of your mouth. What’s more, they’re easier to clean, meaning investing in Invisalign can mean you’re staving off cavities and gum disease.
2. Your Invisalign Retainer Addresses Several Alignment Issues
Invisalign isn’t just for crooked teeth; the trays can address a range of alignment problems from mild crowding to gaps, underbites, crossbites, and overbites.
That said, you’ll need to go in for a consultation to determine whether Invisalign will work for you. Patients with TMJ could be poor candidates for the procedure, while those with cavities or other active dental problems may need to get some work done before getting fitted.
3. Invisalign Feels a Lot Like Traditional Braces
Unfortunately, just because you’re skipping the metal mouth look doesn’t mean you’re in for a more comfortable experience. Invisalign retainers feel much like their metal counterparts. In fact, all braces will cause some discomfort, as they’re designed to apply pressure to your teeth to move them into alignment.
4. Invisalign Retainers are Removable–So You Can Eat and Drink Anytime
Your Invisalign trays are removable, which gives you the flexibility to eat when you’re hungry and drink when you’re thirsty. That said, you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing your trays at least 22 hours per day, giving you a precious two hours of tray-free noshing.
The second part of this is, you’ll need to carry a toothbrush with you at all times. Brush and floss thoroughly after you eat or drink (water is fine), otherwise, your trays (and teeth) will become stained. For the best Invisalign results, stick to clear liquids.
5. You’ll Still Need to Wear a Retainer Long Term
The only way to maintain your straight new smile is to wear a retainer after it’s all said and done. For the first 12 or so months, you’ll need to wear your retainer for most of the day. And while this sounds like torture, there’s a simple explanation–biology.
Teeth are housed in the jawbone, and when you get braces, they’re pushed into a new position. For the teeth to move into that position, the bone on one side will need to disappear. For example, if a tooth moves from the front of the mouth toward the back, the bone on the backside would disappear.
Once in the new spot, new bone growth will form around the tooth, stabilizing it into its new home. The process can take up to a year, so if you’re not careful, the teeth can move back from whence they came. Wearing a retainer 12 hours a day is essential during that period to keep teeth straight. As time passes, you can reduce your wear.
Get the Invisalign Results You Want
An Invisalign retainer is a perfect choice for many adults and teens who don’t want to feel self-conscious as they go through their day-to-day lives. But, they do require some care and a significant time commitment.
For more information about getting started with your first Invisalign trays, contact Pacific Beach Smile Studio today.