A brilliant smile radiates joy, good health and vitality. Are you considering orthodontics/braces? You may have another option. Let us design a smile for you that is natural and beautiful, one that will bring out your confidence. Using the Invisalign alignment system, Dr. Ania can straighten your smile using custom fit clear trays to gradually shift your teeth into place.
How does Invisalign work?
Traditional braces achieve tooth movement by tightening the wires connecting the metals bands and creating extra pressure with rubber bands. This can create one or two days of pretty sore teeth once a month.
Invisalign uses the aligners to move the teeth. Each aligner is designed using the system’s 3D computer imaging software. Dr. Ania plots the optimal end location for the patient’s teeth. Then the Invisalign software breaks down the necessary movement into a series of aligners. When worn, the aligners put gentle pressure on the teeth, moving them. Each set of the upper and lower aligners gently moves the teeth closer and closer to the end position. After wearing a set of aligners for two weeks, the pair is discarded and replaced by the next pair. This process continues until the teeth are aligned and in position.
In stark contrast to the pain and irritation of metal bands and wires, the Invisalign aligners fit snugly on the teeth and are comfortable. They achieve movement without the immediate soreness caused by tightening wires and changing rubber bands.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign can’t be used in cases where the patient requires severe tooth movement. Dr. Ania would still use traditional orthodontics in those cases. However, it’s a great option for patients who only need mild to moderate repositioning. Plus, Invisalign is perfect for teens and adults who aren’t thrilled at the prospect of dealing with the brackets and wires of traditional orthodontics.
These are the conditions Dr. Ania treats with Invisalign at her Boulder practice:
· Crowded teeth
· Gaps between teeth
What are the advantages of Invisalign for moving my teeth?
Our patients from Boulder and the surrounding areas love Invisalign because the system accomplishes the necessary movement and straightening of their teeth without all the hassle. No wires poking your cheeks and tongue. No bands rubbing on your lips. No monthly “tightening” sessions, followed by two or three days of ibuprofen to relieve the pain. No floss threaders and food stuck in the bands.
· Virtually invisible — Invisalign aligners are almost impossible to detect, even when you’re talking with a person at close range.
· Comfortable — The aligner trays are so comfortable; you’ll forget you’re wearing them.
· Eat what you like — No avoiding sticky, chewy foods, or having to cut your corn off the cob. Take the aligners out and eat what you like.
· Easy cleaning — Brushing and flossing are a breeze. Simply take out the aligners and perform your normal hygiene.
· Flexibility — If you need to wear a sports mouth guard; simply remove your aligners during practice or the game. Same for band practice.
· Normal life — Unlike braces, Invisalign doesn’t impact your life. Plus, you won’t need to avoid smiling in photos for two years!
How often do I wear my aligners?
During your initial consultations for Invisalign, Dr. Ania will stress the importance of being very diligent with how long you wear your aligner trays every day. It’s important to be sure to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours every day. You should really only take them out to eat and to brush your teeth. But you can also remove them to play sports or if you play a wind instrument in your school band. Each aligner exerts subtle pressure on your teeth to move them, but they need the recommended time on the teeth every day to do so.
When you think about it, 20-22 hours is no big deal. After all, traditional braces are on your teeth 24 hours a day.
How long will it take for Invisalign to move my teeth?
As you would assume, there is variability between patients on the length of their treatment, but at Dr. Ania’s we’ve found Invisalign typically takes less time to move your teeth into their final positions than traditional braces. Traditional braces usually take about two years, while Invisalign typically averages from 12-14 months.
Another nice aspect to Invisalign is that if at the end of your treatment Dr. Ania feels you still need a bit more movement, she can simply order another couple sets of aligners.
How do I care for my Invisalign aligners?
Keeping your aligners clean is easy. We’ll walk you through this, but here are the options you can use:
· When you remove them, immediately rinse them in water to remove the saliva.
· Soak your aligners once a day for 30 minutes in denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water, or in the Invisalign cleaning crystals.
· Clean your aligners with clear antibacterial soap. This gets rid of bacteria and is easy and inexpensive. But don’t use colored soaps, as they can tint your aligners.
· Gently brush your aligners with your toothbrush, but don’t use toothpaste, as toothpastes have abrasives in them that can scratch and create pits in your aligners.
What happens after my teeth are finished moving?
After your teeth have been moved into the desired final position, they need to stay there. That’s why traditional braces transition to the use of a retainer. This prevents the teeth from drifting back to their former positions.
Invisalign doesn’t use a retainer with a plastic piece that snaps onto the roof of your mouth. Instead, Vivera retainers, made from the same material as the Invisalign aligners, keep the teeth in place. These Vivera retainers are similar to the aligners, but they are thicker and more durable because they need to be worn for longer than just a couple of weeks. You will receive four Vivera retainers to be swapped out over the course of your retention period.