For a long time, braces were either metallic or ceramic. Metallic braces would stand out and make the wearer feel very self-conscious. On the other hand, ceramic ones would blend well with the teeth but would easily get stained. But all that changed with the invention of Invisalign in the mid-1990s. The system was developed by a student, Zia Chishti, who was undergoing orthodontic treatment. She found the treatment highly inconvenient and started looking for something better.
The result was Invisalign. From then on, more than 8 million people have used Invisalign clear aligners, say experts at Generations Family Dentistry, leading Invisalign dentist in Houston.
But there are certain things you must know about this method of aligning teeth before you decide to get these aligners for yourself or a loved one. Here’s a look.
How Does Invisalign Work?
In Invisalign treatment, a series of computer-generated scans and images are taken of your mouth. Then, based on these scans, a step by step plan is created to straighten out your teeth. After the plan has been decided, a custom-built set of aligners is manufactured and placed in your mouth. These aligners are replaced every couple of weeks.
Invisalign vs Braces
One of the questions to think about is why you should choose Invisalign over regular braces. Some of the benefits of the former are:
Since they are made of see-through BPA-free plastic, Invisalign aligners are completely transparent. On the other hand, traditional braces are made using metal wires and plastic bands, which can look awkward and remain very prominent.
2. More Convenient
It is suggested that Invisalign should be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours each day. But if you are feeling uncomfortable, you can remove them as well. However, this is not possible with the traditional method. They cannot be removed and need to be worn 24X7.
3. Length of Treatment
The length of treatment generally tends to be less for Invisalign aligners, as compared to traditional methods. In case of Invisalign, the patient is required to wear the aligners for around 6 to 18 months, while traditional treatment lasts for 2 years on average.
Eating and Drinking with Invisalign
One of the biggest advantages of using Invisalign is that you do not need to make any changes to your diet. But there are certain things you need to keep in mind. You must remove your aligners while eating or drinking anything except cold water. This is because the aligners can get distorted due to the heat. Foods that contain sugar or acid can get stuck between the aligner and your teeth. This prevents could lead to the buildup of plaque or even cause tooth decay. Therefore, it is recommended to always clean your aligner and teeth after each meal.
Effect of Invisalign on Speech
You may face a little trouble in the beginning. Some people may experience a slight lisp in their speech in the beginning. But the lisp fades away in a few days, as your tongue gets used to the aligner.
When to See the Orthodontist?
After you get the aligners, you will need to visit the dentist every 6 to 8 weeks. The dentist will check the progress and change your aligners. Some people may also need interproximal reduction during the treatment.
Invisalign treatment has made getting perfectly aligned teeth a lot easier. They are more convenient, look better, and have a shorter treatment timeframe than braces.