Invisalign has become one of the most popular treatments in the world since its debut in May of 2000. It easily enables patients to straighten their teeth without uncomfortable and unsightly metal. You can learn a lot about the basics of how it works throughout our website, but we’ve noticed most patients are really interested in how it will affect their day-to-day lives. So, today we are answering lifestyle-related questions to help you discover what you can expect during treatment.
Will Invisalign affect what and when I eat?
We joke around at Soulsmile about going on the “Invisalign diet”. In the big picture, eating whatever you want is one of the advantages of Invisalign (compared to traditional braces where food gets stuck easily), but it does take a moment to remove your aligners, eat, and then MOST patient will feel more comfortable if they do a quick brush before putting the aligners back on. Because of this process, many patients find they snack less and thus dub this reduction in food intake the “Invisalign diet”. When I personally did Invisalign, I didn’t eat less food, but I did consolidate my meals a bit more.
A couple more considerations - drinking only water when the aligners are in will keep your teeth clean and your trays nice and clear. Colored beverages can stain them a bit. I was known to occasionally drink white wine with them in, but I wouldn’t say that’s an “approved” tactic.
Will brushing my teeth be the same?
You’ll be able to brush and floss as normal, which is great! You just take your trays out. However, you’ll be adding a bit of time and effort to your routine to clean your aligners. You simply brush them with your toothbrush. My advice is to use an electric toothbrush (which you should already be using on your teeth anyway!). I once traveled with only a manual toothbrush and was shocked at how much more stained my aligners were during that time.
Invisalign also makes some cleaning crystals that you can use to soak your aligners in that work wonders!
Can I whiten my teeth while using Invisalign?
In most cases, patients will need small bumps adhered to select teeth (Invisalign calls them “attachments”) to help move the teeth. Because of this, whitening during treatment is not advised. You can definitely begin your treatment with a round of whitening and we certainly encourage a tune-up after you complete treatment and are ready to show off your beautiful new smile.
What if I have a special event? Can I leave my aligners at home?
Compliance is the number one factor in Invisalign success. It is essential that you wear your aligners for 20-22 out of 24 hours every day. That said, if you have an hour-long job interview, you’ll probably be just fine leaving them out. You can even try to keep your other eating periods shorter that day to make up for it. On the other hand, a day-long wedding may not be appropriate for skipping your aligners. Use your best judgment and wear them as much as possible. The rewards will last a lifetime!
Is Invisalign Comfortable?
Although there may be occasional discomfort due to the snug fit of starting with a new set of aligners, this usually subsides in a couple days and patients find them to be significantly more comfortable than metal braces. The new-aligner discomfort also seems to diminish a bit as treatment progresses.
What Is the Invisalign Treatment Process Like?
- First, a free consultation with Dr. Kivel is scheduled to discuss treatment and ensure that you are a candidate for Invisalign.
- Once treatment has been agreed upon, the Soulsmile team will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth. These will be used to create a 3-D image to map out the exact movements your teeth.
- Next, we will make a customized series of aligner trays from virtually invisible (and BPA-free) plastic that will gradually re-align your teeth!
- You will progress through the series (or change out) about every two weeks.
- You will need to wear your aligner trays for 20 to 22 hours daily, removing them only to eat, brush or floss.
- You will visit Soulsmile about every six weeks to make sure you’re teeth are moving as planned.
- As with braces, you may need to wear retainers after your Invisalign treatment in order to keep your teeth in their new position.
Is there an age restriction for Invisalign?
We only recommend Invisalign for patients 18 and up for compliance issues. Fortunately, there is no upper-age limit! Invisalign is great for adults who previously thought they were “too old” to be wearing metal braces.
Hopefully, this answered questions you might have about Invisalign. If you live in Ashland, or Medford/the greater Rogue Valley, and have more questions, we would love to answer them - in person! Give us a call to schedule your free Invisalign consultation.