Whether you’re considering Invisalign or already in treatment, it’s important to understand how Invisalign works. Please use this section to find answers to common questions.
What are aligners made of, and what do they look like?
The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.
How do the aligners straighten teeth?
Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance by your doctor, specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.
How long will treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by your doctor; however, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen patient may vary and can be determined by your doctor.
How often must I wear my aligners?
We find that aligners are most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours per day and removed only for eating, brushing and flossing.
Will Invisalign treatment be painful?
While Invisalign moves your teeth without the pain and anxiety metal braces can cause, some people experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It's also a sign that Invisalign is working, as it moves your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
Can I just wear the aligners while I sleep?
No. The aligners must be in place a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day for the treatment to be effective.
Will wearing Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Similar to other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.
Are there restrictions as to what I can eat while in treatment?
No. Thanks to the removable nature of the aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. In fact, you're required to remove your aligners to eat and drink. So, unlike when undergoing traditional treatment using wires and brackets, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks unless you are instructed otherwise by your doctor. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to reinserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene.
What's the best way to clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is to use the Invisalign Cleaning system, available for order at www.invisalignstore.com. As a secondary method, however, your aligners can also be cleaned by brushing them and rinsing them in lukewarm water.