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What to Consider When Considering Invisalign

Do you have teeth that are out of their ideal alignment? Do you have a bad bite? Are you interested in straightening your teeth, but unwilling to deal with traditional wire and bracket braces? Invisalign may be the solution!

Founded in San Jose, California, in 1997, Invisalign braces have quickly become a household name. In the 20 years since their founding, Invisalign braces have perfected over 2.6 million smiles around the world. But despite their popularity, there are still a few misconceptions about Invisalign. If you are interested in straightening your teeth without the hassle of getting traditional braces, check out these lesser-known facts about Invisalign.


Do I still need to wear a mouth guard?
One misconception about Invisalign is that if you play a sport that requires a mouth guard, you can use your Invisalign aligner in lieu of a sports mouth guard. This is not true. Though they’re durable, Invisalign aligners are not meant to withstand the force that mouth guards are designed to withstand. The Align company, manufacturers of Invisalign, recommend that for sports, you remove your Invisalign liners and wear a sports mouth guard. Then simply put your Invisalign liner back in your mouth when you are done playing.

You may still need a bracket or two ...
Invisalign liners fit your teeth like a glove, but they sometimes need a little help staying in place. That’s why your dentist may glue invisible brackets to a few of your teeth to help hold the Invisalign liners in place.

You should brush before you put your aligner on
It may seem like common sense, but don’t put your aligner back on after eating unless you’ve brushed (and ideally flossed!) your teeth. Why? Because when you wear your aligner, your teeth won’t get rinsed by saliva, which means whatever is stuck on your teeth is stuck there until your aligners come off. That’s a whole mouthful of cavities waiting to happen.

You may need your teeth filed before you begin Invisalign treatment
One thing that surprises some patients is that, prior to leaving the dentist or orthodontist’s office with their first set of aligners, some patients may need to have their teeth filed to make space as their teeth shift. This is known as interproximal reduction, and it is done to reduce the risk of your teeth rubbing together. Your dentist will use a thin metal strip that fits between the teeth like floss and slowly shaves away the enamel in a similar fashion to normal tooth wear. It is usually painless, but it is possible that it may hit a nerve and cause some temporary sensitivity.

You won’t notice results unless you actually wear your aligners
This should go without saying, but you only get out of your Invisalign treatment what you put into it. That means if you don’t wear your aligners as often as prescribed, you’re not going to get great results. Yes, new trays will be uncomfortable at first, but not unbearable. Try to resist the urge to take them out just because they’re removable!

Remember, the more you wear them, the faster your teeth will shift, and the sooner you can finally STOP wearing them.

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