Even after years of braces, your teeth may still not be as straight as you’d like.
But once you reach a certain age, trying out traditional orthodontics again is far less appealing. After all, it wasn’t a walk in the park when you were younger. Now, you have more stress, a busier schedule, kids, and more bills to add to the mix.
Traditional braces aren’t the only option on the market anymore. Invisalign is now more effective than ever before whether it’s your first time using corrective braces or you want to shape up teeth that moved over the years.
Is Invisalign right for your smile? Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of Invisalign.
Who is Invisalign For?
Let’s start with some cold, hard science.
The Invisalign System works using clear plastic aligners shaped and fitted to replace the wire and brackets used to form traditional braces. You must wear them 22 hours a day, and you update the trays every two weeks.
Today’s Invisalign product is more effective than when it first began. A review of all the clinical studies using Invisalign shows that the trays work best for the treatment of mild to moderate malocclusions (crooked teeth) and non-extraction cases in adult patients. However, further studies show that Invisalign can also work in extraction cases.
The bottom line: if you are an adult who wants to fix the alignment of your teeth or provide supplemental straightening years after getting your braces off, then you can benefit from Invisalign. They also work for kids to correct mild malocclusions and mild over- or underbite.
If you need significant work done, you may still be better off with conventional braces.
An exam and x-ray will be better able to tell you whether Invisalign can help accomplish your goals.
What are the Pros and Cons of Invisalign?
Invisalign promises something that we only dreamed of when we were kids: straight teeth without the wires and brackets. But Invisalign comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s dive in.
Pros of Using Invisalign
Invisalign offers braces without the brackets, but there are more pros than allowing your orthodontia to fly under the radar.
The first is that the trays are relatively painless, particularly in comparison to traditional braces. There’s no tightening of your wires every two weeks (ouch!). Plus when you finish with Invisalign, you take them out. Your orthodontist doesn’t need to scrap cement off your teeth (ew!).
However, keep in mind that pain is a mostly personal experience. And if your Invisalign needs to do more work, then you might feel more discomfort than others. Most of it occurs over the days after you switch trays.
The second pro that benefits adults, in particular, is time. While you may have loved getting out of school to go to the orthodontist, most adults don’t have time to visit the dentist every few weeks. You can pick up a bunch of your trays at once and work through the sent with minimal visits to the dentist.
Cons of Using Invisalign
Invisalign isn’t a short-term treatment. You may be assigned months or years depending on the state of your teeth.
You also need to commit to wearing them full-time. You need to wear your liners for 22 hours a day to see results. But you can’t eat while wearing them. So, you need to learn to structure your day in a way that allows you to eat and take your liners out without compromising your treatment.
The 22-hour a day rule can also be a steep learning curve for kids. When it takes longer to get into the groove, you risk extending your treatment time.
Your meal schedule isn’t the only thing that changes. You can only drink water with Invisalign, so you need to coordinate your morning coffee or tea carefully. That also means no juice or soda for kids when the liners are in.
Cleaning them can also be a pain. While brushing multiple times a day is a given with any form of orthodontic wear, it’s critical with Invisalign. Plus, you can’t brush your liners. You need to wash them in cold water with soap or a mild detergent to prevent them from turning yellow and a bit smelly. Alternatively, you can use the Invisalign Cleaning System or a retaining cleansing solution.
Lifestyle Changes You Need to Know About for Invisalign
As adults, we enjoy a flat white before work and a glass of white afterward. But with Invisalign, dropping into your local for your favorite beverage is less straightforward.
Your relationship with meals is just one of the lifestyle changes you need to know about before you start Invisalign.
1. Prepare to Carry Your Toothbrush
You need to brush after every meal or snack to remove any traces of food before you put your liners back in.
That means bringing your toothbrush around with you to avoid going over your two-hour Invisalign break each day.
2. You Need to Adjust to Eating and Drinking on Schedule
There’s no popping out your liners because it’s sample day at the grocery store or your co-worker brought cake. Well, you can, but only if you don’t mind removing, cleaning, and storing your liners ten times a day – not to mention the extra brushing.
This one will particularly impact tea and coffee drinkers or anyone with a Diet Coke addiction. You can’t drink anything but cold water (or sparkling water) with your Invisalign or you risk staining your liners. Hot drinks can distort the plastic.
3. Lipstick and Lipgloss Ca Be More Trouble Than They’re Worth
If you have a signature shade, prepare to kiss it goodbye — potentially.
Your lipstick or lipgloss will find its way to your liners every single time you apply it. Some people struggle with this more than others. It often depends on your smile and the shape of your lips.
If you struggle with this, try clear blam or gloss instead to avoid the awkward lipstick smile.
Even if you can get away with lipstick, be prepared to reapply often thanks to all that brushing.
Is Invisalign Right for You?
The pros and cons of Invisalign demonstrate that these braces alternatives are worth the hype, as long as you are a good candidate.
Although you’ll need to get used to some temporary lifestyle changes, you will feel them working the first week you put them on. Patients even report being shocked by how quickly they start seeing progress.
Are you ready to start your journey towards your best smile? Schedule a consultation today to see just how well Invisalign clear aligners will work for you.