Invisalign® 101: what to know about your clear aligners

Invisalign® and Invisalign® Teen are popular ways to straighten teeth because they’re nearly invisible. Patients love the look — or lack thereof — of Invisalign, and we love the results they give to our patients.

Patients often come in with a lot of questions about Invisalign. What does Invisalign look like? What are those bumps on Invisalign trays? Will I have a lisp with Invisalign? How long do I wear Invisalign?

At Hodges Orthodontic, we provide Invisalign® in Tupelo, MS, and are happy to answer your questions. We believe that the more you know about what to expect with your Invisalign treatment, the more satisfied you will be during your treatment. With Invisalign, patient participation is crucial to the success of treatment. We want to empower and equip you to feel confident and fully engaged in your Invisalign treatment.

Common questions: Getting Invisalign

First-time Invisalign patients have many questions about their clear aligners and how to care for them. They want to know what to expect with their new Invisalign. Here are some of the most common questions we get.

Invisalign aligners are made of a clear, custom-molded material that is made to fit your teeth. The aligners put slight pressure on all of your teeth at once and gradually move them into the new, desired position. As your teeth move, new sets of aligners will be mailed to you to continue the next step of your treatment. Throughout your treatment, you will have regular appointments with Dr. Hodges to monitor your progress and ensure everything is on track.

At your first appointment, Dr. Hodges will take digital scans of your teeth and jaws. The scans will go into special Invisalign software, and Invisalign will create custom trays that will perfectly fit your teeth and move them bit by bit to where they belong.

Your treatment time depends on the severity of your dental issues. With a mild case, you could wear Invisalign for as little as six months! The average treatment time for Invisalign is 9-15 months.

That’s assuming you wear your Invisalign for the prescribed 22 hours a day. Wearing it for less time each day could result in a longer treatment time.

Your teeth and jaws may feel a little sore immediately after getting your Invisalign and after switching a set of trays for the next set. This is perfectly normal and shouldn’t last more than a few days, at most.

You can use over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce your discomfort. You can also rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Be sure to remove your Invisalign before using the warm water so you don’t damage the trays.

We know the idea of paying for orthodontics can be stressful, which is why we do all we can to ease your mind and your wallet. We offer low down payments, as low as $250. We also offer low monthly payments and even extended payment plans. You shouldn’t have to wait to get the smile of your dreams!

Common questions: Caring for Invisalign

Once you have your Invisalign trays, how do you care for them? Can you eat or drink with Invisalign? What’s the best way to remove Invisalign? How do you clean your Invisalign? These are a few of the questions we get most often about caring for Invisalign.

Use your fingertip on the inside of your back molar to pull the edge of the aligner from your molar, then repeat the process on the other side. Once it’s loose on both sides, use your fingers to pull the aligner from the rest of your teeth evenly so you don’t bend or warp your clear aligners. It will also make them easier to remove.

Pull the aligner out of your mouth and rinse it immediately in cool water. Shake off the excess and store your clear aligners in a protective case until you’re ready to use the clear aligners again. Never use sharp objects or excessive force to remove your aligners.

Good hygiene is just as vital during treatment as it is before and after treatment. You need to brush and floss your teeth daily to maintain good oral health. You must rinse your Invisalign after removing them and before replacing them in your mouth. You also need to clean your clear aligners regularly.

Do not use toothpaste with abrasive material, such as “fresh breath crystals,” as they can cause microabrasions and make your Invisalign look cloudy. The best method is to soak your trays in warm water and tablets made to clean clear aligners. Never use hot water because it can warp and damage your clear aligners.

Aside from cool, plain water, we do not recommend you eat or drink with your Invisalign. Foods can become stuck and can stain your Invisalign. Dark drinks such as coffee, tea, fruit juices, and sodas can stain your Invisalign. It’s best to remove your Invisalign for eating or drinking, rinse them off, and store them safely in your storage container, then rinse them and put them back in your mouth after you’ve finished eating and brushed your teeth.

Some patients want to know whether they can smoke or vape with Invisalign. We strongly discourage the use of any tobacco products with Invisalign. Aside from the fact that tobacco and smoke can stain your Invisalign, it can also stain your teeth.

The smoke, chemicals, and bacteria can get trapped underneath your clear aligners and can increase your chances of tooth decay and gum disease. Invisalign treatment may be a great opportunity for you to give up these habits.

Store your Invisalign trays in a storage container made for clear aligners. These containers are designed to protect your trays and keep them from getting warped, bent, broken, or otherwise damaged. Place your storage container in a safe place out of reach of small children or pets, both of whom can damage your trays.

Keep a spare tray with you if you go out, and never wrap your clear aligners in a napkin. It’s too easy to accidentally throw them away! Store your old Invisalign trays in case you need them.

Call us at Hodges Orthodontics if you lose or damage your Invisalign trays. We may have you go back to wearing the previous trays or move on to the next one, depending on when in your treatment you lose or damage your trays. If necessary, we can replace your trays.

Common questions: Invisalign treatment

Patients assume Invisalign trays just look like a mold of their teeth. Sometimes, Invisalign requires more than just the trays to properly straighten your teeth. Let’s talk about those Invisalign bumps and Invisalign power ridges.

Occasionally, we need to apply extra pressure to a particular tooth or teeth that are more out of place than the others. In that case, we may use “bumps” called Invisalign attachments. These attachments can be attached to the trays, but more often we attach them to your teeth. Invisalign then applies extra pressure to that tooth or moves the tooth in a different direction than the others.

Power Ridges on Invisalign work in a similar way to attachments. The power ridges on the Invisalign trays grip the teeth better and move them differently or apply more pressure to the tooth or teeth. This allows us to move crooked or displaced teeth into proper alignment with the rest of the teeth.

You may have a bit of trouble talking when you first get your Invisalign because your tongue is used to hitting your teeth when you talk, not an acrylic barrier. It may take a few days for your tongue to get used to your Invisalign.

During that time, you may notice a slight lisp, but it’s not a permanent ​​speech impediment. Most of the time, it disappears after a few days once your tongue gets used to the Invisalign.

Getting Invisalign in Tupelo, MS

Treatment with Invisalign offers a lot of great benefits, from a lack of food restrictions to a lack of a “mouthful of metal.” The results we’ve created from Invisalign have been amazing, but not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign treatment.

Are you? The easiest way to find out is to schedule an appointment in our Tupelo, MS, office. We’ll provide a free initial consultation and evaluation and let you know whether Invisalign is right for you. Check out more on our blog.