Home Health The Straight Smile: Invisalign Basics for New Patients 

The Straight Smile: Invisalign Basics for New Patients 


Orthodontic braces have been around for generations with patients wearing metal brackets and wires for months or years at a time. There are other options, however. Invisalign is an alternative to metal brackets in the form of flexible aligners. Get familiar with this orthodontic option because it might be a perfect fit for you.

Why Choose Invisalign? 

There’s a lot of information out there about Invisalign. Reading articles explaining Invisalign might be a good place to start. Another place to research will be your own dentist’s website. On a dental site like the Glenlake Dental Care website, you will be able to find information on the process, how it works and most likely some photos. Check out the video from Dr. Lim on the site to see him explain Invisalign aligners. He talks about the benefits and ways it can help.

Aligners allow you to skip the brackets and wires. Although they’ve been perfected over the years, the fact remains that metal is still in your mouth. Aligners don’t have any sharp edges or metallic taste. You slide them on and off with ease. Traditional braces don’t let you take a break from treatment unlike Invisalign.

Are you a Good Candidate? 

Patients who match well with aligners don’t have any extenuating circumstances, such as impacted teeth. Most candidates simply have gapped or crowded teeth. You might struggle with flossing or brushing.

Your orthodontist might start out with other treatments first. Moving an impacted tooth into place requires surgical interventions. With your teeth roughly in place, aligners may be a good choice at that point. Remember that everyone is different. Your case will be unique to you. Aligners are relevant to more and more cases every day. You can be one of those patients.

What to Expect 

Your orthodontist customizes your aligners to your oral cavity. The process begins with many x-rays of your teeth. Professionals use these images to create aligners. You’ll start out with an aligner that’s shaped slightly off from your smile’s current position. The shape places pressure on your teeth, which moves them in small fractions over the course of two weeks.

You’ll receive another aligner set at this point. The aligners must be swapped out every two weeks so that your teeth are continually moving. Straightening your teeth takes time, but you will see a difference in a few months.

Your Commitment to the Process 

The aligners require some work on your part. Remember that they cannot be effective unless you’re wearing them. Ideally, wear the aligners for about 20 to 22 hours a day. They’re safe to sleep in. Take them out to eat or brush your teeth. Because they’re virtually invisible, most people don’t mind the time commitment. Metal braces cannot be removed, so your commitment to aligners must be a conscious effort.

Keeping up Appearances 

After your orthodontist verifies that your smile is straight, the aligner use is no longer needed. This process can take around a year, depending on your oral health. Your teeth can still move, however. This fact is especially true for teenagers who’re still developing. You must wear a retainer after Invisalign treatment. It looks just like the aligners. Wear the retainer 24 hours a day at first. Your orthodontist will slowly wean you off of the retainer so that your smile is perfect from here on out.

Your orthodontist is the only person who can really decide if aligners are right for you. Visit your chosen professional today. A straight smile builds confidence in everyone at any age.