Washington, DC is the kind of city where your image counts for a lot. Whether you always wanted braces or have a teenager who needs them, you may be feeling understandably hesitant about getting the traditional cumbersome and painful metal braces.
Today, wearing braces is a much more pleasant — and less noticeable — experience, thanks to a system called Invisalign®. This system uses clear, removable aligners to shift your teeth over time into a better position. Dr. Thomas Sokoly of Sokoly Dental explains more about why Invisalign is a system that can work at any stage of life.
What Invisalign is
Invisalign is a system for straightening your teeth that involves wearing a series of custom-fit clear aligners. The aligner trays are removable, which means you can — and should — take them out to eat and drink to prevent staining. The trays are made of clear plastic, and you replace them every couple of weeks, as your teeth gradually shift their position.
According to the cosmetic procedure review site RealSelf, 90% of people who have had Invisalign say that it was “worth it.” The greatest benefits of Invisalign are that they’re virtually unnoticeable to wear, and they don’t require that you avoid certain foods like you'd have to with traditional metal braces.
Who can wear Invisalign
Invisalign probably sounds like it must be too good to be true, like maybe it’s designed for people who only need minor dental correction. But Invisalign is a powerful enough system that it’s suitable for several different types of dental issues.
Among the issues that can be corrected by Invisalign include:
- Crooked or misshapen teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
Adults and children alike can wear Invisalign. However, because you need to wear the aligner trays for about 22 hours a day, young children may not yet have the maturity to maintain responsible habits about wearing them.
Other things you need to know about Invisalign
One group of adults who benefit a lot from Invisalign are those who wore braces when they were younger but failed to properly wear a retainer afterward. Many such people find that their teeth have shifted position after the braces came off, and they need dental correction again.
Most people have to wear Invisalign aligners for 6 to 18 months, depending on the extent of the issues you need to correct. While you’re wearing the Invisalign aligners, you’ll need to take out your aligner trays while eating, then clean the trays before inserting them in your mouth again. This is an important commitment, but it will quickly become a matter of habit.
You’ll also need to maintain good dental hygiene habits, like regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. You should also keep up with visiting the dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year.
Whether you’re a teen or adult, you should be prepared to wear a retainer after completing the course of Invisalign treatment. After wearing braces — whether Invisalign or metal braces — wearing a retainer is an essential step in maintaining your new smile.
If you'd like to schedule a consultation about Invisalign or have more questions about the system, Dr. Sokoly would be happy to speak with you. Call our office at 202-280-2428 today, or request an appointment online.