Smile! In this era of Instagram, camera phones, and selfies, your smile is put on the spot more than ever before. If you have crooked or misaligned teeth, you might feel out of place and uncomfortable every time someone asks you to smile for the camera.
And Americans need a confident smile for more than just the occasional snapshot. Multiple studies have shown how straight teeth impact various aspects of our life, including dating, relationships, and work opportunities. A healthy smile gives you a great chance to make an unforgettable first impression.
Even if you do everything you can to keep your teeth clean, flossing and brushing regularly, crooked teeth might prevent you from a confident smile. You can’t control the alignment of your teeth by flossing and brushing more often, but you can take control through Invisalign.
What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?
Invisalign, like braces, is a system that straightens out your teeth over time. Instead of the metal brackets and wires associated with braces, Invisalign uses personalized, clear plastic trays. Every couple weeks, you will switch to a new set of plastic aligners, helping your teeth comfortably shift week by week.
So what’s the process? First, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with your dentist. Invisalign can correct many dental issues, both mild and severe, but some specific issues might require a different form of treatment. During the consultation, you will also have time to ask any questions or talk about concerns you have before treatment.
Next, the dentist will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth. With that information, the dentist can prepare a treatment plan and demonstrate how your teeth will move and change over the course of the treatment. Each aligner will make small, progressive corrections to your teeth that add up to make a big difference in your smile.
After your custom aligner trays are finished, you can begin wearing them. You should only remove them for a brief amount of time, like during meals or tooth brushing. Your dentist will observe your progress to make sure the aligners are moving your teeth correctly. Treatment time varies from person to person, but most adults use Invisalign for around a year.
Why Use Invisalign Instead of Braces?
Many people avoid orthodontic care simply because they fear the look of traditional braces. These people probably heard disparaging phrases like “metalmouth” and worry about any repercussions from using metal braces. The great thing about Invisalign is that the aligners are nearly invisible. They draw much less attention than traditional braces.
In addition to the aesthetic benefits of Invisalign, you also enjoy much more freedom. When you agree to braces, you also agree to sacrifice a lot of different foods. Sticky foods like gum and candies are prohibited. You also need to avoid hard or crunchy foods like chips, hard-crusted bread, and nuts. Even healthy foods like apples and corn on the cob might get stuck in or even damage your braces.
Invisalign doesn’t require any food restrictions, because you take out the plastic aligners whenever you eat. This perk also benefits your personal tooth maintenance. Brushing, and especially flossing, become difficult while you use braces, but with Invisalign, you simply remove the aligners when you need to brush and floss.
Because Invisalign evades the use of wires and sharp metal, your mouth will also feel more comfortable than it does with braces. Any blow or pressure to a mouth with braces might result in torn or scratched cheeks. For this reason, playing sports or practicing musical instruments can be painful. The smooth plastic utilized in Invisalign is safe and comfortable.
Do I Have Other Options Beyond Braces or Invisalign?
If you feel like neither braces nor Invisalign will work for you, the dentist might suggest different options. For example, porcelain veneers work as a quick fix if you need results right away. A veneer is a thin plastic shell that bonds directly to the front of your tooth and enhances its appearance. Veneers also help with oddly shaped or discolored teeth, so they can fix multiple problems at once.
Sometimes a dental crown might be the right answer. If you have an oddly shaped tooth, a porcelain crown might fix the issue. Or if you feel like your teeth have a nice shape and alignment, perhaps a cosmetic dentist will simply suggest a tooth-whitening procedure to enhance your smile.
It’s important to know that you have access to a wide variety of treatments to enhance your smile. A reputable cosmetic dentist will find the perfect solution for your teeth. Invisalign isn’t the only answer, but it has helped many, many people feel more confident and comfortable with their smile. So schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to see if Invisalign will help you with your own smile.