The Invisalign clear aligner system is an innovative treatment option that offers many patients an alternative to traditional braces. Using aligners to move the teeth is a relatively simple concept as orthodontics go, but offers a freedom and flexibility that braces aren’t able to. That being said, orthodontic treatment of any kind is a big commitment! It’s exciting to start the journey towards a healthier smile with Invisalign, but it’s also completely normal to feel a little unsure about what to expect if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

 That’s where we come in! Here at Sawgrass Orthodontics, we want you to feel fully confident in the trust you’ve placed in our expert team. Orthodontics is at its most successful when you’re a full partner in your treatment plan, so we’ve put together this survival guide to Invisalign to help you better understand what the system is, how it works, and how you can get the most out of your clear aligners. Let’s take a look below to learn more!

 (Are you a good candidate for Invisalign? Click here to schedule a free consultation with us and find out!)

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign foregoes the brackets, wires, and bands of traditional braces, and instead utilizes a series of clear, removable aligners to move the teeth into alignment. These aligners are made of a special thermoplastic resin, and because each one is custom-designed for your smile, it fits snugly and comfortably over your own teeth. The aligners are also removable and nearly invisible, making them an excellent alternative to traditional braces for many teen and adult patients.

How does the Invisalign system work?

Once Dr. Kristen or Dr. Penny has determined that Invisalign is a good fit for your smile, we will begin the process of custom designing your aligners. We’ll use a highly-detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums to map out a precise treatment plan that’s been personalized just for you. This plan includes the exact movements we want your teeth to make, and is also used to give us some indication of how long your treatment is likely to take. We may even be able to give you a sneak peek of what your smile will look like once treatment is complete!

 The Invisalign aligners are created from a special SmartTrack® material. This material is durable, but still offers a comfortable fit for you. The total number of aligners worn during the treatment process and the total treatment time varies from patient to patient depending on the individual’s case and their discipline with the aligners.

 Patients have a big part to play in the success of the Invisalign treatment process. Unlike braces, which are a fixed appliance, Invisalign aligners are removable. That means it’s up to you to wear them exactly as directed, keeping them in for at least 20-22 hours each day throughout the course of treatment. If you deviate from this, it can lengthen your treatment time and affect your results.

 Aligners also need to be changed regularly to keep up with the movement of your teeth. This will usually happen every one or two weeks, depending on your personalized treatment plan. Regular check-ups are another essential part of the treatment process, just like with braces, so you can expect  follow-up appointments at our office every 6-12 weeks or so.

Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine with Invisalign

Dental hygiene is important for everyone, orthodontic patient or not, but being in braces or aligners makes it even more essential. Luckily, Invisalign makes it easy! Simply remove the aligner before brushing and flossing the way you normally would. We recommend our orthodontic patients brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss every night before bed.

 Keeping your aligners clean is important, too. Dried saliva and plaque can breed bacteria, so rinse them every time you remove them. You can also soak them in denture cleaner or special Invisalign cleaning crystals to keep the trays clear and sanitized. Brushing your aligners is another option, but take care to do it gently and carefully. Brushing too hard can scratch your aligners and leave visible etchings. Avoid using any toothpaste when cleaning your aligners, since many brands have abrasive agents that can dull the aligners, or create small openings for bacteria.

The best candidates for Invisalign

Invisalign can be an excellent option for many of the most common orthodontic issues in teens and adults. For cases that are more severe or complex, we may recommend other treatment methods. When you schedule a free consultation with our office, we’ll be able to determine if Invisalign is likely to work well for you and your smile!

Once your Invisalign treatment is complete

Treatment doesn’t stop once the active phase is complete. Even after you’re done with aligners, your teeth will still retain memories of their previous place in your mouth. Over time, they have a tendency to start drifting back towards those original positions. That’s why retainers are such an important part of the overall treatment process! Dr. Kristen and Dr. Penny will provide you with a retainer, and you should always wear it as directed to help prevent any natural drifting and keep your newly straightened smile in place.

Invisalign is the clear choice at Sawgrass Orthodontics

Here at Sawgrass Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to providing you with an orthodontic experience that is as rewarding and stress-free as possible! Just like anything new, the Invisalign system can take a little getting used to, but before you know it, it will be just one more part of your daily routine. Remember that our expert team is also available to help if you ever have any questions or concerns about your treatment plan!

If you’re in Davie, Weston, Plantation, Cooper City, or the Sunrise area, we’d love to meet you and share more about how Invisalign can change your smile for the better. Give us a call today to schedule a FREE exam and take the first step towards a healthier, straighter smile using Invisalign aligners!

- Dr. Langford

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