Invisalign braces are clear, plastic trays that fit over the teeth and which gently nudge them into place. They're a popular alternative to standard metal braces and especially for teenagers who may be self-conscious about their appearance, or adults who may come into contact with others during the course of their careers, as they're not as noticeable as standard braces. While they can be a good option for anyone looking to align their teeth, it's good to understand some factors about Invisalign and how they work, so you know what to expect and what to discuss with your orthodontist. Note the following.
1. How long they're worn during the day
One advantage of Invisalign trays is that they can be taken out as needed; if you're a teenager and need to give a speech in class or an adult who needs to make a presentation to your boss, you might slip off the Invisalign tray just for that time. However, they do need to be worn virtually all day, usually 22 to 24 hours every day, in order to be effective. You cannot simply slide on your Invisalign tray for a few hours in the evening or wear them overnight and assume they'll work, as they need to be constantly nudging your teeth into place in order to properly align them.
2. Follow-up visits
Your Invisalign trays need to be remade or reset every few weeks; typically you'll visit your dentist or orthodontist like Dr Peter Vaughan Specialist Orthodontist once a month or once every six weeks, and the trays themselves will be changed about every two weeks. Failure to have follow-up visits with your dentist will mean that the trays are not working, as the teeth need to be constantly pushed into place. Once teeth align with the tray itself, you need a new tray made to keep moving the teeth to where you want them to be.
Because Invisalign trays don't get tightened like braces, it's easy to think that there is no discomfort or pain in wearing them. While Invisalign trays are typically more comfortable than braces since they don't scratch the gum lines or inside of the cheeks and may not be as tight against the teeth as braces, there still can be some discomfort. Remember that these trays are still pushing teeth into position, so you might experience a bit of discomfort and soreness. This is important for anyone who cannot handle discomfort very easily and who may be tempted to remove the trays throughout the day, as this can mean that they fail to align teeth over time.