Several treatment choices are available for teeth alignment, and Invisalign is particularly notable for its subtlety, convenience, and effectiveness. Our excellent team at Rhoads Orthodontics is going to share five keys to creating beautiful smiles with aligners.
What Are Aligners?
Aligners present an alternative to traditional braces, and our focus today will be on the most popular version: Invisalign! These transparent plastic aligners work gradually to reposition your teeth. A notable feature is their removability, enabling easy cleaning between meals, although they are typically worn for most hours of the day.
The Invisalign Process
This tends to be a customized treatment, but the same broad steps are as follows:
- Consultation: Dr. Rhoads will assess your dental condition to determine the appropriateness of Invisalign as a treatment option. This session will also include discussions about pricing and the estimated duration of the treatment.
- Treatment Plan: If you opt for Invisalign, this initial step involves capturing detailed digital scans of your teeth using state-of-the-art 3D imaging technology.
- Custom Aligners: These scans serve as the basis for creating a series of bespoke aligners specifically crafted for your unique smile. Each subsequent set is carefully designed to progressively shift your teeth.
- Wearing Your Aligners: Typically, each set is worn for approximately two weeks, following the guidance provided by our team. They can be removed for activities such as eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.
- Regular Check-Ups: Scheduled check-ups at our office play a vital role in your treatment plan. These appointments enable us to monitor your progress, provide you with the next set of aligners, and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
- Treatment Progress: Following our instructions, you will wear your series of aligners for a specified period, which may range from several months to a couple of years, depending on the condition of your teeth.
- Completion of Treatment: Upon completing the final set, we will supply you with a retainer to preserve your results over time. Follow-up appointments may be arranged to ensure the stability of your newly aligned teeth.
5 Keys to Using Your Aligners
Embarking on any orthodontic treatment requires a significant commitment over time. The outcome largely depends on your diligence in maintaining a consistent routine and prioritizing your oral health. Here are some tips to guide you along the way!
- Follow Wear Guidelines: Adhere to the schedule provided by Dr. Rhoads, wearing your aligners for approximately 20-22 hours daily for optimal results. Consistency in daily wear is crucial for the treatment’s effectiveness, and avoiding prolonged removal of aligners helps maintain progress. While it may be tempting to take them out, remember that the objective is to complete your treatment successfully and on schedule.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Remove aligners before consuming anything other than water to prevent staining. Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting aligners to uphold good oral hygiene. Clean your aligners regularly using a soft toothbrush and clear antibacterial soap or Invisalign cleaning crystals, avoiding hot water to prevent deformation.
- Store Aligners Safely: When not in use, store aligners in their protective case. This not only helps in keeping track of them but also ensures their cleanliness. Invisalign provides a few free replacements, but losing them over and over again can become costly!
- Stay Healthy and Hydrated: Drink an ample amount of water, especially while wearing aligners, to prevent dry mouth and reduce the risk of bacterial buildup. This can also be helped by avoiding sugar in your diet, as it can result in significant decay of your teeth.
- Communication: Attend all scheduled check-ups with your dentist and Dr. Rhoads to monitor progress and receive your new set of aligners. Open communication is crucial throughout your orthodontic treatment. Should you encounter any issues or concerns during your Invisalign journey, feel free to reach out to our office for guidance and necessary adjustments.
Words of Warning!
Now that we’ve given you some good practices let’s go over a few things to avoid doing:
- Smoking: Continuous smoking can significantly stain your aligners, so it is recommended to consider quitting during the treatment period or consistently remove them before smoking.
- Neglecting Oral Hygiene: Forgetting to floss and brush before putting your aligners back in place may result in the accumulation of bacteria, plaque, and cavities.
- Ignoring Discomfort: If you experience discomfort or encounter sharp edges with a set of aligners, it’s important to address it promptly. Ignoring it can lead to soreness and potentially hinder your progress.
Lining You Up for Success!
We’re very familiar with the process of aligners in our practice, so we’re glad to help you along the way! Orthodontic treatment requires collaboration between our patients and our team. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. You can visit our Cranberry Township office or reach us by phone at 724-369-8655.