If you’re thinking of straightening your teeth with Invisalign, or even if you’ve already started, you probably have some pressing questions.
You might already know that Invisalign is a quicker, more comfortable alternative to traditional braces, but did you know there are steps you can take to make it even easier?
Board-Certified Invisalign Orthodontist, Dr. Doug Crosby from Clear Smiles, Inc. gives us the straight answers on some of the most common Invisalign treatment questions, plus helpful tips on preparing for Invisalign and how to make your teeth alignment treatment easier.
Timing is EVERYTHING When it Comes to Straightening Your Teeth
One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to Invisalign treatment is, “How long will it take to get straighter teeth?” There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because each smile is different. Those smiles that require minor adjustment may take a little as 4 months of treatment, while those needing extensive correction could require up to 18 months of treatment.
Once you’ve had your initial evaluation with your orthodontist, you’ll get a better idea of how long your Invisalign treatment will last. At that point, you may be wondering how long you’ll need to wear your aligners throughout the day to finish the treatment in the time frame your orthodontist prescribed.
As Dr. Crosby recommends, “It’s ideal to wear your aligners 20-22 hours a day. Of course, we don’t ask that a log be taken on every minute you wear them.” A good rule to follow is to keep your Invisalign aligners in place day and night, only taking them out when you’re eating or brushing your teeth.
Will My Aligners Affect My Speech?
Whether you’re weighing your options or just getting started with your Invisalign treatment, you’ve probably read that your speech might be affected. Some Invisalign patients do experience a short period of lisping or “sounding funny” when they talk.
So, how long will you get used to talking with your aligners in place? According to Dr. Crosby, “Feeling weird when talking is a temporary issue. After the first 2-3 days in aligners, your speech returns to normal.”
Can I Still Eat the Same Foods When Wearing My Invisalign Aligners?
So, what other personal ‘adjustments’ will you have to make? You may be asking, “What foods can I eat while wearing my Invisalign?” Remember those two to four hours a day where you can remove your aligners? Well, those are the hours during which you’ll be enjoying your daily meals. It’s best not to eat with the aligners in at all.
While you might be concerned about not being able to eat with your aligners in, there is a bright side. You’ll find yourself developing some good habits, like being more conscious of when you eat and brush your teeth after every meal. You’ll also need to be more conscious of drinking liquids that could stain your teeth. Again, brushing after drinking beverages like coffee or red wine is important to help prevent Invisalign from making teeth yellow.
Oh, No! I Lost a Tray. What Should I Do Now?
Since Invisalign treatment depends on a set of multiple progressively sized and shaped aligners, it’s important to wear each set continuously, switching to the next set of aligners at the right time to gradually align your teeth step by step. But, what happens if you lose your current set of aligners?
Dr. Crosby recommends that if you lose an aligner, you should go-ahead to the next set of aligners. “It might feel a little tighter than usual and we would ask that you stay with that aligner for 10-14 days instead of 7.”
What Happens if I Forgot to Wear my Invisalign Aligners for an Entire Day?
Say you took your aligners out to enjoy an evening snack, went to bed without putting them back in and went to work the next morning without them. When you get home and get ready to eat dinner…the panic sets in! What could happen? Will your teeth shift become crooked again? Will you have to start all over?
Hopefully, that doesn’t happen but if so, make sure to wear the current aligner for 7 days straight before you change to the next set of aligners. Consider adding a day or two if you have missed several consecutive hours of wear.
What Should I do with My Old Invisalign Aligners?
Wondering what to do with your old aligners after you move up to the next set? Dr. Crosby explains: “Throw them away. We would never go backward. And, a little known fact, the aligners are recyclable!” There’s no need to hang on to your old aligners since doing so might be confusing. You wouldn’t want to somehow accidentally pop in an old aligner and set back your progress.
How to Find Out if Invisalign Treatment is Right for You
Not sure if Invisalign is the right choice for you or your teen? This advanced teeth straightening system is a convenient alternative to traditional braces. Aesthetically speaking, the clear, almost invisible aligners are ideal for teens and adults alike. Plus, they are technically advanced to help fix bite issues as well as to straighten teeth. If you aren’t sure if you qualify for Invisalign, take the quiz today!
- “How Does Invisalign® Treatment Work?” How Does Invisalign Work | Invisalign Braces, invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works.
- Software, Mintox – Adaptive e-Business. How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Your Teeth?, 28 Feb. 2019, theorthodontists.com.au/blog/how-long-does-invisalign-take-to-straighten-your-teeth.
- Castañon, Kelsey, and Kelsey Castañon. “10 Things to Know Before Trying Invisalign.” Shape, 10 Jan. 2019, shape.com/lifestyle/beauty-style/10-invisalign-truths-know-you-try.
- “FAQ.” Invisalign, invisalign.com/frequently-asked-questions.