If you’re thinking of beginning treatment to straighten your teeth, you may have the option to choose between Invisalign or traditional braces. But who qualifies for Invisalign, and just how does Invisalign work? Read on for a step-by-step overview of the Invisalign process.
Step One: Invisalign Consultation
If you’re considering Invisalign to treat crooked, unevenly spaced, slanted, or gapped teeth, your treatment will begin with a consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth and mouth to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign. Candidates for Invisalign will not be missing teeth, will not have active gum disease, and will not have severe bite issues that Invisalign cannot correct. If you or your teenager has a healthy mouth, and all adult teeth, you’ll likely be approved for Invisalign.
Step Two: 3-D Scans, Photographs, and Images
Once you’ve been approved for Invisalign treatment, a series of images of your mouth and teeth will be taken. These painless x-rays and digital scans will be used by your dentist to design your treatment plan. They will also be used to make the clear alignment trays that you will wear during your treatment. Your dentist will be able to show you a photo of what your teeth will look like once you’ve completed your treatment.
Step Three: Start Wearing Your Alignment Trays
Once your alignment trays have been received by your dentist, you will return for instructions and begin wearing your first set of trays. The trays are made of durable, clear, BPA-free, translucent plastic. You should plan to wear your alignment tray for at least 20-22 hours per day. You can remove your trays to eat, brush and floss your teeth, and if you’re engaging in sports that require you to wear a mouthguard.
Step Four: Caring for Your Invisalign Trays
One of the biggest draws of using Invisalign to correct your smile is that you can undergo nearly invisible treatment. Unlike metal braces that can make patients self-conscious about smiling, Invisalign trays are barely noticeable in person or pictures. However, to keep your trays nearly invisible you need to take good care of them. Brush them with a soft bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste. You may also opt to use the Invisalign cleaning system which includes a soaking solution for your trays to keep them clear and free from bacteria, scuffs, or scratches. Taking great care of your alignment trays and wearing them all day unless you’re eating, drinking, or wearing a mouthguard for sports will ensure optimal results from your treatment.
Step Five: Graduate to New Trays
Each set of trays is designed to be worn for approximately two weeks. At the end of that time, you’ll swap out the old trays for your new trays. Each tray will be designed to pressure your teeth into aligning with the trays, which are in straighter alignment than your teeth. You’ll see your dentist every 4-6 weeks to ensure your treatment plan is on track.
Step Six: Complete Treatment & Retainer Use
Once you’ve completed your treatment with your aligners, your teeth should be in beautiful alignment. To ensure that they stay this way, and prevent teeth from shifting back into their old position, you’ll be fitted for a retainer. You may have to wear your retainer all day, only at night, or some combination of both. Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions for wearing your retainer.
Step Seven: Enjoy Your Beautiful New Smile
Most patients complete Invisalign treatment in 18-24 months. By the end of your treatment, you’ll be ready to show off your new, straight smile. You should continue to see your dentist twice a year for dental exams and professional cleanings.
Invisalign Treatment in Washington DC
If you’re ready to begin your journey towards a straight even smile, Invisalign may be right for you. Contact Blossom Dentistry today by calling 202-922-2900, or feel free to book an appointment online.