Invisalign is an orthodontic system similar to traditional braces, used by dentists to straighten a patient’s misaligned or overcrowded teeth. The Invisalign® system is different from metal braces in that the straightening is completed with the patient wearing aligner which snap over the teeth and push the teeth into the correct alignment, in a manner similar to braces. They are made from clear, BPA-free medical plastic and they are virtually invisible when being used. The aligners can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing but should be worn for at least 22 hours per day. The Invisalign® aligners are designed to tightly mold to the patient’s teeth and mouth. The patient may be fitted for new aligners several times throughout the treatment as the teeth move into the desired space.
Like traditional places, Invisalign® aligners gently push the teeth into the desired position. However, while traditional braces attach to the teeth with connecting wires which are tightened and adjusted regularly, the Invisalign system is a tight, clear shell worn over the teeth. Most Invisalign® patients wear the aligners for about a year. However, the exact time frame and number of aligners will depend on the individual patient and the expected result. For the best results, the aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours a day and only be removed to be changed out, while brushing and flossing or if certain foods are consumed. The aligners will be replaced and refitted approximately every two weeks. They are comfortable to wear and will not irritate the inside of mouth like traditional braces.
The Invisalign® system of teeth straightening has a number of advantages. The aligners are more or less invisible, which makes it very appealing to patients who might feel self conscious about having their smile filled with metal. Also, the aligners can be removed occasionally, which makes brushing and flossing a quicker and more straightforward process. Also, since the aligners are changed every two weeks, there is no painful tightening of wires that can irritate the patient’s mouth.
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