Answering Your Top Invisalign® Questions

Invisible Retainers Case With Orthodontic Aligner Brackets. Black Plastic Dental Container For Removable Invisalign Braces On Blue Background

When making a decision for your smile, it’s always a good idea to learn as much as you can before going through with anything. That’s where our Ann Arbor Invisalign® dentists come in. If you’re wanting straighter teeth but aren’t too familiar with aligners, we can provide you with the answers you need to get started.

Here’s some of the most commonly asked questions about Invisalign clear aligners.

1. Can You Give Me a Brief Intro to Invisalign? 

Invisalign can be described as virtually invisible aligners designed to gradually straighten teeth and adjust a patient’s bite over time. This alternative to traditional metal braces is perfect for individuals looking for straight, healthy teeth without the hassle of metal wires or brackets.

2. How Do I Know If I Qualify for Invisalign?

Teens and adults are eligible for and welcome to try Invisalign unless their particular dental situation requires extensive or more traditional orthodontic treatment. Our dentists will perform a quick oral examination to confirm your candidacy before aligner production can begin.

3. How Long Will Treatment Last?

Treatment length varies per individual but on average, desired results can be accomplished in 12-18 months. Some patients may even complete their treatment in less than 12 months. Regardless, each set of aligners must be worn for a few weeks. After that time has passed, you’ll proceed to the next set of aligners in the series and continue this process until our dentists see that your teeth have reached ideal alignment.

4. Without Metal Wires or Brackets, How Does Invisalign Work?

Despite their clear appearance, Invisalign aligners operate much like metal braces. The top and bottom aligners fit right over your teeth and with each set, carefully apply controlled force to ensure they are moved into a better position. However, no noticeable wires or brackets are needed.

5. Is There a Recommended Wear Time for the Aligners?

You should wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. They are removable but should only be taken out when eating, drinking (beverages other than water), brushing, or flossing. If instructions are not followed or aligners are not worn for long enough, corrections may be necessary which will delay progress.

6. Can You Tell Me the Benefits of Invisalign?

As a treatment option, Invisalign has multiple unique benefits when compared to metal braces. Some of those include:

  • The clear aligners are subtle and nearly invisible to family, friends, and co-workers.
  • You can remove your aligners to eat, drink, brush, and floss.
  • Freedom to enjoy an unrestricted diet; no need to avoid sticky or chewy foods.
  • Easier to practice oral hygiene thanks to their removable nature.

7. How Do I Clean My Aligners?

Just like your natural teeth, you should clean clear aligners at least twice daily to ensure they do not stain or accumulate bacteria. It is also encouraged that you run the aligners under lukewarm water every time you take them out. Many patients find it easiest to clean them at the same time they brush their teeth.

Our dentists recommend the following when cleaning aligners:

  • Rinsing them with water (never hot)
  • Gently brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste
  • Thoroughly rinsing them after brushing is done
  • Storing the aligners in a protective case whenever not in use

If you make it through treatment with no stains on your aligners, but you wish your final smile was brighter, our dentists offer both at-home and in-office teeth whitening.

8. After Invisalign Treatment, What Happens?

To maintain the ideal alignment of your teeth and prevent any unwanted shifting, our dentists will give you a custom retainer to use. This is the orthodontic retention phase of your treatment and while it may seem annoying, it’s a necessary part of keeping the smile you and our dentists have worked hard to create.

Start Your Invisalign Journey

Our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, want to provide you with all of the information you need with regards to Invisalign. That way, you can feel confident about your treatment choice before receiving your first set of clear aligners. Call Excel Dental today at (734) 929-9999 or request an appointment online.