Our (CCOA) Canadian Clear Orthodontic Academy member dentists can use Invisalign to straighten smiles and correct many orthodontic conditions. That said, before you decide if Invisalign is right for you, there are some factors you should consider.
Invisalign Treatment is a 22/7 Commitment
While Invisalign aligners are easily removable, Invisalign treatment is still a full-time commitment, just like any other orthodontic treatment. If you want to achieve the straight smile you've been dreaming of using Invisalign clear aligners, you will need to wear your aligners for a minimum of 20-22 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the entire duration of your orthodontic treatment.
We understand that it can be tempting to take a little break from your treatment if your teeth are feeling especially sore, or if you forget to put the aligners back in. That said, to keep you treatment on track it's important to resist this temptation. To achieve your best results, in the predicted timeframe, requires wearing your aligners as prescribed by your dentist.
The only times you should remove your aligners are:
- When it's time to eat
- If you're drinking something hot or containing a dark pigment such as red wine or coffee
- When practicing a wind instrument
- While playing a contact sport
- When cleaning your teeth
A serious full-time commitment to your Invisalign treatment is the key to a straighter smile with Invisalign. If, after honest consideration, you don’t think you’ll be able to be consistent in wearing your aligners, Invisalign may not be a good orthodontic treatment choice for you.
Removing Your Aligners When Eating & Drinking
With proper use, Invisalign aligners are almost completely invisible when worn. Not following treatment instructions could lead to aligners becoming warped or discoloured.
Drinks that are dark in colour like coffee and pop can cause the aligners to become stained, and hot liquids can cause the plastic material warp. In order to avoid discolouration or warping, be sure to remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than cool water.
If you think that the temptation of sipping coffee or pop with your aligners in will be too great for you to resist, Invisalign may not be the right orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile.
Brushing After EVERY Meal
Keeping your teeth healthy throughout your Invisalign treatment is an important step in achieving a smile you will be proud to show off. No matter where you are, whether you are at home, or at the movies, if you remove your aligners to eat or drink you will need to brush and floss your teeth before putting them back on your teeth.
Sealing food particles between your teeth and your aligners can lead to a buildup of plaque causing bacteria, possibly leading to tooth decay and bad breath. All the way through your Invisalign treatment you will need to have a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss handy to keep your teeth clean and your smile healthy.
Snacking May Not Be Practical
Now that you know the importance of removing your aligners every time you eat, and cleaning your teeth thoroughly before returning your aligners to your mouth, it's easy to understand that frequent snacking may not be practical.
That said, being a bit strategic about how and when you eat will help to make Invisalign treatment more convenient. Since you will need to take the extra time to brush and floss your teeth, and to rinse out your aligners before putting them back in, you may find that sticking to a small number of larger meals is easiest.
If snacking frequently throughout the day is a way of life for you, changing your eating habits may be necessary in order to make Invisalign a convenient treatment option for you.
Is Invisalign treatment right for you?
If you're looking for a way to straighten teeth without the need for brackets and wires, and you are ready to commit to the points mentioned above, Invisalign may be an ideal orthodontic treatment for you.
Invisalign can treat many types of orthodontic issues from simple tooth alignment to more complex bite issues, and has a range of treatment options from standard Invisalign for adults to the more specialized aligners created to address the unique orthodontic treatment needs of children and teens.