If you are considering or preparing for an Invisalign treatment, it’s important to know the facts. Invisalign product material may tell you what it’s made of and how amazingly fast it can straighten teeth, but what is wearing Invisalign really like? What should you know on an experiential level before your first day slipping in these clear aligners?
The best orthodontic experts — like those at Adventure Orthodontics, bring orthodontics down to the human level. They know that kids, teens, and adults need real answers and expectations about orthodontics — nobody likes orthodontic surprises except the tooth fairy.
So what should you know about Invisalign braces before you get started? Here are 9 facts about Invisalign you should know.
1. You Need To Take Invisalign Trays Out To Eat, Drink, And Take Selfies
When wearing Invisalign, you have two hours to take them out each day, and you’ll want to spend that primarily on meals and selfies. You cannot eat with Invisalign in your mouth and should not drink anything but water while your Invisalign aligners are in — or you risk damaging the aligners. Invisalign is also not 100% invisible and will show on high-res photographs. So be sure to pop those aligners out for meals, snacks, and photo shoots. Then right back in before your two-hour daily timer ends.
2. Invisalign Takes 6-18 Months
Invisalign can work faster than traditional metal braces. Many minor adjustments take only six months to complete, and major treatment rarely exceeds 18 months. This means you’ll be in the aligners for less than two years, and possibly a much shorter time than that.
3. Your Teeth Will Feel Funny
You are adjusting your teeth. The aligners push on your teeth all day long to move them into the right position. When you take out the aligners, it’s normal for your gums to feel soft and maybe a little sore. Don’t poke too much with your tongue and try not to worry. It’s normal. It feels really weird, but it’s normal for this stage of orthodontic treatment.
4. You Should Wear Invisalign For 22 Hours Per Day
Keep your Invisalign in as much of the day as possible. Orthodontic experts recommend your aligners stay in a full 22 out of 24 hours a day. This time will mostly be taken up by meals and brushing your teeth. Three 30-45 minute meals a day will eat up most of your time, and the rest will be spent brushing, flossing, and cleaning the aligners before popping them back in.
5. Invisalign Helps You Diet (Weird Side Effect)
Because you can’t eat or drink anything but water while wearing your aligners and they are a little messy to pop in and out, you will likely find yourself seriously reducing your snacks and sugary drinks during the day. It’s not uncommon to lose a little weight on Invisalign due to snacking changes alone.
6. You Will Sleep (Comfortably) In Invisalign
You are expected to sleep in your aligners to meet that 22-hour-a-day requirement. Don’t worry, they should be completely comfortable, even fitted between your teeth and pillow-pressed cheek. If you can’t sleep comfortably in your aligners, see your orthodontist for a better fit.
7. You Must Brush Your Teeth After Taking Out Aligners, Every Time
Always, always, always brush, rinse and cleanse your aligner trays, then brush and rinse your teeth each time you take out your Invisalign during the day. It’s time-consuming, but also ensures that no food particles are trapped inside the aligners on your teeth.
8. You Will Need To Wear a Retainer Indefinitely After Invisalign
After your 6-18 months using Invisalign, you will switch to a retainer just like traditional braces. Don’t let this surprise you when it comes around — retainers must be worn every night for life after conventional braces or Invisalign or else the teeth will eventually shift.
9. Every Invisalign System Experience Is Unique
Finally, don’t expect the exact same Invisalign experience as your friends or relatives. Each set of teeth, circumstances, and personal routines are unique to the individual. Your cousin may have needed all 18 months while you only need 8. Your co-worker may have been able to whiten, but your teeth may be too sensitive during adjustment. Just take good care of your teeth and keep in touch with your orthodontist and your Invisalign experience is sure to be a success.