People have been straightening their teeth with orthodontics for thousands of years for more reasons than just aesthetics. According to the American Dental Association, straightening crooked teeth can benefit your overall dental health. While traditional braces are still fairly common, new technology has allowed orthodontics to invent better ways to fix crooked teeth. Invisalign uses advancing technology to straighten your teeth without a mouth full of metal. Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL can help you straighten your teeth with these custom-made aligners.
What Is Invisalign?
The Importance of Fixing Crooked Teeth
For many people looking to fix their crooked teeth, image is their main concern. Crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and other dental issues can affect our self-esteem and make us feel bad about our appearance. However, your teeth should be straightened for more reasons than just aesthetics. Crooked teeth can cause major dental issues if left unstraightened.
Straight teeth reduce the risk of periodontal disease, a gum disease that can become severe enough to break down jaw bone tissue. This risk is reduced since straight teeth are easier to clean, getting rid of harmful bacteria. Straight teeth allow you to chew properly and eliminate uneven grinding on your teeth. Straight teeth also align the jaw, which reduces aches and discomfort. Having straight teeth can even help to open airways to aid those with sleep apnea.
Traditional braces use tiny bits of metal that are attached to each tooth and wired together with a metal wire. These pieces of metal shift teeth into place using different sized wires, replacement of brackets, and rubber bands. Before getting braces, you will have to have your teeth x-rayed, scanned, pictured, and molds taken. Traditional braces require frequent visits to an orthodontist to check on your teeth and make any necessary adjustments.
Traditional braces are also much more difficult to clean. They require special flossing tools to get in between the teeth and brushing around the brackets is an added difficulty. You are also limited from eating certain things, such as popcorn or caramel candy, to prevent a bracket from breaking off.
Invisalign is a newer way to straighten teeth. With new scanning technology, dentists can non-invasively scan your teeth and create a set of aligners that will slowly adjust your teeth to the optimal position. Created with a medical-grade polyurethane resin, the aligners are practically invisible, their edge riding the exact ridgeline of your teeth. Every aligner is a custom fit, made exactly for your teeth to slowly shift them into place.
Invisible aligners must be worn for 22 hours in a day to have the maximum effect. While they are removable, they can’t straighten any teeth if they aren’t in contact with them. They should be taken out during meals and at any other time you are eating or drinking anything other than cold water. If they are worn properly, most treatments last between 12 and 18 months. Thankfully, you will start to see improvements in your teeth within the first three months.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?
1. More Comfortable
Removable aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces. Traditional metal brackets have sharp edges that dig and cut into your lips and cheeks. They can leave sores that are difficult to heal. You can try applying wax to the outside of your brackets, but the wax often falls off quickly. Removable aligners are custom-made for your teeth. They have smooth edges made with high-quality resin so you won’t have any jagged metal digging into your mouth.
Because of their custom fit, invisible aligners also have more precise control over straightening your teeth. During your treatment, you will receive a set of aligners that slowly adjust your teeth horizontally, vertically, and rotationally until each tooth is set in its proper place. Each of these movements is precisely timed by professionals to be the most comfortable sequence possible.
2. Allow for Better Dental Hygiene
One of the best benefits of a removable aligner over traditional braces is it allows you to take better care of your teeth. After all, a clean mouth is a healthy mouth, and by the end of your treatment, you want the healthiest teeth possible. With traditional braces, bits of food and plaque get stuck around and inside brackets which become difficult to clean properly. If not cleaned properly, this can lead to gum disease and even tooth decay.
With Invisalign, you can remove the aligners and continue your normal dental routine. Flossing and brushing can all be done normally without the need for special equipment. You can also brush and clean the inside of your aligner to make sure no food or bacteria builds up inside of it. It is also a good idea to clean the inside of your aligner container regularly so that no bacteria builds up when you remove your aligners to eat, drink, or clean your teeth.
3. Fix Dental Problems
Crooked teeth can cause more problems than just making you self-conscious of your smile. If your teeth are crooked, you are more likely to have a host of other dental problems. Widely spaced or crowded teeth can raise your risk of developing gum disease since your gums do not fit properly around your teeth. Aligning your teeth with removable aligners can also reduce gum inflammation, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, and even chipping of teeth.
You can also fix a dental overbite or underbite with invisible aligners. When you have an abnormal bite, it can cause all sorts of problems, from irregular tooth erosion to gum infections. An improper bite can cause chewing issues, jaw aches, and even speech difficulties. Correcting your bite will lower your risk of cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
4. Prevent Other Dental Issues
Using invisible aligners can also prevent other dental problems. When left unchecked, gum disease can cause tooth decay and loss. Crooked teeth and abnormal bites can create sleeping problems such as sleep apnea. Making sure your teeth are straightened with a removable aligner that allows for great dental hygiene will allow you to prevent worse dental issues.
5. Non-Invasive Scanning
When getting traditional braces, you will have an appointment that requires an extensive evaluation of your teeth. In most cases, this involves placing plastic pieces in your mouth that spread your cheeks far apart to allow for x-rays, picture-taking, and scanning. These plastic pieces are also used when placing the metal brackets on your teeth and wiring them together. They can make your cheeks extremely sore after long use and feel rather invasive.
Due to technology advances, Invisalign doesn’t use invasive measures to detail your teeth. In most treatments, you won’t even need to do traditional impressions that require a mouthful of goo. Using 3D scanning technology, dentists can take a full scan of your teeth without x-ray, impressions, or any other invasive method. These scans are then translated into 3D prints that professionals use to create your individualized aligners.
6. Boosts Self-Confidence
The most popular reason that anyone straightens their teeth is for the aesthetic value. Your teeth are one of the first things you look at when you get up, and your smile is the first thing other people notice. If you don’t feel confident about your teeth and smile, you won’t feel confident in yourself. There is significant evidence to note that straightening your teeth can boost self-esteem, especially for teenagers.
Another benefit of invisible aligners are they are made from clear resin to perfectly fit your teeth. This means they are practically invisible so many people won’t even know you are straightening your teeth, unlike traditional braces. Teenagers are among those more likely to be bullied and harassed because of traditional braces. Using an invisible aligner can help them get straight teeth to boost confidence and dental health while also protecting them from teasing.
7. Fewer Dental Visits
With traditional braces, you have to frequently visit an orthodontist to make sure your braces are adjusted correctly. These visits may include removing and replacing a bracket, changing wire size, tightening specific brackets, and even wiring specific brackets together with extra wire. You may end up spending hours of your time sitting in the dental chair for your appointment.
With invisible aligners, you won’t need to visit the dentist as frequently, and the visits will be much shorter and far less intrusive. You will need to visit between four and six weeks, but between then, you will already have a set of aligners to switch every two weeks. Because the aligners are already planned and created, you won’t need any extra dental work to make them correct your teeth.
8. Eat Any Food and Drink
With traditional braces, you are limited in the foods you can eat or drink, but with Invisalign, all food and drinks are permissible. Because the metal brackets can snap off or the wires bend, you shouldn’t eat sticky foods, hard foods, crunchy foods, even foods you have to bite into. This rules out caramel, gum, nuts, popcorn, ice, corn-on-the-cob, and apples. Luckily, with removable aligners, you don’t have to worry about what you eat.
The only food or drink you should consume with your aligners in is cold water. Otherwise, food particles can get stuck inside the aligners, causing bacteria and plaque build-up. Once they are removed, they should be placed safely in their travel container to avoid contamination or losing them. After you are finished eating, you should consider brushing your teeth or rinsing with water before putting your aligners back in so you can avoid any food particles getting stuck between your teeth and aligner.
9. Shorter Treatment Period
Most traditional braces take between 16 and 18 months. Some can take up to two years or more. This is a long time to wait to have straight teeth. Traditional braces take longer because they don’t have as precise movement planned out as with removable aligners.
The advantage of using invisible aligners is most treatments last about a year. Because of their invisible design, most people won’t even be aware you are wearing them. A year of treatment can fly by, especially if people hardly notice you are wearing anything. If you do not wear your aligners as much as possible or in the correct way, your treatment may take longer.
Find Out If They Are Right for You!
There are many benefits to using Invisalign to straighten your teeth. You can conveniently straighten your teeth at a comfortable pace while cleaning your teeth, eating, and drinking normally. You will grow in confidence with your teeth and smile as you slowly straighten your teeth in a way hardly noticeable.
With fewer dental visits and less-invasive treatments, your removable aligners will fix dental issues and prevent worse ones. If you are ready for a happier, healthier smile, contact Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL for a consultation today.