What’s it like getting Invisalign?
Invisalign is a way to straighten your teeth using clear, almost invisible aligners. You will wear each aligner for one week, and it is then swapped for the next one in the series. Each aligner will move your teeth slightly and when you’re finished they will be completely straight. You will get the whole set of aligners at the start of your treatment, so you don’t need to see the dentist every week.
How long does Invisalign take to work?
This depends on how crooked your teeth are at the start. For mild cases, we can finish in around three months. Complex cases can take up to two years.
What happens if my teeth are not straight after I have finished my aligners?
The good thing about getting treatment at Gentle Dental Care is that we have an unlimited aligner guarantee. This means that if your teeth are not straight after the initial set, we would ask Invisalign to send more so we can get you the result you want.
How noticeable is Invisalign? Is it invisible?
The aligners are very thin, around 1.5mm in thickness. They are made from transparent plastic, so they are pretty much invisible. If you are a few metres away from someone wearing them, you won’t see them. If you’re really close up to someone then you can see them, but they still look good, so the person won’t be self-conscious. They are made by 3D printing.
Can you eat with Invisalign?
You can’t eat anything with Invisalign aligners in – you will have to remove them. The only thing you should eat or drink with Invisalign is water. The main worry about using them to eat is food/drink will get stuck to the aligners and this attracts bacteria, which will damage your teeth. It’s a case of good oral hygiene. Food and drinks can stain them and eating with them in could possibly damage them, too. The typical food/drinks that will stain the teeth are:
- Red wine
- Anything with turmeric in like curries
- Tomato-based products
The worst one is coffee as it’s hot and causes staining. The heat can actually melt and disform the aligners so don’t be tempted to experiment!
We would also recommend not smoking whilst you are wearing the aligners. If you want to smoke, then remove the aligners, wash your mouth with mouthwash or water and then put the aligners back in.
So to summarise, take them out before eating. If you can, brush your teeth before you put the Invisalign back in and if you really can’t then use water to wash away the majority of the food particles.
Can you chew gum with Invisalign?
Chewing gum is not a good idea. It will stick to the aligners and make them feel horrible and you’ll have a problem getting it off. It’s best to avoid this one for sure.
How long do I need to wear Invisalign?
To move your teeth efficiently and effectively you need to wear the aligners for 22 hours of the day. This means that you only really take them out when you’re eating. When you’re finished with the old Invisalign retainers, try the new ones. If you feel the next ones don’t fit as well, wear the old ones for a couple more days then switch to the new ones.
You can normally just throw the old aligners away once you’re done with them. They will not be needed afterwards.
How long does it take to see results? Does the first aligner do anything?
Invisalign can be a slow process and for the first few weeks it will most likely be expanding the arches out to make some space, so you might not see any changes. It will, however, be doing something and you will notice your bite is changing. We normally expect to see big changes from the 7th set of aligners and onwards.
Can you kiss someone whilst wearing Invisalign?
Yes absolutely. The Invisalign aligners won’t get in the way, kiss away!
Are the aligners easy to take off?
When you first get Invisalign you might find it hard to get them in and out – don’t worry this is completely normal and happens to many people. After you have been wearing them for a week you become a pro.
In terms of ease, it all depends on how many attachments you have – the more you have the harder it is. You generally want to put your fingernail at the lip of the aligner and then push downwards. You can do this on one side and then the other or you could do both sides simultaneously.
If it’s proving difficult then try removing the aligner in the areas where there are less attachments.
What happens when you finish with the aligners?
Once you have completely finished the set of aligners we will check to ensure the tooth positioning, cosmetics and bite are good. We will always ensure you’re happy before we finish. If anything is not right we ask Invisalign to send us more aligners and this is all included in the fee we quoted at the start.
Once we’re all happy, we will remove any of the attachments you may have. Attachments are small blobs of white filling material that help aid tooth movement.
We will then make you some clear Essix retainers. These look like Invisalign but instead of moving your teeth they keep the teeth in the same position. This ensures the teeth don’t relapse (which means they move back). You will need to wear the retainers for your whole life at night time to ensure the teeth don’t move back. We will also give you some bleach to whiten your teeth. You place the bleach in the retainer by yourself at home and it will gradually whiten your teeth. The tooth whitening and retainers are all included in the fee you pay. After the whitening is finished – the treatment is pretty much complete. Sometimes we may touch the teeth up with white fillings or contouring, but this all depends on the situation.