Everyone should have straight teeth. They are easier to clean. They wear less. And as an added bonus, they look better. A large number of dental problems are caused from improper tooth positioning. Therefore, by correcting the position of the teeth, most of these problems can be prevented.
A major barrier in the past to correcting the position of the teeth in adults was having to wear metal braces. Besides being irritating to the lips and tongue and difficult to clean, most people don’t exactly consider them a fashion statement. In the past, this was all we had to offer our adult patients. Through the wonders of technology and innovation, there has come a new, less invasive way to straighten teeth and that is with clear aligners, most notably Invisalign. They are a series of removable, clear plastic aligners that gradually straighten the teeth over time.
The Invisalign system has several advantages to the alternative of traditional braces. One, is that they can and should be removed when eating and brushing the teeth. This makes them much more hygienic than traditional bands, brackets and wires. This is a huge advantage when someone has had previous periodontal disease or poor oral hygiene to begin with. Another advantage is the software that invisalign uses to treatment plan cases. It allows teeth to be moved in precise movements from the start of treatment and can often shorten total treatment time compared to metal braces. Before, invisalign was limited in the types of cases that were treatable, but as the technology advances more and more cases fall into the invisalign realm of possibility. If you are wondering if you could be treated by this method of treatment, I would recommend asking your dentist or orthodontist if they are invisalign certified and see if you would be a candidate.
Straight teeth set the foundation for a healthy mouth over time. My goal as a dentist is to help people keep their teeth in maximum health and function for as long as possible and I believe that proper alignment and bite is an important part of that. Invisalign is an important tool to get there. The only real negative with Invisalign is also a positive but that is the fact that they are removable. Because they are removable, it takes a commitment to wear the trays. Invisalign recommends 22 hours / day of wear time, which is pretty much all the time, except when eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. You can drink water while wearing the trays, but nothing else that would potentially stain the teeth or cause cavities. So while Invisalign is a major commitment, the benefits of a lifetime of healthier teeth and a smile you can be proud of are totally worth it.
If you are thinking about making an investment in your mouth, Invisalign is a great place to start, just make sure to wear your retainers afterwards to protect your hard earned smile for many years to come!