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How Does Invisalign Work? Everything You Need to Know

26 Jan 2023

As your jaw develops while you’re growing, there’s sometimes not enough room for all your teeth. This can lead to your smile looking crowded and your teeth protruding or growing at an angle. The result is that as you reach your teens, you might not like your natural smile. 

The good news is it’s possible to change the position of your teeth. You might worry that to do this, you’ll need to wear a fixed brace, but this isn’t always necessary. With Invisalign, we can improve the look of your smile and improve your oral health using clear aligners. 

Before you rush to correct your smile, you probably have lots of questions like “what are aligners?” and “how does Invisalign work?”

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Invisalign treatment. 

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a clear aligner system that’s popular all over the world. It’s designed to straighten your teeth and give your smile a more uniform appearance. 

An aligner is a plastic tray worn over your teeth, much like a mouthguard. During your Invisalign treatment, you can take your aligner out to brush your teeth or eat. 

What Does Invisalign Treat?

There are lots of different issues that affect the position of your teeth. Invisalign treats many of these problems, including:

  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gappy teeth
  • Protruding teeth

Invisalign can also help with several types of bite issues where your upper and lower teeth don’t meet when your mouth is closed. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign aligners apply a gentle force across your teeth. This slight pressure might not feel like much, but when it’s applied to your teeth for a prolonged period of time, it can significantly alter their position. 

Your Invisalign treatment is carefully planned using the latest software. At your initial assessment, we’ll take digital scans of your smile so the system can map out the exact process needed to move your teeth to a more favourable position. 

When we take these scans, our system will generate images that show what your smile will look like if you have Invisalign treatment. These glimpses into the future of your smile are very accurate, as Invisalign provides predictable results. 

During the course of your treatment, we’ll give you a new aligner every couple of weeks. Your new aligner will be slightly different to the last, as it’s designed to move your teeth a step further on your treatment plan. 

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign Vs Fixed Braces?

More and more people are choosing to straighten their teeth using Invisalign, favouring aligners over fixed braces. Here’s why:

  • Invisalign aligners are removable – Fixed braces can make mealtimes difficult. Food can get stuck in your braces, and they’re not always easy to clean. Because you can take your aligner out while you’re eating and brushing your teeth, it makes life much easier. 
  • Your aligner is transparent – Clear aligners are discreet, meaning barely anyone will see them while you’re wearing them. 
  • The smooth material used to make Invisalign aligners is comfortable. Unlike fixed braces, the aligner won’t scratch the inside of your mouth. 
  • Invisalign provides predictable results. Seeing your new smile before treatment can also give you the motivation to follow the process thoroughly. 

As with fixed braces, straightening your teeth using Invisalign can improve your confidence while reducing potential dental issues such as:

  • Tooth decay – Gaps and misaligned teeth are difficult to clean leading to a buildup of bacteria.
  • Uneven wear – Bite issues can cause excessive wear and tear on certain parts of your teeth.
  • Jaw problems – Issues with your bite can put strain on your jaw causing pain in your neck, shoulders, and head. 

What Is Invisalign Made Of?

Invisalign uses a patented plastic called SmartTrack. The plastic used in Invisalign is not only comfortable and transparent, but it’s also durable and provides the exact pressure needed to perfect your smile. 

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

Treatment lengths vary depending on the position of your teeth. Typical Invisalign treatments range from between 9 to 15 months; however, this may be less or more in some cases. 

Invisalign treatment may involve anywhere from 12 to 48 aligner changes. Each new aligner represents a step forward in your treatment. 

How Long Do I Need to Wear My Aligner Each Day?

Once you have your aligner, you’ll need to wear it as much as possible. It’s comfortable, so wearing it while sleeping is not a problem. 

To achieve the planned results, we’d suggest wearing your aligner for between 20-22 hours a day. 

How Do I Care for My Invisalign Aligner?

Caring for your aligner is easy. You’ll need to keep it clean as it will pick up food debris and bacteria while it’s in your mouth. As it’s pressed against your teeth all day, there’s a risk of tooth decay if it’s not regularly cleaned. 

When you brush your teeth, clean your aligner using a separate soft-bristled toothbrush and some liquid soap. Rinse the aligner under a tap. 

When you’re eating or drinking, you can take your aligner out. Make sure you place it in a case when it’s not in your mouth. If you put it down elsewhere, it may pick up bacteria or become damaged. 

Avoid hot drinks or washing the aligner with hot water as this could warp the plastic. Because the aligner is custom-made for your teeth, if it becomes warped, it won’t have the proper effect. 

What Happens If I Break or Lose My Aligner?

While it’s important to take care of your aligner and stick to the treatment program as advised, if you lose or break your Invisalign aligner, get in touch as soon as possible and we’ll get a replacement made quickly.

Always keep your last aligner as a spare. Although reverting to a previous aligner will slow your treatment down, you won’t lose the results you’ve achieved so far. 

Invisalign at Love Teeth

At Love Teeth, you’re in great hands for your Invisalign treatment. Our principal dentist, Dr Kunal Patel is a diamond Invisalign provider. He’s also an Invisalign Advisory Board member and Invisalign Mentor. 

With clinics in Cheam, Chessignton, Stonecot, Sutton, and Worcester Park, we’ve made it easier than ever to access great Invisalign treatment. 

Call today to schedule your Invisalign consultation. 


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