People are rarely born with perfectly straight teeth, and if you are one of the rare exceptions, hats off to you! For everyone else, whether you have a few gaps in your bite or a smile that is slightly off-center, you may be a good candidate for Invisalign treatment. Invisalign treatments must be done under the supervision of a trained dentist, and the team at Arkansas Family Dental is well qualified to oversee your treatment.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a process that helps correct teeth that are out of alignment. Through a high-tech process of scanning your teeth, Invisalign works in conjunction with regular dental care. You simply wear a fitted BPA-free plastic mouthpiece that is adjusted periodically as your smile is corrected. Invisalign can correct underbite, overbite, and gaps in your teeth. Straight teeth also mean healthier teeth and gums, which can prevent larger problems down the road.
Why Choose Invisalign?
Invisalign is a modern solution to hone your smile that is incredibly easy to work with. You wear a mouthpiece every day, but you have more flexibility when it comes to the foods you can eat and how you clean your teeth when compared to the regimen that comes with traditional braces. Additionally, Invisalign is a clear, discreet mouthpiece, unlike braces that may make you feel .
How is Invisalign Different From Braces?
Invisalign and metal braces are two different ways to achieve the same goals of straightened teeth.
One major difference between the two treatments comes down to aesthetics. Metal braces are highly noticeable, and are held together by a system of wires. Wearing metal braces can feel uncomfortable while crippling your self-esteem. Braces are often a natural part of adolescence, but if you are looking to realign your smile as an adult, you may not want the adolescent “aesthetic” that comes with braces. Invisalign can offer an alternative that is almost completely clear and works around the clock to correct your smile.
Another key difference between braces and Invisalign is related to your oral care techniques. Proper oral care is always important, but especially so when you have treatments. Braces require special floss to get around wires, and you need to brush 2-3 times a day.
Invisalign oral care is a little different. Food and debris can sit in between your Invisalign trays and your teeth if you are not diligent. That means brushing your teeth after every meal and snacks, and limiting your beverage intake to just water. You may sometimes need to brush the insides of your trays, as well.
Beyond looks, the biggest difference between braces and Invisalign is the timeframe. Braces can take a couple of years to correct your smile, while Invisalign takes approximately half the time. You can expect regular adjustments to your aligners over that time period, just as you would with traditional wired braces.
Depending on your dentist’s assessment, one method may be more appropriate than the other, but Invisalign can offer you a gentler, more subtle approach.
The Invisalign Process
The Invisalign process may not be instantaneous, but it is pretty straightforward. Here is what you can expect.
The first step is to schedule a preparation appointment with your dentist. The dentist will take a series of X-rays and photographs to assess your teeth, and what kind of adjustments need to be made.
Your dentist may also take impressions of your teeth that will be used to create your customized alignment trays. These trays are clear, and are gradually adjusted to straighten your teeth.
The First Week
Invisalign is a fantastic tool for producing a beautiful smile, but it can feel a little strange at first. The first few days may leave you feeling like your mouth is crowded, but you should get used to the aligners in a few days. You may also notice a slight lisp and a small amount of pressure—both of which are normal. Your speech will adjust over time, and you will get used to the slight pressure—that is just the aligners working hard to perfect your pearly whites!
You will receive new alignment trays every two weeks, and you are expected to wear your trays for 20-22 hours each day, removing them for meals and dental care. You will have a quick checkup with your dentist every six weeks, which usually take less than an hour. Most alignment treatments take approximately one year, but you will need to discuss specifics with your dentist about your particular treatment goals.
Each alignment tray is only temporary, and usually lasts about one to two weeks. However, you will need to make a habit of rinsing and gently brushing your aligners every night. As part of your maintenance process, you will also need to follow strict dental care guidelines to avoid tooth decay.
You can eat anything you want, but there are certain precautions you need to take with Invisalign. You cannot eat or chew gum with your aligners in, and to prevent tooth decay, it is best to brush your teeth each time before putting your aligners back in. Bacteria and food debris can get stuck in between your teeth and your aligners, so brushing your teeth and your aligners will save you trouble down the road. It is also good practice to remove your aligners before drinking anything besides water.
Choosing an Invisalign Dentist in Little Rock
At Arkansas Family Dental, our team of dentists is trained to assess your unique situation and help you choose the best method for correcting your teeth alignment. We consider your needs and pride ourselves in providing compassionate dentistry.
The Best Dental Services for Families in Little Rock
Schedule an appointment with Arkansas Family Dental today to get Invisalign in the Little Rock area. Schedule an appointment online or call 501-683-8886. Invisalign can give you the perfect smile that will restore your confidence.