Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses plastic aligner trays to straighten teeth gradually. Because they are virtually invisible, Invisalign aligners are popular for adults and teens who want a straighter smile without showing wires, rubber bands, and metals when they open their mouths, as traditional braces do.

However, Invisalign treatment requires you to wear your aligner trays for almost the entire day throughout your treatment time. Otherwise, this may delay your results.

What Is Invisalign?

Also called invisible braces, Invisalign is a brand of clear, removable aligners used to straighten your teeth gradually. Invisalign treatment consists of transparent plastic trays (aligners) worn over your teeth. They address mild to moderate orthodontic issues, including crooked and overcrowded teeth, a misaligned bite due to incorrect position of teeth, and gaps between teeth.

There are different treatment plans for Invisalign to meet patients’ specific needs. These include:

  • Invisalign Full.
    This is the most common type of Invisalign treatment. It corrects many dental problems, including overcrowding, gaps, overbites, and underbites.
  • Invisalign Lite.
    Invisalign Lite is a less expensive alternative to Invisalign Full. However, it is not recommended for more severe dental problems.
  • Invisalign i7.
    Invisalign i7 is the shortest and most affordable type of Invisalign treatment. It is used to address only very mild cases of crowding or spacing.
  • Invisalign Teens.
    Invisalign Teens is a version of Invisalign specifically for teenagers. It includes compliance indicators to help determine if the aligners are being worn as prescribed. Teens have different orthodontic needs than adults, so this version is designed to be more comfortable and effective.
dentist examining patient teeth with dental mirror. dental check up concept

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign aligners work a little differently than traditional braces. Rather than using wires and brackets to move your teeth, Invisalign uses a series of clear, transparent aligners that are custom-made for your teeth. They push your teeth as a whole rather than putting gentle pressure on individual teeth.

As you wear each aligner tray, your teeth gradually shift into their desired positions. Each aligner in the series is slightly different, so your smile will become straighter as you progress through treatment.

Once the final aligner in the series is reached, you will notice that your teeth have shifted to their correct position. However, you must wear retainers to prevent your newly straightened teeth from returning to their original position.

How Is Invisalign Worn?

As soon as you receive your first set of aligners, you need to use them for 20-22 hours a day for two weeks. Afterwards, move on to the next set in the series until you complete your treatment. Be sure to keep them in the case that comes with your aligners when you’re not wearing them. Note that there will be minimal discomfort for the first few days as your teeth adjust to the new aligners.

When Should I Remove My Invisalign?

You can only remove your Invisalign aligners to eat, drink, brush and floss your teeth. Avoid drinking anything other than water while wearing your aligners but avoid hot water, which can warp the plastic. When you drink something else, brush your teeth afterwards to avoid staining.

You should also remove your aligners before participating in any activity where they could be damaged, such as playing physical contact sports.

You should only remove your aligners for about two hours per day. This includes the time it takes to eat and drink, brush and floss your teeth, and participate in activities where the aligners could be damaged.

What Are the Effects of Not Wearing Invisalign for a Day?

Typically, you should wear your aligner for 20-22 hours a day to achieve your desired results. If you do not wear your aligner for a day, it may prolong your treatment time.

You may also feel pain or discomfort when you put your aligner back in after not wearing it for a day. This is because your teeth may have shifted back to their original position.

After Not Wearing My Invisalign, What Should I Do if They No Longer Fit?

If you haven’t worn your aligners for an extended period of time, your teeth may have slightly shifted back to their original position. When you wear your current aligners again, they may no longer fit. In this case, you need to call your dentist.

They may let you use your previous aligners until your next appointment. Sometimes, you may need to wear a new set of aligners that have been slightly modified to fit your current teeth position.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign treatment is an excellent alternative to traditional metal braces for straightening teeth. Aside from being virtually invisible, Invisalign aligners are also more comfortable to wear and easier to keep clean. However, you should be committed to wearing them as prescribed to achieve desired results as quickly as possible.

If you are considering this orthodontic treatment, contact us now to schedule an initial consultation and see if you’re a good candidate.

Burwood Dental Care is a modern dental clinic offering Invisalign treatment. We have a team of dentists who will assess your oral health and determine if you can get this treatment. During your appointment, we will also perform x-rays, photographs, and dental impressions to help create a treatment plan tailored to your specific condition. Ultimately, we will make you understand what the entire process entails and what to expect afterwards.

Frequently Asked Questions

This depends on the severity of your dental problems. But most patients achieve their desired results within 12 to 18 months. It may take less than 12 months for people with milder dental problems and longer than 18 months for more serious cases.

You may generally keep your food preferences the same during Invisalign treatment because you can remove your aligners when eating and drinking. However, you still have to avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks that can increase your risk of tooth decay that may delay your treatment. Also, you must avoid hot water or any beverage because this can warp the shape of your plastic aligners. In addition, you must also avoid coloured beverages, as these can stain your aligners over time.

Unfortunately, Medicare and some private health fund providers don’t cover Invisalign treatment because it is considered an elective procedure. However, some private health insurance providers cover a portion of the total cost as they do traditional braces. Contact your provider to see if you are covered.

Considering the benefits, Invisalign may be worth it to patients who have been embarrassed by the look of their teeth. Also, this aligner treatment is an excellent choice for people not ready to commit to traditional braces. The length of the treatment may also be shorter than with traditional braces, and there are no brackets or wires that can irritate your gums and cheeks.