If you are interested in straightening your teeth, you may be comparing traditional braces (those with metal arch-wires and brackets) to Invisalign trays. If you don't know much about Invisalign, here are some FAQs you might want to consider.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
Older teens and adults are usually better candidates for Invisalign because they are more responsible and can take care of the trays. Plus, because children and young teens are still growing and have teeth coming in, it can be difficult to fabricate trays for their mouths. Invisalign also works well for people with mild to moderate malocclusions. If you have severely rotated or tipped teeth, then traditional braces may be a better option.
How Much Do Invisalign Trays Cost?
While prices can range between $3,300 and $6,200, Costhelper says that many dental insurance policies are willing to cover up to 50% of a specific maximum cost.
How Long Do You Have to Wear Your Aligners?
The length of your treatment could be a few months to two years — it just depends on what corrections you need. When you wear your aligners, you will need to wear them most of the day and night; you'll only need to remove them when eating or brushing and flossing. If you take your aligners out too much and aren't regularly wearing them, your treatment time will lengthen. If you follow your doctor's orders, you'll likely get new aligners every few weeks to accommodate your shifting teeth.
How Do You Clean the Invisalign Trays?
You can gently brush your aligners with toothpaste and rinse them in cold water if they're dirty. Don't rinse them in hot water because this can warp the plastic.
Your doctor can also provide you with Invisalign cleaning crystals which you can soak your aligners in to remove bacteria. You can also pick up these cleaning crystals at a grocery store— just make sure they are made to be used for Invisalign trays.
Before re-inserting your aligners after eating, you should brush your teeth. This is important so that you don't stain or degrade the trays with food. It's also important to clean your teeth so that food debris isn't compressed between the tray and your enamel, thus creating a buildup of plaque.
Do You Need a Retainer After Invisalign?
Yes. Even though your teeth will be moved to the ideal positions they can still shift once treatment is over. You don't want your teeth to shift after treatment, so you and your dentist can discuss which type of retainer you will want after treatment. For example, you may want an Essix retainer, which is similar in appearance to an Invisalign tray, or you may want a Hawley retainer, which is made out of acrylic and rests on the top of the palate with a metal archwire that holds anterior teeth in place. While you may have to wear your retainer for some time after treatment, you'll eventually only need to wear it at night.