While looking up teeth straightening options, traditional braces are probably the first thing that comes to your mind. While braces can certainly work well, they’re not the only way to correct your smile. In particular, adults and older teens may want to avoid wearing braces. M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics of Destin, Inlet Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach, FL is pleased to offer Invisalign along with our various braces options.
What Are Your Teeth Straightening Options Other Than Traditional Braces?
Braces, in one form or another, have been around for centuries. Early patients likely dreamed of a time when those looking for teeth straightening options would be able to slide an invisible device over their teeth, rather than having to wear traditional braces. That’s exactly what Invisalign is. It’s a clear plastic aligner that is custom-made for each patient, and it slides right over your teeth.
This treatment comes in a series. After about two weeks of wearing one aligner, you’ll switch to the next one until your series is complete and your smile is corrected. There are many benefits to this treatment, but one of the most popular by far is the fact that you can barely tell when someone is wearing Invisalign. This can be a great way to get those tooth corrections you’ve always wanted without relying on braces.
What Other Benefits Does Invisalign Offer?
Invisalign can be customized for your needs. While both arches are usually treated at once, single arch treatments can be an option for patients who only want to treat either their top or bottom teeth.
The key thing to keep in mind when it comes to your treatment is that your aligners will be made with you specifically in mind. They will be reflective of your needs and your dental goals. During a consultation, we’ll discuss your treatment plan and make sure it fits what you’re looking for.
Most patients only have to spend a year with their Invisalign, although the treatment can be lengthened if necessary. On the other hand, if you only need minor corrections, it’s possible you could finish your treatment series even faster. We’ll have a better idea of how long your treatment will take after a consultation, but the Invisalign series do tend to be quicker than treatment with traditional braces.
Another way this treatment can save time is through dental appointments. Braces require regular adjustments to make sure they’re applying the correct amount of pressure. Invisalign is largely carried out at home, as you progress from one aligner to another.
While patients with Invisalign should come in to track their progress, even these appointments tend to be easier and faster than having braces adjusted. If you have a packed schedule or just want to shorten the time you spend in the dental office, saving this little bit of time can be helpful.
When patients are considering their teeth straightening options, they may be okay with the idea of traditional braces until they realize that braces require modifying your diet. While this change may not be too drastic for some patients, for others it can be a very difficult adjustment. If you have allergies or other food limitations, you may balk at the idea of cutting even more food out of your diet.
The good news is that since you can just pop your clear aligners out to eat, Invisalign doesn’t require any dietary restrictions.
After a long day, we all know what it feels like to cut some corners while brushing our teeth now and then, or forgetting to floss. Dental hygiene is crucial, but it becomes even more important and more difficult when you have braces. Braces that aren’t properly cleaned can become a haven for bacteria and plaque. If the plaque isn’t cleaned out thoroughly enough, it could harden and interfere with the braces’ functionality.
Just like with eating, Invisalign is simply removed so you can brush and floss as normal. It’s important to keep on top of your dental care, and the removability of Invisalign makes this process as easy as possible. Being able to more easily clean your teeth throughout treatment could even help protect you from gum disease and cavities.
One good reason to seek out tooth corrections is if your misaligned teeth overlap each other. Even when you take great care of your oral hygiene, overlapping teeth will create areas that are more challenging to clean, even at the dentist’s office. Misaligned teeth can also make it more difficult to place crowns and fillings.
By taking steps to correct alignment issues, you can set your smile up for success and help protect your teeth and gums from premature issues. Since the whole body is interconnected, having a healthy smile is good for the rest of you too!
We don’t recommend purposely putting your aligners to the test, but Invisalign is designed to handle life. With no brackets or wires, the smooth surface of Invisalign can make it perfect for patients who enjoy active hobbies such as cycling and sports.
Wearing protection over your teeth is always a good idea during times of increased risk, but we can’t always predict life’s bumps and bruises. Clear aligners are considered very sturdy, which can help give our patients increased peace of mind.
Sensitive mouths can make patients hesitant to seek out teeth straightening options. They may be worried about how the brackets would feel in their mouth, and whether they’d be able to comfortably adjust to traditional braces.
We’re pleased to offer braces that are as comfortable as possible, and small brackets are an especially helpful tool. That said, Invisalign has a completely smooth surface, with no hard corners to irritate the mouth. This can make the adjustment period easier for sensitive patients.
FAQ About Invisalign
1. How Many Hours Should Invisalign Be Worn?
Braces have the benefit of always being in place. With Invisalign, it’s important to remember that while it is removable, it does need to be worn most of the time. It’s generally recommended that patients wear their aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day.
That means that while you can take them out to eat and clean your teeth, you should be wearing them more often than not. These aligners are discreet enough that it’s almost impossible to spot them in pictures and comfortable enough to quickly adjust to, so wearing them throughout the day shouldn’t be disruptive.
2. Can Teenagers Wear Invisalign?
Adults and teenagers can both benefit from this treatment. Younger kids may not be as worried about standing out with their braces, and may even see it as a rite of passage if their peers are getting braces too. Teenagers, however, usually don’t want to get braces.
If you’re interested in Invisalign for your teen, schedule a consultation so we can let you know if this would be a good choice for them.
3. What Can I Have Treated?
Overcrowded teeth and alignment issues are two of the most common reasons patients seek out Invisalign. Whether you want to address crowded teeth for cosmetic or health reasons, we would be happy to help.
Gaps in teeth usually aren’t any cause for concern, but there are some cases where patients either don’t like the appearance of the gaps or find that food is getting stuck between them. When you come in to visit us, we will evaluate your smile and help you set up a treatment program to reduce the gaps in your teeth.
Overbites or Underbites
Overbites, sometimes referred to as “buck teeth,” are a type of tooth or jaw misalignment. It causes the upper teeth to overlap or protrude past your lower teeth. It can be especially pronounced in the front teeth. On the other hand, an underbite is the opposite problem, when your lower teeth are protruding past your upper teeth.
Overbites and underbites can range in severity and presentation. Both of them are considered a type of malocclusion. Depending on the severity, Invisalign can be used to help “guide” your teeth, and even your jaw, into a more correct position.
Ready To Learn More About Our Teeth Straightening Options?
Have you been hoping to correct your smile, but aren’t sure if you’re completely ready or have the information you need? A consultation is a great way to get that information. We would be happy to discuss any concerns you have and give you our advice on the treatments we believe will meet your smile goals. Contact us at M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics of Destin, Inlet Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach, FL, today to get that consultation set up!