Enter Invisalign clear aligners. After briefly sussing out my options (cheers, Google!) it appears Australia’s popular teeth straightening treatment could be a firm-front runner: custom-made and practically invisible, the plastic trays will improve my smile without the need for wires and brackets.
Still, I have questions (loads of ‘em, actually) about the treatment process. Which is why I’ve recruited a registered dentist and Invisalign provider to bust a few common misconceptions.
Myth #1: You’ll get better results with braces
In most instances, clear aligners are just as effective as traditional braces. The main difference between them? They’re removable, more discreet and *way* less painful. Not to mention they require fewer check-up visits (think once every 6-8 weeks.)
“Provided you are a candidate for teeth alignment, Invisalign treatment is also suitable for most people, from simple to complex cases,” the Invisalign provider tells Women’s Health.
Myth #2: Every case requires attachments
Attachments are tiny lumps of bonding that may be applied to certain teeth to help direct the aligners into place. “They are not necessary for everyone”, explains the Invisalign provider. “The number of attachments you need will depend on how much movement is required to achieve your final look.”
As they are tooth-coloured, attachments mostly go unnoticed. But be warned: they can stain if you forget to brush post-coffee or tea!
Myth #3: Certain foods are off-limits
Unlike with braces, Invisalign clear aligners allow you to chow down on crunchy foods (e.g. carrots, nuts and apples,) chew lollies (like toffee and caramel), and even drink red wine. However, as the Invisalign provider stresses, there is one caveat: “Remove your aligners when eating or drinking anything (apart from water) and brush your teeth ahead of reinserting them.”
If you don’t have your toothbrush on hand? A quick rinse between meals is fine - just make sure your teeth are clean.
Myth #4: Your treatment time is set in stone
Your Invisalign provider will give you a rough estimate as to how many aligners you’ll need, but sometimes teeth are stubborn and don’t move as quickly as planned. In this case, you’ll be given a new batch (aka, ‘refinement trays’) which may extend your total treatment time.
“This is dependent on your personal response to the treatment, your compliance wearing the aligners and the complexity of your treatment which varies with all patients,” the Invisalign provider says. “We don’t recommend removing your aligners for any longer than 2 to 4 hours per day.”
Myth #5: You won’t need aligners after your treatment
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news BUT, you may still need to use a clear retainer after your treatment is done... The catch? This one is for sleeping in only.
“Once your treatment is complete, your Invisalign provider will arrange a follow-up session to check on your new smile!” the Invisalign provider tells us. “They will recommend a tailored after-care plan, which can sometimes include a removable retainer for use at night.”
And for those of us pretty forgetful when it comes to remembering retainers? Permanent retention (wire behind the teeth) may be an option. Win.
To find out more about Invisalign treatment, visit www.invisalign.com.au.
Invisalign® treatment is a series of clear plastic removable orthodontic aligners that gently move patients’ teeth. An orthodontist or Invisalign trained dentist will be able to advise whether Invisalign treatment is right for you. You should always read and follow their directions for use. In rare cases, allergies may occur. This article is sponsored by Invisalign Australia Pty Limited.