Invisalign Springfield, MO
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Invisalign Springfield - When you hear the word “orthodontics,” what comes to mind? Is it a teenager whose teeth are covered in metal? There are indeed many orthodontic patients who fit that description. However, there now exists an increasingly popular alternative to traditional metal braces: Invisalign® clear aligners.
What Is Invisalign?
As the name implies, Invisalign clear aligners consist of almost transparent polyurethane plastic. They don't cement or bond to the teeth as metal or clear braces are. Instead, they are clear aligners that are completely removable. It's a huge benefit when attending important social occasions, eating, and, most importantly, tooth-brushing and flossing. This advantage is sometimes a disadvantage, though. You must resist the temptation to take your aligners out more than advised. Here are some other benefits of the Invisalign system:
- Improved Oral Hygiene — Invisalign aligners are an orthodontic appliance that is removable. You will be able to clean your teeth much more quickly than if you were wearing metal braces.
- A Discreet Look — You may want to keep your orthodontic treatment a private matter. Or, you could feel that metal braces don't fit with your self-image. A practically invisible form of orthodontic treatment might suit you better.
- More Dietary Choices — To protect metal wires and braces, some diet modifications are necessary. With clear aligners, you can still bite into an apple or a crispy pizza crust.
- Comfort — The thin, flexible material of Invisalign will not irritate the soft tissues of the mouth. Metal wires and braces can be irritating.
- Teeth-Grinding Protection — Do you have a teeth grinding or clenching habit? Clear aligners can function as thin nightguards that will protect your teeth from excessive wear.
Clear aligner technology has been improving over the years. In the past, this form of treatment didn't work for as many misalignment issues as it does now. This is no longer the case. Yet there are still some situations for which traditional braces would still be best. This can be discussed in detail with you.
How Invisalign Works
It works the same way traditional braces do. This is done by carefully applying controlled forces to teeth to move them into a better position. They are clear, flexible plastic instead of metal.
Here's how it works. Specialized computer software designs a custom solution for you. That plan aims to move your teeth from their current positions into the best possible alignment. This movement breaks down into several stages. For each stage, the Invisalign company will manufacture two plastic "mouth trays” or “aligners.” One to will fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You wear this first set of trays for two weeks, for a minimum of 20 hours per day. Then you move on to the next round of aligners in your series. They accomplish the next stage of gradual movement. This process repeats until your teeth correctly align.
Two features were added in recent years making this a more appropriate orthodontic treatment method for teenagers. “Eruption tabs” hold the proper amount of space open for molars that have not fully come in. Invisalign for teens also comes with “compliance indicators” built into the aligner material, which fades with wear. Parents, dentists, and teens must insure the trays get worn as prescribed. Treatment with Invisalign can only be a success if this is the case.
Caring for Your Teeth During Invisalign Treatment
As mentioned, the aligner trays come out for easy cleaning. So please don't neglect to do this! You'll need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack. Trapped food and plaque in the aligners could increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Your aligners must be cleaned regularly. You can do this by brushing them and then rinsing them with lukewarm water.
Also, please keep in mind that wearing clear aligners is very different from wearing. But, the importance of retaining your post-treatment results is the same. You'll want to be sure to wear your retainer(s) exactly as prescribed after your treatment is complete. It protects your investment in a beautiful new smile.