If you are a parent of children or teens, orthodontics might be a topic that’s been on your mind lately. But if you only remember the metal braces of your childhood, you might be overlooking one of the most popular and effective advances in dentistry from the past several decades – clear aligners like Invisalign used to straighten smiles.
If you’re unfamiliar with Invisalign, you might be wondering if the system is more appealing, or effective, than traditional, metal orthodontic devices. A conversation with your dentist is the best way to determine what’s right for you and your family, but first, understanding the basics is a great place to start.
What is Invisalign?
For years, the traditional method of orthodontic correction has involved braces – a series of metal wires, brackets and spacers, that use tension to gradually shift teeth into a desired alignment or to direct the jaw into a healthy growth pattern. These metal braces are anchored to the interior of the mouth (meaning they can only be removed by the orthodontist or dentist), and can be quite uncomfortable.
Invisalign, however, is a series of removable, transparent synthetic aligners, custom-made to your unique bite pattern, that gradually shift teeth into the desired alignment. Rather than metal, they are usually made from a thermos-plastic material, and are deployed for about two weeks before the next aligner is used.
Why Invisalign is Superior to Traditional Braces
Invisalign is often more preferred to traditional braces for a number of reasons. Some of these include:
- It’s removable. Talk to anyone who has experienced traditional braces first-hand, and they can attest to you what a difference this makes. Whether to make brushing easier or just to rest sore jaw muscles occasionally, being able to remove your aligner when needed makes a world of difference.
- It’s discreet. Invisalign liners are transparent, making them a subtle and barely noticeable tool for dental correction.
- No metal means no pinching. Along with the convenience of being able to remove them, Invisalign liners are soft, and much gentler on your mouth than metal braces.
- Invisalign is easy to clean. All it takes to clean your Invisalign liners is to brush them with toothpaste in warm water.
- It comes with no dietary restrictions. And since your liners can be removed, there aren’t any particular food items you need to worry about damaging them (if you remove them, that is), unlike traditional, fixed metal braces.
Am I a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
Our professionals at Herrick Dental will help you determine if Invisalign works best for you, but generally, there are a few factors that play in. Invisalign is usually considered ideal for mild to moderate corrective needs such as over or underbites, moderate-sized gaps between teeth, and teeth crowding. More significant corrective needs may require traditional braces.
And while Invisalign is a great option for older teens, patients under the age of 13 are usually disqualified since their teeth and jawbone are still growing quickly, and aren’t best suited to aligners.
Schedule Your First Appointment with Herrick Dental Today
At Herrick Dental, we are excited to help you determine the best course of correction for aligning your smile. You can learn more about our Invisalign services for adults on our web site, along with specific information on Invisalign for teens here. When you’re ready, you can schedule your first appointment by calling 614-610-4949, or you can schedule online.« Back to blog