What Really Happens To Your Teeth When You Use Invisalign

Invisalign is a popular alternative to braces that uses plastic aligners over the teeth to gradually shift them into place. Unlike braces, these aligners can be removed and are less conspicuous than metal brackets in your mouth. So how exactly does this method of straightening teeth work? Here's what you should know.

According to the Invisalign website, this dental option can be used to treat some types of overbite, underbite, and crossbite issues, as well as open bite, gap teeth, and crowded teeth. To begin your Invisalign treatment plan, your orthodontist will create a 3-D model of your teeth. This will help them develop a customized plan for how to fix your dental issues.

Invisalign aligners, also called trays, put gentle pressure on your teeth to move them into place over a long period of time. Your doctor will give you new trays to use every one to two weeks. Total treatment time can last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the complexity of your dental issues. Aligners need to be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day.

Invisalign offers many advantages over traditional braces

Aside from aesthetics, many people choose to get Invisalign over other teeth-straightening methods because of its many advantages. According to Mark Burhenne, DDS via Ask the Dentist, Invisalign is not all about looks. Because your aligners cover the entire surface of your teeth, they double as protective gear during sporting activities or other activities that can damage your mouth. They often straighten your teeth more quickly than braces and they are much more comfortable for people.

Invisalign trays make your teeth easier to clean than braces do. "It is almost impossible to completely clean around conventional braces which leaves you with "braces breath." With Invisalign, you can remove your aligners completely to floss and brush normally," Burhenne said. "There's also less risk of gingivitis and hyperplasia (gums growing up over the brackets) because you are able to clean your teeth better."

That all being said, Invisalign isn't for everyone. This treatment may not be able to help people with severe bite problems or complicated dental issues (via Healthline). Talk to your orthodontist to figure out the best way to straighten your smile.