Young woman with light brown hair smiling while being seen by a dentist.

What Exactly Is Invisalign, and How Does It Work?

Aileen Sideris Oral Health

Invisalign is one treatment that many patients ask their dentist about by name. There are many recognizable benefits of Invisalign treatment, including having clear “braces” that aren’t as visible in pictures or videos. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, here is what you need to know about Invisalign and how it works.


What is Invisalign?


Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that can help straighten the alignment of your teeth. It was invented in the late 1990s and has continued to be a popular treatment since then. Dentists undergo special training to be able to utilize Invisalign as a treatment option for their patients. It is considered an alternative to traditional metal braces.


Progressive Clear Trays


Treatment with Invisalign utilizes a series of progressive clear trays that slowly push your teeth into proper alignment. From one tray to the next, the difference is very minimal. This helps to safely position your teeth into a more ideal alignment. Depending on your teeth’s original condition, treatment can take one to three years to complete.


Wear Each Tray for Two Weeks


For most patients, each Invisalign tray is worn for two weeks before being replaced by the next tray in the progression. It is important to replace each tray according to schedule to properly shift teeth into proper alignment. You will have regular appointments scheduled with your dentist  to check on the progress of treatment. It is key that you go to all scheduled appointments, as treatment may need to be adjusted based on your progress.


Might Need to Wear Rubber Bands, Too


If more force is required to force your teeth into alignment, then your dentist might have you also wear rubber bands with your Invisalign aligner trays. Many people do not realize that rubber bands can be useful with clear aligners like they would with traditional metal braces. The rubber bands won’t be clear and will likely be visible as you wear them over the course of treatment.


Wear 20+ Hours a Day


You will need to wear your Invisalign trays for the majority of the day. This means at least wearing the aligners for 20 hours or more each day. While you can take out the trays to eat, you will need to wear them the rest of the time, including when you sleep. Your teeth need that much time with the aligners for treatment to be effective.

Strict Oral Hygiene

You’ll need to be extra careful with your oral hygiene routine during treatment with Invisalign. This means brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal instead of the usual recommendation of twice a day. Food particles that are stuck in your teeth could be irritating under the aligner trays, so it is very important to carefully brush teeth after meals to prevent this.  The good news is that the trays are removable, unlike the traditional metal braces, you can easily practice good oral hygiene as needed.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re ready to learn more about Invisalign, we at Kensington Natural Smiles want to help you! Please give us a call at 301-933-3903 or email us at info@susanhodds.com today!