Four million people in the United States have braces at any one time. According to statistics, 25% of them are adults.
However, most adults would prefer not to have train track-style braces, as it can impact their self-esteem and detract from a professional appearance. But how can those who don’t want the appearance of braces have their teeth fixed?
Enter Invisalign. With this method, you can fix any crooked teeth without ever looking like you’ve had braces at all. But, not everyone is a candidate.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the signs that you are an Invisalign candidate, and can speak to your dentist or orthodontist about starting the process.
Invisalign is a series of clear trays that change your teeth’s positioning over time. You’ll get a custom mold made of your teeth and then you’ll receive the first tray. This will shift the shape of your teeth slightly. Then, you’ll receive another tray that will change your teeth ever so slightly even more.
After a series of trays, you’ll have the straight teeth you originally set out to achieve. This way, you get the benefit of braces without having to wear them visibly.
Next, we’ll go over some of the signs that you’re a candidate for Invisalign.
Most cases of crooked teeth can be fixed with Invisalign. The system can work for those who have underbites, overbites, crossbites, open bites or those who have gaps or crowded teeth. But, that doesn’t mean it works for everyone.
Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to assess your case and let you know if Invisalign is right for you. In more complex cases, you may require dental surgery, or you may not be able to have your teeth straightened without the use of traditional braces.
One reason Invisalign is only for people over a certain age is that you must commit to wearing them for them to work. Invisalign trays are removable, meaning you can take them out if you wish. The system relies on you wearing them on your teeth for a set number of hours per day. In some cases, this means you’ll have to wear them all of the time, except when you eat.
Because you can remove them, some people decide they won’t bother wearing them. They may even lose them. These types of people likely won’t progress very far with Invisalign, because they’ll stall their own results.
If you aren’t very committed to changing your teeth, or you know you lose important items easily, Invisalign probably isn’t the solution for you.
Most orthodontists won’t treat teeth cosmetically unless you have all of your adult teeth. That’s because they can’t predict how children’s adult teeth will grow in.
In order to have Invisalign, you must have all of your adult teeth. In some cases, there are adults who still have a baby tooth or two that is lingering. If this is the case, you may require further orthodontic work before you’re able to start the Invisalign process.
Having good oral hygiene is a must for Invisalign trays. Not only must your mouth be healthy, but you must be able to take care of your trays so that they don’t cause infections or further issues.
This goes along with the point that you must be responsible in order to wear Invisalign trays. You must clean them at regular intervals and take good care of the trays. Otherwise, you may have to pay quite a bit to replace them.
Additionally, you will need to ensure your mouth is free of disease or other problems and that you brush regularly before a dentist or orthodontist will consider you.
As your Invisalign trays will be in most of the day, you can’t smoke or use tobacco. This can interfere with the trays themselves, as well as make them dirty. If you smoke too often and remove your trays while you smoke, you may find that your Invisalign isn’t as effective as it could be because you aren’t wearing them for enough time during the day.
Additionally, smoking is incredibly unhealthy for not just your teeth, but your entire body. If you want to have Invisalign and smoke, now might be the best time to quit.
Not only do you need to have all of your adult teeth, but you also need to be old enough to wear Invisalign. There is no upper age limit, and you can have your teeth straightened at any point in your life. But, most orthodontists aren’t keen to give sets to young teens or children, regardless of if they have all of their adult teeth.
This is partially because the Invisalign trays are removable and must be looked after. This gives the wearer an added responsibility that they may not have with traditional braces that cannot be removed.
Are you an Invisalign candidate? If you meet the six points listed above, there is a good chance that you’ll benefit from the Invisalign system. Your dentist or orthodontist may have more to discuss with you about your individual case, so be preared when you make your appointment for yourself, or for your teenager.
After reading this article, if you feel you might be interested in starting the Invisalign system, contact us to set up an appointment. We can assess your situation and discuss whether you’re an appropriate candidate.