You may think the hi-tech Invisalign system of straightening teeth is just for kids. In fact, Invisalign clear aligners provide a popular alternative to traditional braces for adults as well.
Besides producing an attractive smile, Invisalign appliances hold an important health advantage over old-school fixed metal braces.
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they make oral hygiene much easier than trying to brush around the brackets of conventional braces. This can significantly lessen the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Straightening misaligned teeth also results in a healthier mouth, with teeth more likely to last a lifetime.
As well as fixing problems such as crooked, gapped or crowded teeth, Invisalign can also correct an irregular bite function. If your upper and lower jaws don’t come together properly, it can lead to further oral health problems including gum infection, cavities, and even tooth loss.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign appliances have become the most popular removable orthodontic devices.
They’re made from near-invisible polyurethane – combining the elasticity of rubber with the strength of rigid plastic – and have smooth edges that make them more comfortable than metal braces.
Invisalign aligners are custom-made with the help of cutting-edge software, including 3D digital imaging.
Invisalign gradually shifts teeth in precisely regulated, gentle movements. You wear a series of aligners, with treatment time averaging nine to 18 months. Each aligner is designed to be worn 22 hours a day for about two weeks.
Only some teeth are re-positioned during each stage of the process, allowing far greater control than traditional braces.
Invisalign for Youngsters
Crooked teeth can increase self-consciousness among youngsters, particularly teens. Previously, metal braces provided the gold-standard solution to this problem. However, their “metal mouth” conspicuousness aggravated the issue of self-regard during orthodontic treatment.
Then along came Invisalign. As well as being barely noticeable, Invisalign aligners place far fewer limitations on youngsters’ activities, allowing them to get on with their life without interruption. For instance, they can take out their aligner to take part in sports as normal.
It can be particularly tricky for youngsters to clean their teeth and gums properly when wearing traditional braces. This poses the risk of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), tooth decay, bad breath (halitosis) and erosion of tooth enamel. Since Invisalign devices are removable, your youngster can continue to brush and floss as normal.
The Invisalign Teen system has eruption tabs that reserve space for further adult teeth to grow in, and compliance indicators – coloured dots that fade over time – to show whether treatment is being followed according to plan.
Invisalign for Adults
The benefits of Invisalign for adults mean you’re never too old to get the smile you’ve always wanted – without lengthy treatment with clunky metal braces.
Studies suggest that adults are as likely to need teeth straightening treatment as youngsters. Several factors can prompt adults to seek orthodontic care.
Even if you wore braces when you were younger, your teeth can still shift out of position with time. Teeth don’t move much but neither are they locked in place.
If you had braces as a child, you may not have worn your retainer as instructed by your dentist. In these cases, teeth can drift back out of alignment.
Other reasons adults find themselves needing orthodontic treatment include:
– Physical trauma – injuries caused by accidents such as traffic collisions or sports mishaps.
– Wisdom teeth – which can emerge up to the age of 25 – can nudge other teeth out of alignment, even if you’ve previously had orthodontic treatment.
Teeth that are gapped or crowded can lead to full-blown periodontal disease (gum disease) – the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. The risk of periodontitis increases as you get older. Having your teeth re-positioned will enable your gums to fit more snugly around them, strengthening resistance to penetration by harmful bacteria.
What Problems Can Invisalign Fix?
Invisalign is highly effective for adults and youngsters alike in solving multiple dental issues, including:
– Open bite
– Overcrowded teeth
– Gapped teeth
– Protruding teeth
Family Dentists for Invisalign Treatment
Many adults who recoiled from the prospect of having to wear awkward metal braces as a youngster are now seizing the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of Invisalign to achieve the smile they’ve dreamt of for years.
An increasing number of teens are also opting for Invisalign aligners because they’re so discreet. Studies indicate that teenagers wearing Invisalign appliances are far less likely to suffer teasing than those with conventional metal braces.
If you have orthodontic issues as an adult or your child looks like needing orthodontic care, a family dental practice specializing in Invisalign treatments will be able to offer you invaluable advice.