It's no secret that having a beautiful smile will improve your confidence and may even make you more outgoing.
But did you know that the state of your teeth can impact not just your romantic life, but also your job prospects? If you feel insecure when you smile, especially if you're an adult who didn't get braces when they were younger, you may be interested in Invisalign.
In this post, we'll let you know some of the most important questions that you should ask your orthodontist in order to get a better understanding of how Invisalign works.
From understanding the rules of how to use Invisalign to looking into possible payment and insurance options, read on to get a break down of how it all works.
1. "How Does Invisalign Work?"
First of all, let's discuss the basics of how Invisalign works.
In a nutshell, Invisalign is an alternative to more traditional metal braces.
Instead of the brackets and rubber bands, your orthodontist will fit you with a custom set of tray aligners that have been specifically molded after your mouth.
You'll wear a series of trays throughout the course of your treatment, each one designed to move your teeth a bit further into place than the previous one.
You'll switch out your trays about once every two weeks. Invisalign is the perfect solution for those who don't want to deal with the discomfort and visibility associated with traditional braces.
2. "Does Invisalign Work as Well as Braces?"
Many people who are thinking about getting Invisalign are curious as to whether or not the system will work as well as metal braces.
This is an incredibly important question to ask your orthodontist, as the answer will depend on the current state of your teeth.
If you have more serious problems, bite issues, and severely turned teeth, then you may be better off with more traditional braces. Additionally, (and again, depending on your unique teeth) metal braces may also be able to straighten your teeth a bit faster than Invisalign.
However, for the majority of people, Invisalign will be just as effective as traditional braces. Additionally, they're much less of a hassle, and patients also say that they aren't as painful. We've published another great article on Invisalign Vs. Braces which goes into a great amount of detail on the subject. Check it out here!
3. "How Long Should My Total Invisalign Treatment Last?"
Again, this is a question that you'll want to bring up with your specific orthodontist, as they'll examine the current state of your teeth and give you a more exact timeline.
However, it's important to note that the average person will wear their Invisalign aligners for about 12 months.
But if you'd like to stay on schedule?
Remember that you absolutely must wear your Invisalign aligners for 20-22 hours every day. Only take them out when it is truly necessary.
4. "When Should I Take Out My Invisalign?"
Now, let's talk about when it's actually ok -- required, even -- to remove your Invisalign aligners.
You should always take out your Invisalign when you're getting ready to eat a meal. You should also take them out when you're brushing and flossing your teeth.
While drinking water with them on won't be an issue, you should certainly take them out when drinking coffee or soda.
It's fine to take them out for an hour or so, like if you have a job interview, a wedding, or another special occasion. However, whenever possible, always keep your Invisalign in.
This means that only wearing your Invisalign when you're asleep isn't going to give you the results you want.
5. "Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid?"
One of the main reasons why Invisalign is such a popular alternative to braces is because there are far fewer restrictions on what you can and can't eat.
In fact, you'll still be able to eat popcorn, candy, and harder foods like apples over the course of your treatment. As stated above, just make certain that you've removed the Invisalign before you eat or drink anything other than water.
However, there is one essential thing that you should avoid when wearing your Invisalign: smoking.
First of all, smoking can cause all sorts of problems with your teeth -- not to mention making you more likely to get mouth cancer.
Additionally, the tobacco can seriously damage the aligners themselves. It can also stain them so that your teeth look brown and yellow whenever you have them in.
That gives you just one more reason to put down those cigarettes for good.
Finally, make sure that, while your Invisalign is in, that you avoid chewing gum.
6. "How Do I Clean My Invisalign?"
Now that you understand how Invisalign works, let's talk about how to properly care for your aligners.
Remember that your Invisalign is an investment in your future. If you don't take care of them or follow the rules, you're essentially wasting your money.
If you want to take the best possible care of your aligners, then we suggest that you pick up an Invisalign Cleaning System Kit. Since the kit has been specifically designed to go with the Invisalign, you know that it will be the most effective option.
However, you can also use a toothbrush and hot water, along with a small amount of toothpaste.
Remember that taking care of your Invisalign is essential because any food residue can leave unsightly stains in them.
Should you need to, it's safe to sterilize your Invisalign with Cleaning Crystals from Invisalign. Under no circumstances, however, should you use hot or boiling water on your Invisalign.
Doing so could end up warping the plastic. If you put them back into your mouth afterwards, you could seriously damage your teeth and undo any previous work.
Remember, if you accidentally break your aligner, never put it back in your mouth. Instead, speak with your doctor about having a replacement one made for you.
7. "Can I Get Invisalign If I Have Crowns or Veneers?"
We understand that many people would like to get Invisalign, but are concerned about whether or not the previous dental work they've had done could make them ineligible.
While your orthodontist will be able to give you a more definitive answer, it certainly isn't all bad news.
If you have braces on currently but want to switch over to Invisalign, ask your orthodontist. Depending on where you are in your treatment, you may be able to have your braces removed and wear Invisalign instead.
If you've had veneers or crowns, Invisalign may also be able to work for you. This will be up to your orthodontist and will depend on the level of the work you've already had done.
Be aware, however, that if you've had bridgework done in the past, you will likely not be able to use Invisalign. This is because bridges connect several of your teeth. You should speak to your orthodontist about other options for you, instead of trying Invisalign.
8. "Will My Insurance Cover Invisalign?"
Finally, once you've mastered the basics of how Invisalign works, you'll likely also want to learn more about how you can cover the costs associated with it.
This is especially true if you're wondering whether or not your supplemental insurance plan will cover the expenses associated with Invisalign.
The short answer: it depends.
In some cases, and depending on the province in which you live, at least some of the cost may be able to be covered by Invisalign. In general, you may be able to get about half of the cost of Invisalign covered by your insurance.
However, in order to know for certain, the best thing to do is get in touch with your insurance company directly.
If not, there are other ways to pay for Invisalign treatment.
You might a specific arrangement with your provider, or you could consider using your Health Spending Accounts.
How Invisalign Works: Wrapping Up
We hope that this post has helped you to get a better understanding of how Invisalign works.
From helping you to determine if Invisalign is right for you to explaining how to use Invisalign effectively, now you can choose if it's an option you'd like to pursue.
Of course, we know that crooked teeth are far from the only dental issue you might deal with in your life.
You'll need checkups, crowns and bridges, and in some cases, even treatment for serious dental problems.
You need to find a supplemental insurance plan that will give you the coverage you need.
Let us help you to find what you're looking for.