Invisalign Braces in Southeast Springfield

When you think of the word “orthodontics,” you probably envision the stereotypical teenager with a mouth full of metal.

There indeed are many orthodontic patients who fit that description. But with today’s modern dentistry at our Southeast Springfield, MO dental office, you have a popular alternative to traditional metal braces: Invisalign invisible braces.

Invisalign offers a discreet alternative to traditional orthodontics that is better suited to the lifestyle of many adults and teens.

What Is Invisalign?

Rather than metal brackets and wires, Invisalign straightens teeth with a series of clear aligners made of almost transparent, BPA-free polyurethane plastic. Every two weeks you’ll get a new set of aligners that will gently nudge your teeth into their straightened position.

Clear aligner technology has continued to make great strides in recent years. In the past, this form of treatment didn't work to correct as many misalignment issues as it does today.

The clear aligners are completely removable, so there are no eating restrictions and taking care of your oral health is as easy as it was before you started orthodontic treatment at our Springfield, MO dental office.

How does Invisalign work?

Custom aligners are created for you with a plan that will move your teeth from their current positions into the desired alignment. You’ll wear the first set of aligners for about two weeks; then you’ll move on to the next set of aligners, and so on—until your teeth are aligned correctly.

Movement is gradual, so you won’t experience the discomfort of having wires tightened as you would with traditional braces.

What kinds of dental issues does Invisalign address?

The dentists at our Springfield, MO dental office have found that Invisalign treatment is ideal for a number of dental issues, including:

  • Straightening front teeth that are overlapped or crowded. Having crooked teeth is about more than aesthetics. Properly aligned teeth are easier to take care of because bacteria cannot hide in hard-to-reach spots.
  • Correcting orthodontic relapse. If you had orthodontic treatment as a child, you might have noticed your teeth start to slip back into misalignment.
  • Fixing bite issues. A misaligned bite can impact the way you chew, causing wear or chips on your teeth, as well as headaches or TMJ disorder.
  • Adjusting wide gaps between your teeth, closing them up for a smile that is flawless.

Why should I fix misaligned teeth?

All of our Springfield, MO dental practice patients love a straight smile, but the issue with misaligned teeth goes far beyond the way your smile looks. It is easier to take care of teeth that are properly aligned. Teeth that are crooked or overlapped have nooks and crannies you can’t always reach with a toothbrush or even dental floss. These areas provide bacteria with an excellent breeding ground, making people more prone to decay and infection.

In addition, it’s just natural to take better care of something you love. Think about the treatment you might give your old clunker of a car versus a sleek new sports car. Which one is more enjoyable to take care of? The same theory holds true for a beautiful, straight smile.

How does Invisalign differ from other orthodontic treatment?

Not only does Invisalign provide patients with a discreet look because of the clear plastic aligners that are virtually invisible, but there are other advantages of Invisalign over traditional orthodontics:

  • You can eat all of your favorite foods with Invisalign’s removable aligners.
  • Brushing and flossing is easy with Invisalign’s removable aligners, so you can easily maintain your oral health while undergoing treatment.
  • There are no wires or brackets to injure the soft tissues of the mouth with Invisalign.
  • You can skip the frequent visits to the orthodontist for adjustments while undergoing treatment. Your dentist will give you several sets of plastic aligners with a schedule for when you should switch to a new set.
  • After treatment, you’ll see no scratches or marks on the teeth left behind, which is fairly common with traditional wire-and-bracket braces.
  • You will be able to see your teeth as they move into a straighter position, providing the incentive to stay with the program.
  • Treatment is faster with Invisalign in most cases, lasting anywhere from six to 18 months.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

Because many adults aren’t comfortable with traditional braces in professional situations, the fact that Invisalign’s custom trays are nearly invisible provides invaluable benefits.

Most people will be completely unaware you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. You can even remove the aligners for a few hours if you have an important social occasion or need to be photographed. It’s important to note here that you must commit to wearing the aligners for at least 22 hours each day if you want your treatment to be successful.

Teenagers who are responsible enough to wear their aligners for the required time each day also benefit from the discreet look of Invisalign. Some teens will benefit from “compliance indicators” that are built into the trays. The indicators fade as the aligners are worn to help guide the dentist and provide feedback on the teenager's ability to follow through with treatment.

Traditional braces make cleaning teeth a real challenge; flossing, in particular, can be difficult. With Invisalign, you’ll brush and floss your teeth normally. You can eat whatever you want without worry.

Invisalign provides a better level of comfort than traditional metal braces. You won’t have to worry about wires irritating the soft tissues of the mouth with Invisalign’s smooth plastic aligners.

When teeth are misaligned, flossing and brushing can be more difficult. Misaligned teeth can also lead to increased tooth wear and fractured teeth.

Additionally, treatment times with Invisalign are often shorter, with many people achieving their perfect smile in less than a year.

How do I take care of my aligners?

Our Springfield, MO dentists offer the following advice: Take out your aligners first thing in the morning so you can clean both your teeth and the aligners. Do this before bedtime as well.

Be sure to rinse your aligners whenever you take them out of your mouth to help prevent the buildup of dry saliva and plaque. It’s also a good idea to soak your Invisalign aligners each day in a denture cleaner or one that is specifically designed for the trays. Brush and floss your teeth before you put the aligners back in to keep food particles from being trapped between your teeth and the aligners.

When the trays are out of your mouth, don’t leave them unprotected in the open air. This exposes them to bacteria and also increases the likelihood that you will lose them. Put them in their specially designed case when you are not wearing them.

Don’t use hot water to clean your aligners as this can cause them to lose their shape. Keep them out of a hot car for the same reason. If you have pets, be aware that they love to chew on aligners so keep them in a safe place.

Will I need to wear a retainer after Invisalign treatment?

Yes, a retainer is required after any orthodontic treatment to help keep teeth from their natural tendency to slide back into their old position. You will have options with retainers, with the most common looking very much like a set of Invisalign aligners, which you will wear at night.

How can I learn more about Invisalign?

Our dentists would love to meet with you to determine whether your smile can benefit from Invisalign treatment. Call our Springfield, MO dental practice to make a dental appointment for a consultation about Invisalign.

Find out if Invisalign clear braces are right for you. Call White Smiles Family Dental to find out more!