• August 1, 2023
  • Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Understanding Invisalign

The Invisalign system is a popular alternative to traditional metal braces that uses clear aligner trays to correct misaligned teeth. But before starting any orthodontic treatment, it’s important to understand what it entails. That’s why in our latest blog: ‘What to know before getting Invisalign’, we cover everything you’ll need to know before starting this effective treatment.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. The aligners, commonly known as Invisalign trays or Invisalign braces, are custom-made for each patient, ensuring a perfect fit and effective results. Invisalign is a desirable option for many people due to its aesthetic and practical advantages over traditional braces.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign works by applying gradual, controlled force to your teeth, causing them to shift into the desired position over time. Each set of Invisalign aligners is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series.

This continues until your teeth are correctly aligned. This process is carefully monitored by your orthodontist, who will make adjustments as necessary to achieve the best possible result.

Advantages of Invisalign

While conventional braces have been effective in treating crooked or misaligned teeth for years, Invisalign offers several benefits that make it an attractive option for orthodontic treatment.

Comfort and Convenience

One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign is the comfort and convenience it offers. Invisalign aligners are made from a smooth, clear plastic that is virtually invisible, and unlike metal braces, there are no wires or brackets to cause discomfort. Plus, you can remove the aligners when eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing, making it much easier to maintain good oral hygiene throughout the treatment process.

Aesthetics: The “Invisible” Brace

For many people, the aesthetic appeal of Invisalign is a major advantage. The clear aligners are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces, which can be a confidence booster, especially for adults. They allow you to straighten your teeth discreetly without compromising your smile.

Easy Maintenance and Hygiene

Unlike traditional braces which can trap food and be difficult to clean, Invisalign trays are removable. This allows for easy cleaning of both your teeth and the aligners, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum problems during the treatment.

what to know before getting invisalign

After your Invisalign treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial to keep your new smile looking great.

The Invisalign Process

Getting Invisalign is a process that begins with a consultation and involves a series of steps to ensure the best results.

Initial Consultation and Examination

The first step in the Invisalign treatment process is a consultation with an orthodontist. During this appointment, the orthodontist will examine your teeth, take X-rays, and discuss your treatment goals. They’ll determine whether Invisalign is the right option for you.

Customised Treatment Plan

If Invisalign is deemed a suitable solution, a detailed treatment plan will be developed. Using 3D imaging technology, the orthodontist will create a precise map of your teeth and how they need to move. This information is used to create your custom aligners.

Getting Your Aligners

Once your aligners are ready, you’ll receive instructions on how and when to wear them. Typically, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day, only removing them for eating, drinking anything other than water, and brushing your teeth.

Living with Invisalign

There are certain things you should know before getting Invisalign. It’s not just about wearing aligners, but also about adjusting to a new routine and understanding the need for regular monitoring.

Daily Care for Your Aligners

To keep your aligners clean and clear, you’ll need to clean them daily. This can be done by brushing them gently with a toothbrush and rinsing them with lukewarm water. It’s also important to avoid hot beverages while wearing aligners, as heat can warp the plastic.

Expectations During the Adjustment Period

After getting Invisalign, there may be a short adjustment period. You may experience minor discomfort as your teeth start to shift, and you’ll need to get used to speaking and eating with your aligners. However, these changes are usually temporary and improve over time.

Importance of Follow-up Appointments

Regular follow-up appointments with your orthodontist are a crucial part of the Invisalign process. These visits allow your orthodontist to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

what to know before getting invisalign

Invisalign works by applying gradual, controlled force to your teeth, causing them to shift into the desired position over time.

Post-Invisalign Care

After your Invisalign treatment is complete, the journey to maintaining straight teeth isn’t over.

Retainers: Keeping Your Teeth in Place

Once your teeth are straightened, you will typically need to wear retainers to maintain the new position of your teeth. Your orthodontist will provide you with a custom-made retainer and instructions on how and when to wear it.

Oral Health Care After Invisalign

After your Invisalign treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial to keep your new smile looking great. Continue to brush and floss regularly, and schedule regular dental checkups to ensure your teeth stay healthy and beautiful.

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Below you can find more FAQs about Invisalign. Contact us for more information, or use the online form above to book an appointment.

What should I do before I get Invisalign?

Before getting Invisalign, it’s crucial to have a detailed consultation with an orthodontist to discuss your specific dental needs and expectations. This is also a great time to ask any questions you have about the treatment process. Also you should ensure your oral health is in good condition – address any issues like cavities or gum disease before starting the treatment.

How painful is the first week of Invisalign?

The first week of Invisalign can bring some discomfort as your teeth start adjusting to the aligners. This discomfort is often described as a feeling of pressure rather than pain and typically subsides after a few days as your mouth adjusts. Using over-the-counter pain relievers and changing your aligners at night can help manage this initial discomfort.

How many hours a day should you wear Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners should be worn for about 20 to 22 hours each day. They should only be removed for eating, drinking anything other than water, and brushing your teeth. Consistently wearing your aligners for the recommended hours ensures the best and quickest results from your Invisalign treatment.

Please note that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh
About The Author

Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Catherine-Anne is a New Zealand-qualified dentist. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Sydney University and she has a broad range of experiences from working in both the public and private sector.


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