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Is Invisalign Right for You?

BY: Rebecca Loeser | Sep 28, 2016

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When Ron Burgundy and his dog Baxter wear headgear in Anchorman, it’s pretty darn cute. But anyone who’s had to don any sort of metal orthodontia IRL knows it’s more likely to make you feel self-conscious than cute. Which explains the boom in popularity of Invisalign, a series of clear, inconspicuous aligners that straightens smiles without any sharp corners or anything resembling any kind of pulley.

It sounds like a dream come true. But what’s actually involved? And who is it for? Read on to find out.

So yeah, I have teeth, but is Invisalign for me?

You’ll need a dental consultation to answer this in definite terms, but a lot of people have a lot of success with Invisalign. It’s most often recommended for those with mild to moderate crowding, particularly in the front of the mouth. It’s also a good fit for teeth that have “relapsed,” or returned to their wild ways after being tamed by orthodontia in the past.

Do I have to wear them forever?

Definitely not. The dentist will take digital and physical impressions to determine how long you’ll need to wear them, but it’s usually anywhere from 6 to 24 months. If any additional orthodontia is required, that’s usually determined around month four.

Every two weeks, you’ll receive a new, slightly straighter set, and every six weeks, you’ll pop into the office for a checkup. (For a more detailed description of what you’ll experience, you can check out our month-by-month Invisalign timeline here.)

What’s that like, day-to-day?

You’ll wear the aligners all day, removing them only when you eat. And because they’re removable, you’ll brush and floss as usual, instead of navigating a labyrinth of wires. Fair warning, though: new sets can be uncomfortable to wear, particularly in the first two months.

To keep the aligners fresh and clean, you can purchase the Invisalign cleaning kit, or simply brush them with warm water. Their pop-in, pop-out nature also means athletes can swap them out for mouthguards, musicians can set them aside when playing sax, and circus strongmen can take them out when they tow cars with their teeth.

What happens once my teeth are straight?

You might never wear tooth gear again. Or your dentist might recommend you wear a retainer at night. (Invisalign even produces their own Vivera retainer.) Either way, wearing retainers every night will maintain your super-straight smile.

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