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While traditional braces and other forms of braces like clear braces and lingual braces are the most common means for straightening teeth, there now exists an increasingly popular alternative: Invisalign® clear aligners.

How Invisalign Works

Overall, Invisalign aligners work the same way that traditional braces do: applying carefully controlled force to teeth to slowly shift them into a better position. In terms of specifics, your Invisalign journey proceeds as follows.

Specialized computer software helps your orthodontist design a plan for moving your teeth from their current positions into the best possible alignment. This movement will be broken down into stages. For each stage, two Invisalign aligners will be created for you—one to fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You will wear this first set of aligners for one week for a minimum of 20 hours per day. Then you will move on to the next set of aligners in the series, continuing gradual movement in this way until your teeth are correctly aligned.

What makes Invisalign different?

Unlike the various types of braces, Invisalign aligners do not utilize metal brackets or wires. Invisalign aligners are constructed of almost invisible polyurethane plastic. The aligners slide on over your teeth and are not bonded or cemented to teeth the way that braces are. They are completely removable throughout the treatment process! As a result, Invisalign offers some great benefits that traditional braces do not.

Teenagers can now enjoy the benefits of Invisalign!

In the past few years, two new features have been added to make Invisalign more teen-friendly. First, special “eruption tabs” hold space open for new molars that have not yet fully developed. Second, Invisalign Teen comes with “compliance indicators” built into the aligner material, which fade with wear. This allows orthodontists, teens, and their parents to see how frequently the aligners are being worn, and if that matches up with the timeline prescribed by your orthodontist. 

Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces.

They are able to straighten your teeth while allowing you to retain your normal appearance, diet, and habits—it is an increasingly popular form of orthodontic treatment in our Millbrook, Montgomery, and Wetumpka offices. Please note though, while Invisalign can correct many malocclusions and orthodontic issues, there are still some situations where traditional braces would be a better option. Your orthodontist would be happy to discuss Invisalign treatment with you in more detail. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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