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Herrmann & Desio Family Dentistry
510 N. Washington St, Suite 301, Falls Church, VA 22046

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Invisalign: Frequently Asked Questions

When you hear you need orthodontic work, do you imagine a teenager with a mouth full of metal? Whether you’re an adult or a teenager, you have options. Straight teeth and a good bite are important; don’t miss out because you’re worried about how you’ll look. Invisalign offers a nearly invisible alternative to braces that is also less disruptive to your life. Keep reading for answers to our most frequently asked questions about Invisalign.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign moves teeth like traditional braces, except they don’t use brackets and wires. Instead, Invisalign uses a series of clear, thermoplastic aligner trays that gradually shift teeth. Patients wear the aligner trays for 22 hours a day, taking them out to eat and brush their teeth. They put in a new tray every two weeks. Typically, treatment will take 12 to 18 months, about the same as braces.

People choose Invisalign’s clear aligner technology because they are custom-made to fit perfectly over teeth, so they are comfortable and barely noticeable. They are the ideal solution for teens and adults who would feel self-conscious with a mouth full of metal. Adults won’t have to worry about being embarrassed by traditional metal braces, and teens can impress their friends with these modern, effective clear aligner trays. We want all of our patients to feel proud of their smiles, no matter how they get it, but we also know it’s important to provide options that can help them achieve their smile goals in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Who Can Wear Invisalign?

Invisalign is suitable for adults and teens whose jaws and teeth have stopped growing. It can correct a wide range of orthodontic issues, such as overbites, underbites, gaps and crowded teeth. However, metal braces may be necessary for people with severe orthodontic problems. Please call to schedule a consultation and one of our dentists, specially trained in what cases Invisalign can treat, will evaluate your needs.

Adults usually know if they have the discipline necessary to wear Invisalign for at least 22 hours out of every day. If you’re considering the aligner trays for your teenager, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will my child remember to brush after every meal and put their aligner tray back in?
    You can take Invisalign out to eat, but you have to brush after every meal before putting the rinsed off aligner back in. Failing to do so will cause decay quickly as saliva won’t be able to rinse food bits away and they will become trapped on the teeth. Your teen will have to take a travel toothbrush with them to school.
  2. Does your teen have the discipline necessary to wear their aligner tray 22 hours a day?
    When you can take off your orthodontic appliance, it’s easy to say, “Well, I’ll just leave it off for a date or a birthday party.” Between meals and dental hygiene, there’s little time left to remove it for special occasions and still wear it for 22 hours.
  3. Will my teen keep track of their aligner tray?
    Most people lose an aligner tray at some point, but if they lose their aligner tray constantly it will become expensive and delay treatment.

How Do I Go About Getting Invisalign Aligner Trays?

  1. Your initial step is to see a dentist who can offer Invisalign. He or she will see if Invisalign can correct your misalignment issue. If you’re a good candidate, your dentist will go over how it works and how long your treatment would take.
  2. If you move ahead with treatment, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth for the Invisalign lab. This is either done with putty or digitally. The lab will create a series of aligner trays which will gradually shift your teeth over the course of your treatment.
  3. You’ll visit your dentist for your fist set of trays and learn how often you will return to pick up new sets and to check your progress.

How Will Invisalign Fit Into My Daily Routine?

Aligner trays are more convenient than conventional braces, but there are a few things you need to know.

  1. Snack choices are more important than ever. You have to weigh your desire to have a snack with taking out your aligner, eating and then brushing your teeth before putting the aligner back in.
  2. You’re going to lisp for a few days when you get your first aligner, just like you would if you had gotten braces. It goes away once you get used to the aligner in your mouth.
  3. You need several travel toothbrushes so you have one with you wherever you go. You’ll brush your teeth many more times a week; stock up on toothpaste.
  4. You should not drink anything but water without taking your aligner out. No more sipping coffee for an hour after dinner or during a busy day at work. The good news is that you’ll be healthier if you are not drinking soda and coffee all day and you’ll likely lose a little weight.

Many patients find these minor inconveniences a small price to pay for Invisalign’s advantages, including comfort (no broken wires poking you), virtual invisibility and being able to enjoy their favorite foods at mealtime.

Is There Maintenance After Invisalign?

Yes, Invisalign patients usually wear retainers once their treatment ends. Your dentist will suggest a specific retainer and tell you how many hours you’ll need to wear it each day. If you don’t wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth can revert to their previous state and you will lose the investment in time and money you put into your new smile.

Do Local Dentists Offer Invisalign?

Yes, you can’t get Invisalign anywhere except from a specially trained dental professional. We’re proud to offer Invisalign to our patients as we feel it is the most efficient and comfortable clear aligner tray system available today. If you want to know if you’re a suitable candidate, please call today to book a consultation. We would love to help you have the confident smile you deserve.

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Herrmann & Desio Family Dentistry

510 N. Washington St, Suite 301, Falls Church, VA 22046

(703) 988-6938

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