Invisalign aligners, transparent alternatives to traditional braces, have exploded in popularity over the years. Who wouldn’t want a straighter smile without the poking, prodding wires and brackets? Removable and comfortable, millions of teens and adults are turning to Invisalign. On the surface, the Invisalign treatment process seems simple…perhaps too simple. Some patients may wonder if it is too good to be true! It’s not! When you’re wearing Invisalign, there’s a lot of work going on beneath the surface of your smile.

When you visit our Philadelphia, Berks County, or Lehigh Valley orthodontists, here is the Invisalign treatment process you’ll experience.

The Consultation & X-Rays

The first step in the Invisalign process is consulting with your orthodontist. We will answer your questions, address your concerns, and, most importantly, take X-rays of your teeth and molars. X-rays are completely safe and painless! We’ll take quite a few x-rays, digital scans, and even photographs so we can view your smile from different angles and develop a treatment plan unique to you.

The biggest benefit of digital x-rays? You may be able to avoid the goop! While sometimes impressions of your smile are taken using trays and putty, other times we can rely on our advanced technology to give us a three-dimensional map of your smile. These x-rays are then used to develop your custom plastic aligner trays.

(It is important to note that if we notice very complex misalignment issues, Invisalign may not be the most effective option. We may instead recommend traditional braces.)

Your First Fitting

All trays are custom-made, so your first fitting is vital in ensuring your Invisalign aligners achieve a comfortable fit and feel. We’ll swap out different trays, asking you for your opinion on each of them. The trays may feel tight at first, but this is normal. Sometimes trays may be a little loose or wobbly. In those cases, we may add attachments to your teeth to help hold the trays in place.

Your Invisalign should feel tight. Invisalign works by applying steady, gentle pressure to your teeth so that they shift into a more optimal position. Your teeth may feel more sensitive, and you also may have trouble speaking at first. All of this will subside over time.

While slight discomfort is normal, pain is not. If you’re in pain following your fitting, contact your orthodontist.

Switching Your Trays

You’ll receive a series of aligner trays, each one the next “stepping stone” in your treatment process. You will wear each tray for about two weeks or until you reach a milestone with your treatment plan. And unlike traditional braces, you won’t have to visit our office for the new trays. You can change them right at home! You’ll only come to our office for checkups so we can see how your smile is progressing.

Treatment time can last between 9 and 15 months, with visits about every eight weeks. As aligners switch, they incrementally put more pressure on your teeth. When switching from one tray to another, don’t skip any steps or you could push your Invisalign process off track.

And don’t forget: wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day. Not wearing them or taking them out too often may mean a longer treatment.

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Aligners!

Cleaning your Invisalign is a vital step to keeping your smile shining bright. If you do not clean your aligners properly, bacteria can grow and cause staining or tooth decay. First thing in the morning before eating breakfast and at night just before going to bed are great times for brushing off food particles that have accumulated throughout the day.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clean the aligners under warm water. Don’t use toothpaste, which can scratch the aligners. Don’t eat or drink while wearing the aligners and don’t leave them out in the open. While easier to clean than braces, Invisalign still requires a great deal of responsibility!

Discover the Benefits of Invisalign from Exeter Smiles!

The Invisalign treatment process is comfortable, convenient, and here at Exeter Smiles, affordable! As you can see, the Invisalign process is simple and the results are life-changing. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation and start your journey to a straighter smile.