Invisalign has recieved a ton of press the last few years, becoming a household name in the United States. When people think clear braces, many associate that term with “Invisalign”. For those of you still on the fence about Invisalign and treatment options, here is a primer for you dedicated to dispell a few myths about treatment.

Truth 1 – The aligners need to stay on in order to work to their potential.

The biggest clear-cut difference between braces and Invisalign is the ability to remove the aligners. But you really should only be removing the liners to eat, floss, and brush your teeth. Sure, you don’t have some of the same dietary and snacking restrictions of traditional braces but for optimal results, you need to be wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours each day.

Failing to wear the aligners for the correct amount of time can increase treatment time and cost for additional aligners, or product less than predicted results.

Let’s face it, if you are making the investment in Invisalign, you need to be committed to seeing the process through.

Truth 2 – Clean your teeth

This may be really obvious advice coming from a dentist, but teethbrushing is absolutely a vital step in wearing Invisalign. And we’re not talking about the usual amount of brushing.

In order to reduce or eliminate the opportunity for infection or decay, brushing and flossing need to be part of your routine after everything you put in your mouth. Soda? Brush them. Nuts for protein? Brush them. A super-healthy, antiocident packed kale salad? Brush them, and don’t forget to floss!

We’d highly recommend picking up some travel toothbrushes. Keep one in your messenger bag or purse for quick hygiene on the go!

Truth 3 – Speaking of brushing, no toothpaste on your aligners please.

Every dentist on the planet will tell you that brushing your teeth (with toothpaste) will help prevent bacteria and oral decay. But just as important, we don’t want you brushing your aligners with the same toothpaste.

The ingredients in toothpaste can result in a yellow appearance with your aligners and cause scratching on their surface. That scratching can lead to a build up of unhealthy bacteria as well as cause a lingering odor.

That’s pretty counterproductive to the whole “discreet” concept of Invisalign.

Truth 4 – Realistic expectations, with a caveat.

Invisalign itself isn’t David Blaine. Both are pretty amazing in their own regard, but we’ve got to temper your excitement with truth (isn’t that the whole purpose of the article). Invisalign does take time to work, and just as important it requires time invested by the patient.

With traditional braces, unless you want to go all woodshop class and remove them yourself – you’re stuck in them for the duration of the treatment. Invisalign provides a level of freedom, but also relies on your participation to be successful.  Dr. Martin can’t chase you around for 20-22 hours a day to remind you to brush, floss, clean your aligners, and most importantly put them back in your mouth.

The truth is pretty apparent here as well, Invisalign isn’t for everyone. Invisalign offers some very predictable results if worn and used properly. It also offers typically shorter treatment times that traditional braces. The caveat here is you. Before investing time and money, it’s really important to honestly access your commitment to Invisalign, and whether the short-term routine changes are sustainable to your lifestyle.

Truth 5 – Not all provders are created equal.

For as magical as Invisalign seems, the Invisalign system requires careful preparation, treatment planning, and follow up adjustments. A dentist’s experience and expertise weigh heavily on the outcome of your treatment. It’s important to do your homework and select a dental provider that is equipped to handle your treatment, as well as your questions along the way.

Dr. Martin is a Diamond Plus certified Invisalign provider. She has been recognized by Invisalign directly as a top provider in the United States for treatment.

Trust your smile, and your investment, with one of Invisalign’s top doctors.