Invisalign clear aligners work as an alternative to braces for straightening smiles. While they have some similarities to retainers worn after a course of braces, they are not the same. At Langley Dental Care, we get a common question from our Invisalign patients, “Can you wear Invisalign only at night?” The simple answer is no, here’s what you need to know!
Dental anatomy is not the same for everyone. Some people have overbites, underbites, or crossbites. These bite issues can cause teeth grinding, dental wear, pain, or embarrassment. Teeth alignment, such as gaps or crowded teeth, also causes similar issues. Traditionally, the only way to fix these problems was to wear braces, usually as a young teenager. However, Invisalign is an effective alternative for those who have never used braces and those who once wore braces but had new alignment issues in their adulthood.
Both braces and Invisalign aligners can straighten teeth. But they are not the same in the experiences patients have. Unlike braces, which have visible wires and brackets that can cause discomfort and require special diets, Invisalign does not cause pain. The smooth trays fit comfortably in the mouth. Plus, you can easily remove them when eating and brushing, so you never need to worry about avoiding certain foods or getting special instruments to clean your teeth.
Adults and older teens vastly prefer this system because no one can see the trays. They are comfortable to talk with and don’t give you a “metal mouth” look. In school and work, where appearances matter greatly to social success, clear Invisalign trays are a better option than braces.
Invisalign clear aligners work to straighten slowly and properly spaced teeth. The system takes weeks or months to gently place the teeth closer to their desired positions in the mouth. To accomplish this, the user wears a series of clear trays for one to two weeks, each for at least 20 hours daily.
Regular visits to your dentist throughout the process allow the doctor to check your progress and make changes to your recommended aligner tray schedule if needed. Complying with the dentist’s recommendations for wearing the trays throughout the day and night and changing to the next tray in the sequence on time are the keys to success.
Dentists recommend that you wear Invisalign trays for 20 to 22 hours a day. Therefore, you must keep them in your mouth throughout the day and night. The only times you should remove the trays are eating, drinking, and oral care. In fact, the longer you wear Invisalign trays daily, the greater the chances are that you will see the results you want quickly.
When you wear Invisalign trays only at night, the trays only hold your teeth in place for one-third of the day. For the rest of the day, they move back into their former positions. You won’t see the results you want. Plus, if you move on to the next series of trays, your teeth will not have adequately shifted for them, and you may experience extra pain. Always follow your dentist’s recommendations for wearing Invisalign.
To get fast results, start with a visit to your dentist. Keep in mind that for proper movement of teeth, slow, consistent movement is necessary. They will use an imaging system that creates a three-dimensional view of your mouth. When input into the computer, the images allow your dentist to show you a progression of how your teeth will move into a place with Invisalign. Additionally, the dentist’s scans will go to a lab to custom-build your aligner trays.
Once you get the trays, wear the first set for one to two weeks, based on your dentist’s recommendation. Keep the trays in all day and all night. Only take them out when you want to drink, eat, or clean your teeth. Ideally, if you drink staining things such as blueberry juice or wine or eat foods, you will want to at least rinse out your mouth before putting the aligner trays back into place. Doing so will prevent staining the inside of the trays.
Keep up with your follow-up dental visits, cleanings, and checkups while wearing Invisalign. These appointments can let your dentist see the progression your teeth make. In some instances, you may need to adjust your Invisalign schedule after these appointments.
Once you finish the system, you may need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in place. This retainer you can wear at night.
Invisalign does not hurt. The only discomfort that some patients report comes when using a new tray. As the teeth sit in their new positions, you may feel some pressure or discomfort, but you should not have pain. In fact, if you experience serious pain, you should talk to your dentist.
Overall, the slow progression of your teeth toward their intended positions in your straightened smile is painless. Plus, the clear trays mean that you don’t have to show the world that you are getting dental treatment. With Invisalign, you can better align your smile, but make sure to use them as your dentist instructs, both throughout the day and at night.
If you want to get straighter teeth without the pain and embarrassment of wire braces, contact us at Langley Dental Care for an appointment. You will get an evaluation to see if Invisalign can give you the desired results. Plus, if you need additional treatments before you start, such as cleanings, fillings, whitening, or other services, we can help you with those, too. We’re here to help you get the best smile of your life. Reach out to us today to get started on your road to a brighter, straighter smile that you will want to show off to everyone you meet.