Many people have the embarrassing issue of crooked or crowded teeth. One of the most obvious solutions for the orthodontic problem is to get braces, but with more and more teens and even adults needing their teeth straightened, there is another option known as Invisalign. Invisalign is a clear set of hard plastic aligners that are fitted for your mouth. They must be checked and replaced over the course of the first couple of months while they work at aligning your teeth into the proper position. Invisalign is a preferred choice for adults and teens because they are practically invisible due to being clear.
However, as with all things, there are both pros and cons to using Invisalign. It’s important to know all the details before you decide to get fitted with the aligners at your dentist’s or orthodontist’s office.
There are several advantages to getting Invisalign instead of opting for traditional metallic braces. Here are some pros of the clear set of aligners:
- Comfort – Invisalign is much more physically comfortable to wear. Since there are no wires or brackets, you don’t have to worry about getting any painful nicks or cuts in your mouth. They are smooth and won’t irritate your mouth. The aligners are similar to a mouthguard and lack any sharp edges.
- More Attractive – Since Invisalign is clear, it doesn’t leave you with a mouth full of metal. In other words, they are more attractive to the eye, and most people won’t even know you are wearing them. That means you can feel free to smile and don’t have to feel overly self-conscious. Because of this, there is no age restriction and adults often prefer this method of orthodontic treatment.
- Convenience – Invisalign has become a norm for straightening the teeth, which means that you don’t necessarily have to deal with metal braces. This makes them very convenient, especially as they are available on a widespread scale.
- Can be Removed – Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating, brushing your teeth and flossing. That is something that cannot be done with braces. It allows you to eat foods you want and practice better oral hygiene, which helps to lower your risk of developing gum disease while you go through the process of straightening your teeth.
- Minimal Maintenance – Invisalign aligners require minimal maintenance. They can get dingy over time when you wear them, but you can freshen them by using a toothbrush dipped in a small amount of bleach and water. Scrubbing them for a minute will eliminate any stains. You only need to do this every other day.
Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages to Invisalign. Here are the cons of the clear plastic aligners:
- Expensive – One of the biggest cons of Invisalign is that they are expensive. They are not covered by dental insurance, which means you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,500 to $8,000 for them. In other words, if you are on a tight budget, are strapped for cash, or don’t want to make a withdrawal from your child’s college savings plan, you may want to rethink getting Invisalign.
- Attachments – More and more attachments to go along with Invisalign have become the norm. The attachments are usually enamel ridges that stick to your teeth in a way that is similar to brackets that are included with standard braces. The attachments are used to click into the aligners so that they fit better and can more effectively shift your teeth into proper position. Attachments also make Invisalign much more noticeable, which can mean you look more like you’re wearing actual braces.
- Required to Wear Them 22 Hours Per Day – Invisalign must be worn a minimum of 22 hours per day. Typically, you are only supposed to remove them for eating and practicing daily oral hygiene. That means that if you are heading out for a date or going to a party, you will have to wear them.
- Tooth Discomfort – Getting new Invisalign aligner trays can be uncomfortable and even painful when you get fitted for a new set. Although the orthodontist most likely refers to the feeling as “pressure,” it can be painful as your teeth are adjusting to a new set of aligners. You may want to use a pain reliever to help with this pain while your teeth adjust to your Invisalign.
- Inconvenience – Invisalign aligners can be cumbersome for some patients. You always have to remove them for eating, which means you may deal with some embarrassment when you go out to eat. You are also required to brush your teeth after each meal before putting them back in your mouth, which means you’ll be brushing your teeth multiple times per day, which can be inconvenient.