Whether you’re considering Invisalign® or already in treatment, it’s important to understand how Invisalign works. Please use this section to find answers to common questions.
What are aligners made of and what do they look like?
The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom made for you to move your teeth in the sequence determined by Dr Mibab.
How do the aligners straighten teeth?
Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance by Dr. Mibab specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current positions. After approximately one to two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.
How will Invisalign effectively move my teeth?
Through the use of the patented thermoplastic design, Invisalign aligners move your teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls the force, but also the timing of the force application. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move. These movements are determined by Dr. Mibab as he maps out your unique Invisalign treatment plan. Certain teeth that require more forces may require an “attachment” which is a small piece of tooth colored glue bonded to the actual tooth.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No one may even notice that you're wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle. Invisalign aligners are removable. Unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene. There are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth, an advantage over traditional braces. Plus, since your office visits during treatment don't involve metal or wire adjustments, you'll likely spend less time in the office. Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your teeth will look when your treatment is complete. Instead of imagining how much better it can be, you'll be able to see it for yourself.
Invisalign Treatment Process
How often must I wear my aligners?
We find that aligners are most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours per day and removed only for eating, drinking anything except water, brushing and flossing. Aligners cannot just be worn at night!
How often must I see Dr. Mibab?
Your will schedule regular appointments in our office usually about once every six to eight weeks. The goal of these visits is to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
How long will treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by your doctor; however, the average case takes about 12 to 18 months.
Will wearing Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Similar to other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.
Are there restrictions as to what I can eat while in treatment?
No. Thanks to the removable nature of the aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. In fact, you're required to remove your aligners to eat and drink (anything other than water). Unlike traditional orthodontic treatment using wires and brackets, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks unless you are instructed otherwise . It is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to reinserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene.
Will smoking stain the aligners?
We discourage smoking while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become discolored.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
No, gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks.
Do Invisalign aligners contain Bisphenol-A (BPA)?
No. Invisalign aligners do not contain Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers. These aligners and retainers are made with USP Class VI medical-grade, high molecular weight, polyurethane resins. Tests have been conducted to determine the biocompatibility of these materials, and show that they are biocompatible and pass all applicable regulatory requirements and thresholds for human wear in the mouth. Of course, as with any medical device, you should consult with your health professional about your aligner or retainer treatment and any applicable risks of use.
How old is the company?
Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997.
How to Take Care of Invisalign Aligners
Your aligners can be cleaned by brushing them with toothpaste and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
When Treatment Is Completed
What happens after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
As with any type of orthodontic treatment, retainers are indicated to hold your teeth straight. Dr Mibab will recommend either fixed or permanent retainers or clear retainers similar to your Invisalign aligners.