Despite all the fantastic advances in orthodontics over the past few years, many patients are still filled with dismay when they hear the news that they are going to need braces. We know traditional metal braces have a reputation of being bulky and awkward that has been hard to shake. Many teens and adults are still in the dark concerning the fact that braces are more comfortable and far subtler than they have ever been before. That is why at Thacker Orthodontics we are always happy to break the news that there is another option for straightening teeth and giving you the smile you have always wanted!

Invisalign offers you an easy and unobtrusive alternative to traditional braces through its clear aligner system. None of the metal, wires, and brackets— same life changing results!  This makes them especially attractive to teens and adults who would prefer to keep their lifestyle as uninhibited as possible during orthodontic treatment, and avoid the appearance of traditional braces altogether. It is a great choice for any patient looking for something subtle and versatile. We know you have questions like, how does it work, and what exactly is it? Here at Thacker Orthodontics we have put together this handy guide to Invisalign 101 just for you. Keep on scrolling to find out more!

THE INVISALIGN SYSTEM

To give you a healthier, straighter smile without being visible, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable plastic trays, or aligners. You may wonder how they could ever achieve the same results as metal braces when you see the aligners because the design is so deceptively simple! These trays are made of a special type of thermoplastic resin that is strong enough to move your teeth into alignment, relying on a sequence of custom-made aligners being switched out at precise intervals during treatment.

INVISALIGN AT WORK

The first step in getting Invisalign is scheduling an initial consultation. During this appointment, we will discuss your orthodontic needs and decide whether Invisalign is the right treatment choice for you based on those needs. Depending on whether you are a good fit or not for the system, we will begin the process of custom designing aligners specific to you and your smile.

A highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums will be performed in our office.  This scan is then used to map out a precise treatment plan for you. This plan will include how long your treatment is likely to take, as well as the exact movements we want your teeth to make.

Your custom aligners will be created from Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material based on your  3D scan. The total treatment time averages between 5 and 15 months of wearing the comfortable plastic trays that are virtually invisible. The total number of trays you wear is somewhere between 10 and 48. You will need to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours daily, throughout the course of treatment in order to maximize their effectiveness. You will switch to a new set of aligners every one to three weeks based on your treatment plan.  We will schedule check-ups for you about every four to eight weeks.

hand holding Invisalign retainer

ADVANTAGES OF INVISALIGN

The benefits of Invisalign extend far beyond the fact that it is a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing solution than traditional metal braces. There are no restrictions to diet or activity because the aligners are removable. One of the hardest parts of having metal braces is having to forego some of your favorite foods while undergoing treatment. Patients must steer clear of any treats that are chewy, sticky, crunchy, or hard because of the wires and brackets. Candy is off the table, as well as apples, carrots, popcorn, and chips. Since so many of our social situations are centered around food, it makes them rather difficult for those who have to abstain from certain foods. Luckily Invisalign aligners are removable, not fixed, which means no food restrictions and a whole lot more fun! You can take them out whenever  you want to eat or drink anything other than water.

It is important to pay special attention to your dental hygiene all the time, but especially when undergoing orthodontic treatment, and removable aligners help make a difference to your oral hygiene routine. Traditional braces have wires, brackets, and bands that can make brushing and flossing a difficult and time consuming task. With Invisalign, simply take out your aligners before brushing and flossing. There are special kits designed specifically to clean Invisalign aligners, which makes cleaning them a snap. Denture crystals and a soft toothbrush can also be used to gently clean them.

You can remove your Invisalign aligner and wear a regular mouthguard, which is a huge bonus when you are playing a contact sport. When you go to  play an instrument there will be no wires or brackets to get in the way. You can take out your trays for special occasions where you want your natural smile to be the only thing shining through like for wedding, prom, homecoming, or senior pictures.

CANDIDATES FOR INVISALIGN

The common orthodontic issues of most teen and adult patients is who Invisalign was created for. Unfortunately there are those cases where more precise tooth control is needed than a removable aligner can provide. We will be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you at your initial consultation with Thacker Orthodontics, or if you would be better served by a more traditional orthodontic treatment.

ONCE INVISALIGN TREATMENT IS COMPLETE

Our teeth have a tendency to drift back to their original positions over time because they retain memories of their previous place in our mouths. This is why it is important to retain their new positions after any form of orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign. We will provide you with retainers that will need to be worn as directed in order to maintain your new, straighter smile once your treatment process is complete.

Young blonde lady with Invisalign

INVISALIGN WITH THACKER ORTHODONTICS

We are proud to be a certified Invisalign provider offering this technology to our braces patients. Invisalign is helping to change the way people view orthodontic treatment. If you are in the Hillsboro or Cincinnati areas, stop by one of our offices or give us a call to learn more about Invisalign and what it can do for you. We can help you achieve the smile of your dreams with our customized approach to care, and cutting-edge techniques and technology. Thacker Orthodontics is ready to help you put your best face forward!