Most Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign Clear Aligner Therapy
This page features answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Invisalign clear aligners at Diamond Braces, compiled by our doctors and staff from our many years of experience.
What steps do I take to get Invisalign aligners?
First, you need to schedule a consultation at a Diamond Braces office near you. Some dentists offer Invisalign treatment, but because there are important differences between dentists and orthodontists, it is recommended to visit an orthodontist.
At your consultation, an orthodontist will examine your teeth to determine if you are a good candidate. At your appointment, you can discuss payment options and the length of treatment. If you are a candidate, you can even choose to begin the Invisalign process that same day.
Next, the doctor will take pictures and x-rays of your teeth. Additionally, he or she will take impressions of your top and bottom teeth. This information is sent to an Invisalign lab where your aligner molds will be created. The lab creates multiple sets of aligners that will guide you from the beginning until the end of your treatment, according to the doctor’s specifications. Your aligners will slowly but consistently move your teeth into proper alignment.
Once our office receives your aligners, we will call you to come to our office. Your doctor will insert the top and bottom aligners, which will need to be changed every two weeks. You will be responsible for remembering to change your aligners at that time.
Finally, we will see you in intervals, as determined by the orthodontist, to track your progress and give you your next sets of molds.
How long does Invisalign treatment take?
Each patient is different, and a specific situation depends on many factors, such as the structure of your teeth, your responsiveness to the treatment, and how well you adhere to the orthodontist’s instructions. In many cases, treatment lasts between one and two years.
Only after meeting with the doctor for a consultation will you know how long your specific treatment will take. Invisalign usually takes the same amount of time as traditional metal braces, if not slightly longer.
How often will I have appointments?
It depends. We have patients who come in every two weeks and some that come in every eight or ten weeks depending on the complexity of the situation. In general, to track your progress and ensure the treatment is going according to plan, you should expect to come in about once a month. Depending on your individual circumstances, the doctor may decide that you have to come in every six to eight weeks.
Can I throw out old aligners?
Only the last set of aligners you wore should be kept.
How much does Invisalign treatment cost?
The cost of Invisalign treatment depends on how much treatment you need and the time it will take to straighten your teeth. Generally, Invisalign treatment costs between $4,000 and $6,000, including retainers and two years of post-treatment follow-ups. If you have orthodontic insurance or a Flex Spending Account from your employer, please mention this at your consultation so we can help you to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, Diamond Braces offers you low monthly payments with no interest that can be customized to fit your individual budget. Get more details about Invisalign treatment prices here.
Are Invisalign aligners completely invisible?
In general, most people will not notice you’re wearing them. However, if someone has a keen eye, that person might see a hint of them. After all, you are wearing a clear plastic aligner on your teeth!
In some cases, rubber bands might be needed to perform alignments that the aligners on their own would have difficulty performing. Your doctor will let you know during the consultation if any rubber bands will be needed during the treatment.
What can I eat while wearing Invisalign aligners?
We hear this question very often and it makes us very happy to tell our patients this — you can eat ANYTHING, just make sure to remove your aligners. DO NOT eat with aligners in your mouth.
While you technically do not have to limit your diet due to your Invisalign aligners, to be cautious, it’s recommended that our patients avoid very hard candy, sugary drinks, and gum.
What can I drink while wearing Invisalign aligners?
You can drink only water while wearing Invisalign aligners. For everything else, you must remove the aligners. You cannot drink any liquids containing sugar, such as juice, soda, coffee with sugar, and tea with sugar while wearing Invisalign aligners. If sugar comes between the aligners and your teeth, it can cause decalcification and discoloration of enamel.
Will Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Generally, Invisalign aligners do not affect speech. In most cases, patients speak the same way they always have and do not feel any different when wearing their aligners. During the first few days of wearing the molds, you may experience a “lisp” due to the increased saliva in your mouth, since the mouth might mistake the aligners for food. After a few days, your mouth will adjust to the aligners and you should have no problem speaking.
Will I need to wear a retainer after Invisalign treatment is finished?
The short answer is yes. Every single patient who finishes orthodontic treatment must wear a retainer to preserve their results. Generally, we will prescribe Vivera retainers — retainers made from the same material as your Invisalign aligners. You will wear them just as you wore your Invisalign aligners, though you won’t have to replace them every two weeks anymore.
In some cases, we may prescribe a “bonded retainer” – a fixed retainer bonded to your lower teeth. It’s convenient since there’s no need to remember to put in or remove a retainer before bedtime.
However, the final decision concerning what type of retainer to wear will be up to the orthodontist.
How will Invisalign treatment affect my lifestyle?
Invisalign treatment is a breeze to adjust to and is less restrictive than other orthodontic treatments. In our years of experience, we have not had any patients complain about wearing Invisalign aligners. The aligners can be removed when eating and a mouthguard can still fit normally over aligners when playing sports.
Is my child a candidate if his/her permanent teeth are not grown in yet?
A consultation is needed to determine if your child is eligible in this case. Sometimes a child may be a good candidate for Invisalign treatment even though the permanent teeth are not finished growing.
How do I know if my child is wearing his/her aligners as prescribed?
Careful monitoring each day will ensure that your child is keeping up with the treatment. Each aligner for teens has a blue indicator. When the indicator turns white it is time to switch to the next pair.
Does Invisalign treatment hurt?
Invisalign treatment is painless, but there may be some discomfort through the treatment process as teeth shift. Your teeth may feel sore every time a new aligner is put on. This discomfort usually goes away after a few days as your mouth gets used to the new mold. Remember, the aligner molds are worn to shift teeth into their correct alignment. Sometimes, a mold feels like it doesn’t fit properly. This is done intentionally to shift your teeth into their proper positions.
Can I play sports with Invisalign aligners?
Yes, just remember to wear a mouthguard. The mouthguard should fit over the Invisalign aligners without any problems.
What happens if I break an Invisalign aligner?
We understand accidents happen, that’s why Invisalign Teen treatment plans provide six free replacement aligners. Beyond that, there is a cost of $100 for each replacement.
For adults, we would instead try to move on to the next set of molds. As a last resort, we would have to order a replacement set at a price.
When not using the aligners, the best way to prevent any damage to them is to keep them in the case you were given when you received your molds.
What if I forget to wear my Invisalign aligners?
If you miss one day, be sure to put them in immediately the next day. However, every day you miss is another day the treatment is not working. The more days you miss, the longer your treatment will last. The recommended time to wear the aligners is about twenty-two hours each day.
How do I brush my teeth with Invisalign aligners?
Invisalign treatment will not affect your brushing or flossing habits since you remove the molds before brushing.
How do I clean my aligners?
Cleaning your aligners is easy and important for proper dental hygiene. Each day, wash the aligners with warm water. At night, brush the aligners with your regular toothpaste and rinse them off. Remember to also wash the aligner case to prevent the buildup of bacteria.