It can be disappointing to realize that your once-perfect smile has become crooked years after having braces. Unfortunately, it’s possible for your teeth to gradually shift over time, making your perfect smile misaligned again.
The good news is that you can restore your flawless appearance without the discomfort and embarrassment that can accompany traditional metal braces. Invisalign® clear aligners can effectively straighten your teeth, no matter if you’ve had orthodontic treatment in the past or this is your first time.
In this blog, orthodontist Emanuel Mizrahi, DDS, of Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates in Forest Hills, New York, discusses how Invisalign can help you achieve the best smile possible, no matter what type of orthodontic treatment you may have had.
Why teeth can shift after having braces
Correcting your teeth with metal braces involves moving your teeth from their original positions. When you stop wearing braces, your teeth may have the tendency to gradually return to their original positions. This can be due to a number of reasons, including:
- The shifting of surrounding teeth into an open space after a tooth extraction
- Changes in the shape of your jaw as you age
- The pressure exerted on your teeth from actions, such as chewing or teeth grinding
- Gum disease, which can weakens your gums’ ability to hold teeth in place securely
Wearing retainers as prescribed after orthodontic treatment is necessary to keep your teeth in their newly straightened positions. Unfortunately, it’s common for people to slack off on wearing retainers over time, which can allow their teeth the opportunity to shift back.
How Invisalign works
Invisalign is a system that uses a series of clear aligners. You wear one aligner on your upper arch, and another aligner on your bottom arch. Every two weeks or so, you replace your aligners with the next set in the series.
Each set of aligners is slightly different, and every time you put on a new set, they gradually adjust your teeth. By the time you take out your last set, you have the smile you desire.
Invisalign can correct many orthodontic problems, such as overcrowding, misalignment, and gaps. It can also treat an overbite, underbite, or crossbite.
Advantages of Invisalign
Whether your teeth have undergone correction previously or are in their original state, Invisalign offers several advantages over traditional metal braces.
Invisalign aligners are made of medical-grade plastic. Adults often prefer Invisalign, because these clear aligners allow for orthodontic correction more discreetly than wearing metal braces. Invisalign aligners are customized to be worn snugly against your teeth, so they won’t slip and attract attention to the fact that you’re wearing orthodontics.
Your Invisalign treatment plan is based on you wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours every day. However, since the aligners aren’t bonded to your teeth, you can remove them as needed to eat, drink, take care of your teeth, and for special occasions.
The fact that you can remove your aligners allows you to maintain dental hygiene, so you can brush and floss your teeth without working around metal brackets and wires. Taking your aligners out of your mouth also allows you to thoroughly clean them to remove bacteria and food debris that can contribute to cavities and bad breath.
Invisalign aligners consist of thin, thermoplastic material based on a 3-D scan of your mouth. The material is trimmed to fit the grooves and contours of your gumline to avoid irritation and slippage during wear.
While you may feel slight pressure the first few days of wearing a new set, the pain should be much less than what you would feel after getting metal braces adjusted. Without the use of wires and brackets, the system also avoids the discomfort that can result when these components break.
For adults with busy schedules, wearing Invisalign aligners is convenient, because you can progress with your treatment by changing your trays at home with fewer visits to the office than is typically required for metal braces.
Wearing aligners also doesn’t require that you restrict the types of food and beverages you consume, as long as you remove your aligners before eating or drinking. Invisalign also gives you the ability to easily remove bacteria and food debris from your teeth without the challenge of working around metal brackets and wires.
To find out more about Invisalign and how it can correct teeth that have become misaligned after wearing braces, call 347-384-9199 to book an appointment with Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates today.