Woman putting in clear aligners West Michigan dentists MI Smiles

Unlike in years past, you have more options when it comes to straightening your smile. One of those alternative options to traditional braces provided by our cosmetic dentists at MI Smiles Dental is Invisalign®.

Here are our answers to commonly asked questions about Invisalign.

What Does Invisalign Treatment Involve?

Invisalign can be described as virtually invisible aligners designed to gradually straighten teeth and adjust a patient’s bite over time. This alternative to traditional metal braces is perfect for individuals looking for straight, healthy teeth without the hassle of metal wires or brackets.

How Do I Know If I’m a Candidate for Invisalign?

Teens and adults are eligible for and welcome to try Invisalign unless their particular dental situation requires extensive orthodontic treatment. Our dentists will perform a quick oral examination to confirm your candidacy before aligner production can begin.

How Long Does Treatment Take?

Treatment length varies per individual but on average, desired results can be accomplished in 12 months or less. Each set of aligners must be worn for a few weeks. After that time has passed, you’ll proceed to the next set of aligners in the series and continue this process until our dentists see that your teeth have reached ideal alignment.

Does Invisalign Work Similarly to Traditional Braces?

Despite their clear appearance, Invisalign aligners operate much like metal braces. The top and bottom aligners fit right over your teeth and carefully apply controlled force to ensure they are moved into a better position. However, no noticeable wires or brackets are needed.

How Often Do I Have to Wear Each Set of Aligners?

You should wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. They are removable but should only be taken out when eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing. If instructions are not followed or aligners are not worn for long enough, corrections may be necessary which will delay progress.

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?

As a treatment option, Invisalign has multiple unique benefits when compared to metal braces. Some of those include:

  • The clear aligners are subtle and nearly invisible to family, friends, and co-workers.
  • You can remove your aligners to eat, drink, brush, and floss.
  • Freedom to enjoy an unrestricted diet; no need to avoid sticky or chewy foods.
  • Easier to practice oral hygiene thanks to their removable nature.

How Do I Care for My Clear Aligners?

Just like your natural teeth, your clear aligners should be cleaned at least twice daily to ensure they do not stain or accumulate bacteria. It is also encouraged that you run the aligners under lukewarm water every time you take them out. Many patients find it easiest to clean them at the same time they brush their teeth.

To clean your clear aligners:

  • Rinse them with water (never hot)
  • Gently brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste
  • Thoroughly rinse them after brushing is done
  • Store the aligners in a protective case whenever not in use

What Happens After I’m Done With Invisalign Treatment?

To maintain the ideal alignment of your teeth and prevent any unwanted shifting, our dentists will give you a custom retainer to use. This is the retention phase of your treatment and while it may seem bothersome, it’s a necessary part of keeping the smile you and our dentists have worked hard to create.

Make An Appointment

If you’re looking for an alternative to metal braces, Invisalign clear aligners can transform your smile in a discreet way. Ask our Invisalign dentists in West Michigan today about getting started with clear aligners and what treatment will look like for you. Call one of our MI Smiles Dental locations to schedule an appointment.