Invisalign is a patented approach to straightening teeth that differs from traditional braces. Often referred to as “invisible braces” or “clear braces”, Invisalign uses a set of removable aligner trays (custom-molded just for your specific mouth) which are comfortable and made of smooth plastic. You simply wear these over your teeth, and because the trays are clear, letting the color of your natural teeth come through. Thus, they look virtually invisible to everyone else. Invisalign has been proven effective in clinical research and in orthodontic practices nationwide, including great successes in Doctor Streem’s own practice.
How Does Invisalign Work?
- Each set of aligners is worn for about 2 weeks
- Aligners are removed to eat, brush, & floss
- As each aligner is changed with the next in the series, your teeth move slightly
- You’ll visit our office about every 6 weeks to ensure your treatment is progressing as planned.
- Total treatment time averages 9-15 months
- Average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30
Doctor Streem is a certified Invisalign Orthodontic Specialist, which means unlike other providers, she is specially trained to supplement Invisalign with traditional orthodontic techniques.
For more details on Invisalign, visit the Invisalign Web site. Or contact us or stop by our office and we’ll be happy to sit with you and discuss if Invisalign meets your needs.
Invisalign Wear and Care
The success of your Invisalign® treatment will be a result of the partnership between you, Dr. Streem and Align Technology. Dr. Streem’s responsibility is to diagnose your malocclusion, and develop a treatment plan to correct your teeth. Align Technology will custom manufacture a series of aligners designed to fulfill Dr. Streems treatment plan.
Your responsibilities are:
- Wear your aligners at least 20 hours per day, unless Dr. Streem has advised you otherwise.
- Remove your aligners only to eat, drink hot liquids, brush or floss.
- Clear attachments may be bonded to your teeth to help your teeth move. If any attachments come loose, please call the office.
- In order to correct crowding, some filing of the tooth enamel may be necessary. This is painless, and does not affect the health of your teeth.
- When you insert your aligner, gently slip it over your front teeth, then apply equal pressure on both sides as you snap the aligner in place.
- When you remove your aligner, gently slip both back sides off, then slide the front off.
- Brush your teeth after eating, before you replace your aligner. Failing to brush increases your chances of tooth decay. Brush your aligners with toothbrush and toothpaste before replacing them.
- Do not soak your aligners in mouthwash – they will turn opaque.
- Your aligners are marked with a “U” for upper and an “L” for lower. Check each before you put them in!
- Always store your aligners in their case. Do not store them in excessive heat.
- When you start a new set of aligners, you may have some tooth soreness. This is normal, and may last three or four days. Feel free to take whatever medication you might take for a headache.
- Each aligner is designed to be worn a minimum of two weeks. When you start a new aligner, there may be a small space between the edge of one or more teeth and the aligner. This space should close as you wear the aligner. If, at the end of the two week period, you have not worn the aligner full time, or if a space remains between a tooth and the aligner, do not switch to the next aligner – continue the same aligner for another week. If the aligner still does not fit well, please call the office for an appointment, and continue wearing the same aligner.
- Removable retainers have certain limitations of tooth movement. If your tooth alignment is incomplete when your aligner sequence is completed, Dr. Streem may recommend having more aligners manufactured, or placing some braces to correct your treatment.
- As you complete your series of aligners, please do not throw any aligners away. Store them in a safe place.
- If you lose or break an aligner, please call the office immediately. There is a $65 charge to order a replacement aligner.
- When you complete your Invisalign® treatment, you will probably need an indefinite period of sleep time retainer wear to maintain your alignment. Dr. Streem will discuss her recommendations for retention.