Invisalign after Braces
Wearing a retainer after braces is a necessity. Unfortunately, for many teenagers, it is not a priority. After a few years, it is possible for the teeth to begin gradually moving back to their old positions. If you are experiencing this, you are not alone. But you may be wondering if there is anything you can do besides going back to traditional metal braces.
Fortunately, straightening teeth with Invisalign after braces is a discreet and effective way to reclaim your beautiful smile. At Astoria Dental in Queens, NY, Dr. Carmen Every-Degel offers Invisalign. Here, we discuss what you can expect when undergoing Invisalign treatment after braces.
Why Do Teeth Move after Orthodontic Treatment?
We know that retainers can help maintain the position of your teeth after orthodontic treatment, but why do teeth move back in the first place?
While braces and Invisalign are both incredibly effective at moving teeth, they cannot move the ligaments around them. The ligaments connect the teeth to the jawbone. Therefore, when orthodontic treatment is complete, the elastic-like ligaments tend to pull teeth back to their original locations.
Straight Teeth: More than Just Aesthetics
Straight teeth and a beautiful smile is certainly something we all desire. But did you know that straightening your teeth could also have a significant positive impact on your oral health?
Crooked or misaligned teeth can interfere with the way your bite fits together, resulting in tooth erosion, further shifting, dental damage, and more. Straightening your teeth actually preserves your dental function and helps you invest in your long-term oral health.
Invisible and Discreet Orthodontic Treatment
The primary reason Invisalign is so popular is that it gives patients the opportunity to straighten teeth discreetly. The aligner trays are made from clear thermoplastic material, so they are virtually invisible.
Additionally, the trays are removable for easy cleaning, so you can brush, floss, and eat normally. Invisalign even gives you the option to leave your trays out for a night if you are attending a special event. Keep in mind, however, that your aligners should be worn at least 22 hours every day for effective treatment.
Fewer Office Visits
As you probably remember, traditional metal braces require routine dental checkups at least once a month to have the wires tightened and the bands changed out. With Invisalign, you change out the trays yourself every couple of weeks. Typically, you will visit our office every six to eight weeks so Dr. Every-Degel can monitor your progress.
Shorter Overall Treatment Time
Orthodontic treatment with metal braces can feel like an eternity. However, if you previously wore braces, then Invisalign treatment will typically take less time. On average, treatment can be completed in about 12 to 18 months.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign has zero metal. That means no wire, brackets, or bands to irritate the inside of your lips and cheeks. It also means you no longer have to worry about food getting stuck in your braces.
You may notice slight tenderness or sensitivity the first couple of days you wear your aligner trays. However, this is usually less significant than what most patients experience with traditional braces.
Any discomfort should dissipate within the first 24 hours, and can be effectively managed with over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Learn More about Invisalign Treatment after Braces
If you had braces when you were younger, but notice your teeth are now shifting again, schedule a visit with Dr. Every-Degel. She can help you determine if Invisalign is right for you. To reach a team member, call our office at (718) 278-1123 or contact us online.