September 30, 2016
One of the things our Dudley Smiles team loves most about the Invisalign aligner system is how versatile it is, on so many levels. Almost invisible? Check. Removable? Check. No food or drink restrictions? Check. Easier to brush and floss like a pro? Check. Just as effective as traditional metal braces? Yep. Priced similarly? Absolutely! And so on. It makes sense, then, that it would be just as adaptable for teen and adult patients of all ages.
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
This is a common question. Many people have dreamed of a straighter smile for years, but are wondering now if it’s just too late to make it happen. The good news is that as long as your teeth are healthy, it’s never too late to straighten them out. In fact, taking action at any age can actually help prevent oral health problems, such as bleeding gums and tooth loss, from developing in the future.
What about teens? Young adults? Senior citizens?
There are many reasons Invisalign continues to grow in popularity from year to year. To help you understand why it works so well for patients of all ages, let’s take a quick look at what it is, how it works, and why it could be a great fit for you.
What is Invisalign? How does it work?
Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable plastic aligners to gradually shift your teeth into position. The aligners are custom-made for your mouth using 3-D imaging technology, and have been proven to be as effective as traditional metal braces in treating uncomplicated cases.
The Invisalign process is similar for all patients, regardless of age. We carefully evaluate the gum tissues and bones that support the teeth, to ensure that both are healthy and strong. We’ll also evaluate your dental history, your bite alignment, and your desired results. I’ll discuss your different treatment options with you in order to help you determine the correct plan for your personal needs.
Once your custom aligners arrive, you’ll begin wearing them. Each set will need to be replaced every 1-2 weeks, and ideally, are only removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you move on to each new aligner in the series, your teeth will move, little by little and week by week, until they’ve finally shifted into their final straightened positions.
During treatment, you’ll visit our office about every 4-6 weeks to ensure you’re progressing as planned. Total treatment time on average lasts between 9-15 months, and the number of aligners somewhere between 18-30, but these numbers will both vary from case to case, sometimes by quite a lot, since some smiles are just more accommodating than others! The amount of time it takes to straighten your teeth will depend on the complexity of crowding and your bite correction needs. And although adult bones tend to be firm and fixed, this doesn’t mean the teeth can’t be straightened. It simply means the straightening process might take a bit longer.
All the benefits, none of the fuss
One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is, of course, it’s invisibility, particularly for our teen and professional patients. Although modern orthodontics means metal braces are less noticeable and more comfortable than ever before, there are still plenty of people who prefer a much more subtle approach to straightening their teeth. Invisalign makes this preference a reality!
Food restrictions are probably one of the hardest parts of having traditional braces, but with Invisalign, there’s no need to give up your favorite treats. Aligners are removed every time you eat or drink, so crunchy, chewy, sticky stuff can stay on the menu!
You’ll also need to remove your aligners during your daily brushing and flossing. Excellent oral hygiene is extremely important for any orthodontic patient, but the brackets and wires of metal braces can sometimes be challenging. Being able to remove the aligners makes brushing and flossing thoroughly a breeze, and the trays themselves are easy to clean.
Many people in need of orthodontic treatment put it off for fear of the procedure or the braces themselves being painful. Invisalign alleviates all of those worries. The aligners are made of a smooth plastic that prevents any irritation on the sensitive skin of your cheeks and gums. There may occasionally be a bit of an ache when you change aligners, due to the movement of your teeth, but overall, the Invisalign system provides a pain-free path to a straighter smile. No brackets and wires also means no adjustments at your follow-up appointments, keeping them shorter and more straightforward.
Orthodontic treatment for all ages
Orthodontics, in general, seems to have a reputation as somewhat of a young person’s game, but the truth is, more adults than ever are seeking treatment for misaligned teeth and jaws, and other orthodontic issues. This is due in part to improved technology and techniques in recent years, and Invisalign plays a part in that. The revolutionary clear aligner system – with both invisibility and removability – has opened the doors for everyone to reap the benefits of a perfect smile, whether they’re 17 or 70.
For teens and young adults, physical appearance can be a big deal, with insecurities lurking just below the surface. Being able to avoid the obvious nature of traditional braces while still straightening their smiles can bring a huge sense of relief, and eliminate what can be a major source of stress for them. Bonus: being able to remove the aligners temporarily means homecoming dances, class pictures, and senior prom don’t have to be memorialized alongside a mouthful of metal!
If you’re an adult professional or a parent, you might feel that you don’t have time to devote to orthodontic treatment and the upkeep that comes with it. You may also hesitate to choose traditional braces due to the change in appearance they come with, not to mention food restrictions that can make family meal planning difficult, and the pain and soreness that can sometimes accompany adjustments. Your follow-up visits for Invisalign tend to be a little more spaced out than with other treatments, as well as taking up less time since there aren’t any adjustments to be made. And not having to avoid certain foods means your grocery list can stay the same.
We’re not leaving grandparents and senior citizens out of the mix! Not only are there cosmetic benefits to Invisalign, but having your teeth fixed can improve the health of your mouth, and sometimes, your health overall – gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease by over 25%. You might feel like it’s far too late to seek treatment, but truly, there’s no time like the present to work towards the smile you’ve waited a lifetime for.
Dudley Smiles and Invisalign in Issaquah and Kent
Whether you have college or retirement on the horizon, we hope we’ve reassured you that Invisalign is indeed for all ages! If you’re in the Issaquah or Kent areas and are looking for information you can trust on how Invisalign can work for you or your child, give us a call today to set up a free consultation. We’re committed to giving every patient the beautiful, straight smile they deserve, and look forward to helping you achieve that!