Wish you could straighten teeth without traditional metal braces? Invisalign® might be the right choice for your smile. Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists to learn if you’re a candidate for Invisalign clear aligners. We get a lot of questions about Invisalign treatment, which is why we created this list of frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for below, schedule an appointment with one of our Invisalign dentists. What is Invisalign? As the name suggests, Invisalign describes a series of nearly invisible aligners that move your teeth little by little into a straighter smile. The aligners fit over your teeth and exert enough pressure to move them into place. How does Invisalign work? You’ll need to wear your Invisalign aligners 20 to 22 hours a day. Otherwise, your teeth won’t move according to schedule. Every few weeks, you’ll need to see one of our dentists so they can evaluate your progress and hand you the next set of aligners in your series. Many of our patients are able to achieve noticeably straighter teeth within 18 months. Will Invisalign hurt? While your new clear aligners will hurt during the first day or so, many of our patients believe that having straighter teeth is worth the temporary discomfort. We recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers until the pain subsides. The temporary pain is a sign that your teeth are moving into optimal alignment. Do I have to follow a restricted diet while wearing clear aligners? No, one of the benefits of Invisalign is that you’re able to continue eating your favorite foods. Unlike with metal braces, you don’t have to avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. What are the benefits of Invisalign? Many people appreciate that these clear aligners are subtle enough to go unnoticed by family members, friends, and co-workers. No one will be able to tell you’re wearing Invisalign unless they get close enough. Invisalign are also removable, which means you’ll be able to continue eating your favorite foods during treatment. Unlike with metal braces, you don’t have to avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. It’s easier to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine while wearing Invisalign. Since teeth aligners are removable, you’ll be able to brush and floss normally during treatment. We understand that it’s a hassle to clean around wires and brackets, which is why we often recommend Invisalign braces to patients. How long do I have to wear Invisalign? The average treatment length for Invisalign is between 12 and 16 months. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that every patient is different. During your consultation, your Invisalign dentist will be able to plan your treatment so you know what to expect. What happens if you don’t wear Invisalign for a day? You may notice that your aligners feel tighter. This is because your teeth need gentle, constant pressure to move into their final positions. When you don’t wear your aligners, your teeth will start to regress to their original positions. It’s important that you wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours a day to keep your treatment on schedule. Only remove your aligners to eat, brush, and floss. You’ll also need to remove your aligners when drinking anything but water. Am I a candidate for Invisalign? Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment for both teenagers and adults. Invisalign clear aligners are able to correct crowded and crooked teeth, as well as issues with bite. If you are interested in wearing clear aligners, we recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our Invisalign dentists. They’ll be able to determine if you’re a candidate for Invisalign braces. Let’s Discuss Invisalign For You Our dentists will be more than happy to help you explore our cosmetic dentistry services, including Invisalign braces. To schedule an appointment with one of our Hudsonville cosmetic dentists, call Hudsonville Dental at (616) 209-4024. This blog post has been updated.