Commonly-given answers to commonly-asked questions.
INVISALIGN® aligners are clear, removable, and comfortable aligners that straighten your teeth in tiny increments each week. They are made just for you from a digital scan of your teeth. About every week, you’ll change out your aligner for the next aligner in your set.
Unlike braces, your aligners are virtually invisible. We recommend you wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day for best results. You may remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during your treatment. You can also remove your aligners to brush and floss as you normally would. You can’t do that with braces!
And since you don’t need the metal or wire adjustments that braces require, you’ll need far fewer office visits to check your progress—on average, only two or three during your entire treatment.
After you have your digital scan, we can design your aligners. You’ll receive a set of aligners—one for each week—and you’ll change them out one-by-one. Each aligner will make small adjustments to the position of your teeth. We design this process in advance and that’s customized for you.
During each stage, only certain teeth will move. After about one week, you will begin using your next set of aligners. You’ll continue in this fashion to complete your teeth-straightening process.
Your aligners are made of a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® which was developed just for the INVISALIGN treatment plan. Not all providers are authorized to use this material.
Your aligners are FDA-approved and contain no BPA, BPS, latex or gluten. They are thin and clear, and look like teeth-whitening trays.
Attachments are small pieces of tooth-colored composite that help your aligners move your teeth. Your aligners fit around them, making them barely noticeable.
Since each case is different, your doctor will determine whether or not you need attachments, and if so, when they should affixed and removed.
Your aligners are most effective when you wear them 20 to 22 hours per day and remove them only for eating, brushing, and flossing.
The length of your treatment depends on the severity of your case, and we can determine this from your digital scan. The average time is about 12 months for adults.
If you’re a teen your treatment time may vary, but our doctors can help you predict how long this will be.
The best way to clean your aligners is to use the INVISALIGN Cleaning system, available from us.
If you’ve run out, you can clean your aligners by brushing them and rinsing them in lukewarm water. Never use hot water to clean your aligners because it may warp the material.
Our doctors usually recommend that you use a retainer to prevent teeth from shifting back towards their original position. Because every case is different, we will help determine if you need post-treatment retainers.