6 myths about Invisalign® debunked
24 Feb 2021
Invisalign® aligners need no introduction. As the pioneer in clear aligners, Invisalign® is the product of years of research and development which has made it possible for people from all walks of life, to have an alternative option to the traditional metal braces.
Though, till today, there’s much uncertainty about differentiating between the truths and myths of Invisalign®. Especially if you’re hoping to improve your smile without the look of braces, read on as we straighten out (pun intended) the truth about Invisalign® clear aligners.
Myth #1 - Invisalign® are as painful as braces
The theory of orthodontic treatment is to apply force to help your teeth move to the desired position. As force is needed to realign your teeth, there will be some form of discomfort during any orthodontic treatment.
However, there is a difference when it comes to the level of pain that you’ll feel.
Invisalign® uses a gentle force to realign your teeth. The technology behind the product as well as material used generally makes the treatment process more comfortable as compared to metal braces. Though, this does not mean that patients who wear Invisalign® do not experience any pain or discomfort. There will be some form of discomfort for most wearers (as this is also a sign that your treatment is progressing) and it is usually experienced during the first few days after a new set of aligners is worn.
A small study titled Motivation, Acceptance and Problems of Invisalign® patients which was conducted in 2005, found that 83 percent of users were accustomed to their dental aligners within a week. On top of that 35 % experienced no pain while 54% experienced mild pain while wearing them.
Myth #2 - Invisalign® is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ aligner
Invisalign® is a treatment plan that is tailored to cater to your dental needs. During your first consultation with an Invisalign® accredited dentist, x-rays and 3D iTero scans will be taken (that’s right, there is no need for you to bite into an icky mould). These materials taken are sufficient to be used by our dentist to map out a personalised treatment plan for you. Hence, Invisalign® is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ teeth aligner as each aligner given to you is created unique to your treatment plan.
Myth #3 - I can eat anything
Unlike the long list of food restrictions that come with wearing traditional metal braces, wearing Invisalign® gives you the flexibility to enjoy most types of food. However, there is just a short list of items that you’ll want to avoid not so much of because it’ll ruin your treatment plan but more of the fact that it’ll affect the condition of your aligners.
The types of food that you should avoid include hard candies, sticky food (like chewing gum) and drinks that could stain your aligners such as coffee, tea and wine. On top of that, it’s important to be weary of your food temperature. Hot food, soups and drinks are not recommended as it could distort the shape of your aligner.
Myth #4 - All I need to do is to wear the aligners while I’m asleep
Unfortunately, this is not possible. The Invisalign® aligner will be effective only if it is worn for at least 20 to 22 hours a day. In other words, it’s recommended that you wear your aligners for most of the day except for when you’re eating, brushing and flossing your teeth. On the brighter side, the Invisalign® aligners are clear and discreet which makes it barely noticeable to others when you’re wearing them.
Myth #5 - Invisalign® will only help if you’ve crooked or gap teeth
A common misconception about aligners is that it is only effective if your dental issues are relatively easy to treat such as crooked or gap teeth. The truth is, Invisalign® can correct more than just crooked or gap teeth. It can address issues such as overbite and underbite as well as open bite. Though, in severe cases, your orthodontist might recommend a treatment with multiple approaches such as surgery together with Invisalign® aligners to treat your dental condition.
Click here to read the 6 teeth conditions that Invisalign can treat.
Myth #6 - I can use any soap to clean my Invisalign® tray
Bacteria are naked to the eye but they can dangerously build up along your aligner. Hence, this is why it’s crucial to diligently clean your aligners well. Now, before you reach out for that antibacterial mouthwash sitting in your bathroom cabinet because after all, if it works well to clean your mouth, it should be effective to clean your aligners too, you should note that harsh or damaging cleaners should be avoided. This includes mouthwash, denture cleaners, scented soap and toothpaste. Cleaning solutions with dye should also be avoided, as you wouldn’t want to stain your clear aligners.