FAQ - Invisalign®

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 How is Invisalign® different from braces?

Invisalign® is an alternative way to straighten teeth. These clear aligners are changed out by the patient every 1-2 weeks to keep teeth moving with light continuous forces. They are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Tooth-colored attachments are added to the teeth to allow the teeth to move in the right direction. These can be slightly noticeable and will be removed after treatment. The Invisalign® aligners need to be worn 22 hours a day and patients can only drink water with them in. Some tooth alignments and bites are more difficult to correct with Invisalign®, so schedule a free consultation to see if Invisalign® is right for you. 


How old do I have to be to get Invisalign®?

Invisalign® is designed to be used in all ages. Yes, that includes kids!  However, some tooth alignments and bites are more difficult to correct with Invisalign®, so schedule a free consultation to see if Invisalign® is right for you. 


How long during the day am I supposed to wear my aligners?

Invisalign trays need to be worn 22 hours a day to ensure the teeth are moving appropriately. Take them out to eat, brush, and floss. Only drink water with the trays in. It is recommended that patients brush and floss after every meal before reinserting the trays. This will decrease the risk of tooth staining, white scars, and cavities.


What happens if I don’t wear my aligners as frequently as I’m supposed to?

If the trays aren’t worn for 22 hours, the teeth may not “track.” This means that the tooth is not moving because it hasn’t had the trays on long enough to force the tooth to move. To get the tooth to track again, you may have to get a new set of trays. This will increase the amount of time in treatment.


What can I eat or drink with my aligners in?

Water only! Drinking or eating foods with aligners in will cause the acid and sugars to seep between the plastic aligners and teeth. Acid and sugar sitting on your teeth all day can cause staining, white scars, and cavities. Brushing and flossing after every meal before reinserting trays is recommended to decrease those risks.


How do I clean my aligners?

Brush your aligners with your toothbrush when you brush your teeth. Invisalign® also provides you with a small sample of cleaning crystals. More can be purchased from Invisalign® or similar products can be purchased online. DO NOT soak your trays in mouthwash. The plastic trays will pick up the color of your mouthwash and make your teeth look blue, green, or purple when you wear them.


How often do I come in for appointments?

Typically, Dr. Kopf will initially see you every 4-6 weeks. If the teeth are moving well after the first few appointments, Dr. Kopf may extend appointments to every 6-8 weeks.


What do I do if I broke an attachment?

Call the office to schedule an appointment to get the attachment replaced. If your appointment is within the next week, it is ok to wait until your appointment.


What do I do if my teeth are sore?

Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as needed. If you have experienced soreness with previous tray changes, take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen (Advil) a couple hours before switching trays to get ahead of the discomfort.


I lost some aligners. What do I do?

Call the office to let us know what happened and we will guide you through the next steps. If it was only one aligner, we may be able to keep moving on with treatment. If it was more than one, we may have to order replacements.