With all of the changes brought about by COVID-19 in the past year, we’ve had to make some adjustments to our daily lives. However, if you’ve been considering improving your health with orthodontic treatment, you can stay safe and healthy with Invisalign during COVID-19! At Williams & Hamman Orthodontics, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of patients seeking treatment with Invisalign. As our most popular alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign is already a favorite with teen and adult patients. The removable aligners come with an extra measure of freedom that everybody loves, but the benefits don’t stop there!
While we’re still treating new patients every day with traditional braces, we believe Invisalign can make orthodontic treatment easier to navigate during a pandemic. If you’ve been considering orthodontics but weren’t sure about getting started, we can reassure you that treatment is just as safe and effective as ever and Invisalign could be just what you’re looking for! Keep reading below to learn more about everything Invisalign has to offer.
Easy To Care For
In the early months of the pandemic, we were constantly reminded to keep our hands away from our face and mouth to help limit the spread of germs. Many of us quickly realized just how often we do both! While some people are able to successfully break this habit, Invisalign patients don’t have the option to avoid touching their mouth. That means it’s more important than ever to practice good hygiene!
Fortunately, it’s easy to care for both your oral health and your aligners when you use Invisalign. Aligners are designed to be removed before eating, drinking anything other than water, and brushing and flossing your teeth. Before removing your aligners, you should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Remember to pay careful attention to the fingernails and fingertips since these come into the closest contact with your mouth and aligners.
Washing your hands is the first line of defense against germs and infection and this CDC video has great information on how to do so quickly and effectively! If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water right away, sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used as a substitute.
It can be tempting to toss aligners onto the nearest surface when they’re removed, but they should always be placed in a sealed container or left to soak in a cleaning solution when not in the mouth. This protects them from germs (and also keeps you from accidentally throwing them away!) Once you’re done eating or brushing and flossing your teeth, you should wash your hands again and rinse your aligner well before putting it back in your mouth.
When you write it all out, it can seem like a lot! However, these habits will quickly become just another part of your daily routine. Being careful with your oral health and aligners will help protect your total body health, too!
The popularity of clear aligners has gone through the roof in recent years, so even if you’re not familiar with orthodontics, you probably know what Invisalign is. While the design is deceptively simple, this system is incredibly effective! Our doctors use a series of these removable aligners to put gentle pressure on the teeth, moving them into more desirable positions over time.
To produce the force needed to move the teeth, the aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day. Each aligner is switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movement of the teeth. When you’re compliant with these guidelines, Invisalign can work just as well as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues.
We typically provide patients with several weeks’ worth of aligners at a time. This can be very convenient when we’re facing occasional stay-at-home orders and striving to maintain social distance! When the current set of aligners runs out, we can easily arrange curbside pick-up for the next set so there’s no need to physically enter the office. You can also set up a virtual appointment to speak with Dr. Williams or Dr. Hamman to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. These options let every patient continue their treatment safely, conveniently, and without delay.
Less risk of an orthodontic emergency
Traditional braces feature brackets and wires that can be bent or broken, which can lead to orthodontic emergencies. Since aligners are just one piece and made of durable SmartTrack material, emergencies happen much less often. That’s not to say aligners can’t be lost or damaged, however! They can crack, tear, or break, especially if they’re not handled properly.
If an aligner is damaged, you should let our office know as soon as possible. If the damage isn’t severe, the aligner may still be worn until it’s time for the next in the series. However, you should never use any aligner that’s been cracked or split in a way that prevents it from holding its shape. Aside from being potentially painful to wear, it won’t provide the pressure needed to move the teeth anyway. In a case like this, we may need to make a replacement. Your doctor may also recommend using the next aligner in the series a little early in some cases.
Easy to problem solve
Once you have completed your last course of aligners, treatment may be complete or we may need to schedule a revision scan. These scans let us know if any additional aligners are necessary to achieve the best results for your smile. Temporary closings have sometimes made it difficult to get patients in quickly for a revision scan, but Invisalign makes this nothing more than a minor inconvenience!
If you’re currently in aligners, you can keep wearing the last set you were given, with one slight change—the aligners are worn for only 10-12 hours a day instead of the normal 20-22 hours. This helps extend the life of the aligners until an appointment is available, keeping treatment on track and ensuring no progress is lost.
If you’re considering Invisalign, it’s important to understand how the aligners work. As we mentioned above, they move the teeth by exerting a gentle continuous force on them. This moves the teeth into straighter positions over time, but we have to keep that pressure going both during (aligners) and after (retainers) treatment is complete to keep your newly straightened smile in place. This is why we recommend wearing the last set of aligners until a new set is provided if there’s a pause in your treatment for any reason!
If aligners aren’t worn regularly, the teeth will eventually begin to shift back to their previous positions. This can happen more quickly than you might think, and may add to the total treatment time. We ask our patients to always keep their aligners from the previous stage or two on hand in case they need them while waiting for a new set to be processed and delivered.
Find your best smile with Invisalign and Williams & Hamman Orthodontics
There’s no denying that the current pandemic has created challenges for all of us, but it doesn’t have to interfere with your goals for a healthier smile! Invisalign clear aligners make it easy to improve your oral health safely and effectively. Are you interested in learning more about this innovative treatment option? Contact our office today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Williams or Dr. Hamman and we’ll help you find out!