Do you remember the kid you knew in school who always tried to smile with a closed mouth? The one who always seemed to hang back and tried to be invisible? Were you that kid? There were usually two reasons for the ‘closed-mouth’ smile: bad teeth or wire-and-steel braces correcting bad teeth. Many of those kids retained those feelings of insecurity even after becoming adults. Their self-confidence had been battered for too many years to fully recover.
Today’s teens (and adults also) don’t need to feel embarrassed about their smile. How wonderful it would be to see them let loose with a great, bit happy grin! The best news of all is that they while they are working on that huge, happy smile, no one has to know. There won’t be any wires in their mouth, no metallic glinting on their teeth. They won’t have to worry about foods that they can’t eat and confusing dental care procedures. Normal daily dental hygiene will be enough. All they have to do is smile.
Invisalign braces are the answer for many modern teens and adults with less-than-perfect smiles. This is an overview of the process:
First, find a dentist who is experienced with Invisalign; not all dentists are. The doctor will determine if the patient is a good candidate; not all people are. The process, costs, expected duration and other factors will be discussed in detail.
A digital 3-D image of the teeth will be created. This will be used to formulate a customized treatment plan for the patient. It will illustrate how the teeth will gradually move into the desired positions and how long this will take. This time varies for teens, but is normally about a year for adults.
The teeth are straightened using custom-made clear ‘almost invisable’ aligners developed in accordance with the treatment plan. In the past, metal braces used to irritate the unfortunate wearer’s teeth and gums. In contrast, these clear plastic aligners are smooth and comfortable. They are worn except when eating or brushing and flossing. Gradually, the teeth start to shift into place.
About every two weeks, a new aligner will replace the old one as the teeth gradually move closer to their final positions. Routine checkups with the doctor every few weeks will keep track of the progress. For best results, the aligners should be worn 20-22 hours a day. This isn’t difficult since they are comfortable and few will even notice they are being worn.
That’s it! Enjoy the new smile! Ask your dentist if a retainer (made with the same technology as the aligners) would be a good idea to ‘lock in’ the new smile.
Dr. Joshika Kanabar is the most popular orthodontist and Invisalign specialist in Dallas. At Walnut Central Orthodontist, she offers a free initial examination to anyone who’d like to find their ‘real’ smile. If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign in Dallas, call her office for an appointment.