Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, the idea of getting braces can be a daunting one. Luckily, in many cases it is now possible to have the smile of your dreams without a mouth full of metal.

Invisalign braces are a fairly new treatment (first used in 2000), but have definitely proven themselves as a more appealing option for a lot of people. One of the questions we get most often from our patients is whether or not they qualify for Invisalign braces, so let’s get straight to it!

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of clear thermoplastic aligners that look similar to teeth whitening trays. Each series is custom-made to your treatment plan, and the number needed will vary from person to person. Mapped out ahead of time here at Kelowna Dental Solutions, each aligner will make a slight adjustment to the tooth position with the perfect placement of controlled force, moving certain teeth at a time. Each tray is typically worn for two weeks before switching to the next in the treatment series.  

How does the treatment compare to traditional braces?

Although both braces and Invisalign were designed to straighten your teeth, there are major differences (and pros and cons) between the two. Most are familiar with the idea of braces, which consist of metal brackets and attached by wires and rubber bands. You can get brackets that match the colour of your teeth, along with clear elastics, that can make them much more discreet. Treatments have also become much more fine tuned, so you won’t have to worry about too much pain after having your braces “tightened.”

Invisalign, on the other hand, were designed to be almost invisible and much more flexible. Whereas braces have to be worn 24/7 and can make eating certain foods and maintaining your oral health more difficult, Invisalign trays can be removed. They need to be worn for 22 hours a day, and it’s up to you to be diligent, but it does allow you to eat freely and brush and floss as you normally would.

Who can use Invisalign?

There are a variety of factors that come into play when determining whether Invisalign treatment or braces would be more effective on a case-by-case basis. The first is how crooked your teeth are. Invisalign can correct crowded or gapped teeth, and even an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, but depending on the severity it may not be applicable. The second factor is age. As the teeth continue to grow during early teenage years, younger patients may not be eligible.

You can take brief online Smile Assessment Test that can help you determine whether or not you are eligible. Of course, this test is not conclusive, and if you have any questions about Invisalign or braces, set up a consultation at Kelowna Dental Solutions and we will have you smiling your best smile in no time.


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