Sometimes dentists treat alignment problems when you are a teenager. Sometimes you aren’t able to fix them until you are an adult.
And sometimes you did fix your alignment issues as a teen, but your teeth start slowly drifting back to their original crooked positions.
In all of these situations, you want your teeth to be straight and stay straight.
Braces will work, but many people would prefer a more comfortable treatment options. If you are one of them, then Invisalign may be what you are looking for.
This treatment is available for patients in and around Billings, MT, at Legacy Smiles. Our dentist, Dr. Stuart, would be happy to take a look at your teeth to find out if Invisalign could (re-)straighten your teeth.
Why People Straighten Their Teeth
If you undergo orthodontic treatment, it is because you have one or more problems with your teeth. Alignment and bite issues are the primary reasons people seek this treatment.
Those problems can include:
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Teeth with gaps between them
- Teeth with crossbites
- Teeth with open bites
- Teeth with overbites
- Teeth with underbites
Some people even have a combination of issues that need to be addressed to make their teeth straighter. We know that straight teeth look nicer, but did you know that straight teeth tend to be healthier, too?
Straight teeth are easier clean. It’s easier to remove bacteria and plaque from all sides of your teeth when they are parallel and evenly spaced. This makes brushing and flossing more effective, which reduces your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Teeth Sometimes Shift On Their Own
Unfortunately, orthodontic care is not a 100 percent guarantee that your teeth will stay in that straight position for the rest of your life.
We have treated patients who had braces when they were younger. As they got older, their teeth started to shift back to their original positions. This is called orthodontic relapse.
This sometimes occurs in patients who did not wear a retainer as recommended or for the recommended amount of time after they completed their primary orthodontic treatment. (The time recommended will vary from patient to patient.)
The retainer is used to hold your teeth in their new position. This makes it more likely that they will stay there for the long term.
In other cases, changes in your alveolar bone (which holds the roots of your teeth) and in your gums can cause your teeth to drift out of their straight position.
Invisalign Can Work
Invisalign has proven to be effective on patients with mild to moderate alignment problems.
In many of these cases, Invisalign is often a faster treatment than traditional braces, which can take two years or more. Patients who can use Invisalign can often complete their primary treatment within 12 months.
Invisalign is different than braces in some important way.
First, braces use brackets, wires, and (sometimes) small rubber bands to push and pull your teeth. Invisalign uses plastic aligners to gently push your teeth where you want them to go.
Second, you can’t take your braces off until your treatment is complete. You will need to wear Invisalign for at least 22 hours per day, but that means you can take them out for up to two hours each day.
That’s plenty of time to eat your meals and to brush and floss your teeth.
Third, braces are visible as long as you wearing them. Invisalign aligners are transparent. You often can wear them without anyone knowing that you have them on your teeth.
Why Invisalign Helps With Relapse
As we mentioned, Invisalign is effective on mild to moderate problems. If your teeth are relapsing, that means that you had orthodontic treatment when you were younger.
Because of this, you will probably notice a problem before your teeth shift all the way back to their original position.
If you wore braces once before, you probably don’t want to wear them again. Invisalign can do the same job in less time and in a more convenient way.
When you are finished, you will need to wear a retainer. As long as you wear it like you should, you are less likely to have a repeat of this problem.
Keep Your Teeth In The Right Position
If you have noticed your teeth drifting out of their straight position, call Legacy Smiles dentist office in Billings, MT. With Invisalign, we can realign your teeth, and with a retainer, we can help keep them there.
To make an appointment, fill out our online form or call us at (406) 794-3114.