Category Archives: Invisalign

Will Invisalign Trays Stain My Teeth?

I’ll be using the Invisalign system soon to straighten my teeth. My friend is getting great results with hers, but I have a question: since the trays are worn all day every day for as many hours as possible, will I develop decay or staining from where the trays collect moisture and stuff? I’m trying to keep my teeth as white as possible, and I may want to professionally whiten them once I’m done with treatment. So I really don’t want stains. Is there any danger of this?

Thanks so much,
Jasmine

Hi Jasmine,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Great question–it sounds like you’ve thought this through. It is exciting to look forward to having a beautifully straight smile.

Invisalign Is A Great Choice

Instead of metal brackets, bands, and wires, Invisalign trays use clear aligners, which is obviously what so many people love about them. They are thin, clear and flexible, and comfortable enough to wear all day and they are invisible even at a conversational distance. Yes, they do have to be worn against the teeth for many hours a day, and even at night.

The good news is that the Invisalign system promotes much less staining than traditional “old fashioned” metal brackets do, which collected plaque around the edges and were more difficult to keep clean. The plastic material that the aligners are formed from does not pick up stains.

That being said, if the trays are not cleaned properly and regularly they can collect plaque, bacteria, and food debris, all of which can then collect stains. If allowed to rest against the teeth for many hours a day, this could transfer the stains to the enamel, or worse, demineralize the enamel and lead to decay. This is especially true if highly-staining foods are regularly eaten without frequent cleansing: foods such as beets, red wines, coffee, black tea, and the like. Use a straw, and rinse right after eating if you do take in these foods.

It Is Simple

You will not have this problem as long as you cultivate the habit of brushing and flossing well each time before placing clean trays into your mouth. Also, be sure to change your aligners as directed, ensuring a fresh start. If you do notice stained, white, or discolored areas on your teeth despite these measures, let your doctor know right away.

You Can Whiten Right Now

I have some more good news for you as well. Your Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This will allow you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time. All you need is some professional strength whitening gel that your dentist can provide for you. Simply wear the gel in your aligners at a time that is convenient for you and you will soon be sporting not just a straight smile, but a white one.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Will Snap on Smile Help with Crooked Teeth?

I am an adult with crooked teeth and I am trying to re-enter the workforce. It has been hard to clean my teeth because they are so crooked. I am wondering if the snap on smile I have read about would be able to make my teeth look straight and white so I have a better chance of getting a job? My dentist is suggesting porcelain veneers but that is a bit out of my budget. I have had several interviews for which I am more than qualified for but can’t seem to get the job. I asked a friend what she thinks is holding me back and she suggested my teeth could be a problem. So, would this snap on smile option work for me?

Patricia

Dear Patricia,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Your friend is probably onto something regarding your teeth having an impact on the way the interviewer perceives you. Our smile is the first thing people notice about us so we want to put our best teeth forward.

While it is possible that Snap-on Smile could make your teeth look straighter, it is very likely that it will also look fake and bulky. This is made of acrylic, which often ends up looking flat and dull. That will not be a natural look. Another issue is you are placing it on top of already crooked teeth. This adds bulk and will make your smile stick out a bit more. The bulk can also affect the way you speak, which can also negatively impact your performance and impression with the interviewer.

Instead of Snap-on Smile, I am going to suggest you do Invisalign. These will straighten your teeth without anyone knowing you have orthodontics on. Instead of the metal wires and brackets you get with traditional braces, Invisalign uses clear aligners that straighten your teeth in about half the time of braces. These aligners are invisible even at a conversation distance. This is done at a fraction of the cost of the porcelain veneers procedure your dentist suggested to you.

You can also ask your dentist to provide you with some professional strength teeth whitening gel. You can wear these in your aligners, which can double as teeth whitening trays, at a time convenient to you. This will give you a mini smile makeover by straightening and whitening your teeth simultaneously. Plus, whiter teeth give you a more youthful appearance which can also help you if you are re-entering the workforce after a period of time away.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

My Aligners are Curled

I did the stupidest thing and I am too embarrassed to ask my dentist about it. I’ve been wearing Invisalign and really like the treatment. However, I was going to lunch with some old college friends and one of them was someone I was always competing against. I didn’t want to take out my Invisalign in front of her, so I just took them out in the car and popped them in the glove box. I wasn’t thinking about it and we all went out to a movie afterward, then drinks. We carpooled, so by the time I got back to my car the aligners were warped and curled in the back. They fit snuggly. Can I just wear them like this or do I have to call my dentist? I just find it embarrassing.

Laura

Dear Laura,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Don’t be embarrassed. We’ve all left stuff in the car before that we probably shouldn’t. While very durable, one of the things that can be damaging to Invisalign aligners is prolonged exposure to heat. You do not want to keep wearing the curled aligners. The Invisalign procedure is based on small movements. You do not want drastic movements which will happen if you wear the deformed aligners and then go to the next set.

If you were just starting that pair of aligners, you can wear your previous pair a new set can be made for you. It’s possible you can go to the next set, but before doing that you really need to see your dentist and have him look at the situation. I know you feel embarrassed, but honestly, you do not need to. I promise you, things like this happen all the time and your dentist is not judging you.

Whitening While You Straighten

As you have to see your dentist anyway, I thought I’d fill you in on this hidden benefit to Invisalign. Your aligners can double as teeth whitening trays, allowing you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time. Your dentist can provide you with professional strength teeth whitening gel that you can just wear in your aligners at a time that is convenient to you each day. By the time you are done with your Invisalign treatment, you will have a mini smile makeover with straight, white teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Help! I Look Like a Chipmunk!

Can you advise me? I’m looking for a second opinion. My two front teeth are long and stick out a bit from the rest of my teeth. I always feel like my teeth make me look like a chipmunk. My dentist is suggesting I extract them and get dental implants, but I want to make sure there is not another option before I go that route.

Avery

Dear Avery,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Whatever you do, please do not have your teeth extracted. That is way too drastic a solution. I suspect your dentist said that because he doesn’t have any training or familiarity with cosmetic dentistry options for people in your place.

Bear in mind that I have not examined you. However, I do have some general advice. Though, I’d like you to see an expert cosmetic dentist and get his or her opinion. Look for someone who is AACD accredited.

One thing you can do is trim down the protruding teeth. This can be done with diamond burrs and diamond strips. A dentist skilled in this procedure can file them on the sides and bottom to make them match the remainder of your smile more appropriately.

The next step would be to move the front teeth back into place. You have a couple of options for this. The first is to get a retainer to move them back. The second would be to use Invisalign. That would be my suggestion.

If a lot of the tooth structure has to be removed in the trimming process, you may need porcelain veneers to cover the exposed dentin. The key to all this will be a great cosmetic dentist who looks at your specific case and makes recommendations. However, at least now you know you have good options and don’t have to remove your teeth and replace them with dental implants.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Can Invisalign Widen My Smile?

When I was younger, I needed orthodontic work. The dentist said I’d need a palette expander, but my parents thought that was too expensive so it never happened. Now, as an adult, I am stuck with all these problems with my teeth to deal with. I have a narrow bite and some crowding. I have heard some people say that Invisalign can actually help with this. Is that true or am I giving myself false hope?

Carolyn

Dear Carolyn,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Generally speaking, clear braces, such as Invisalign, can widen a smile, but you must remember that each case is unique and there are limitations. Much of this will depend on what shifting is necessary and how much space is available. Invisalign is planned by an advanced software program, so your dentist could run a simulation to show you what results you can expect before you make any decisions.

As I mentioned, there are limits. Your narrow palette could prove to be the biggest obstacle. Palettes are easily expandable when you are young because everything is still developing. Now that you are an adult and things are pretty much set, there is only so much movement possible. When dealing with overcrowding, especially in adults, dentists usually end up removing some teeth to make room for the proper placement.

I can’t give you specifics for your case and what is possible. My best advice to you would be to see two or three Invisalign certified dentists to get their recommendations for you specifically. Look at the computer simulations and decided which dentist you are most comfortable with.

I know it is frustrating when it would have been easier if your parents had handled this, but don’t be too hard on them. Money is finite and when there isn’t enough of it, you can’t just pull it out of thin air. They were probably doing the best they could.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Will Invisalign Correct Misalignment?

I have some misaligned teeth but feel too old for traditional braces. I asked my dentist about Invisalign and he said it does not correct misaligned teeth. I sort of have my doubts and felt like he just wanted to refer me to an orthodontist friend of his. So, I thought I would double-check with you guys whether it would be possible for me to use Invisalign.

Karen

Dear Karen,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

It sounds to me like either your theory is correct or possibly your dentist is just not open to new treatment options. As such, he may be completely unaware of what Invisalign is capable of.

My suggestion is that you get a second opinion from a dentist who has experience with Invisalign and let them look at your case. When Invisalign first came out, many years ago, it was only able to do the more ideal cases. These days, however, they can fix all but the most complicated cases.

If your dentist isn’t willing to keep up with the latest technologies in his field, he may not be the best dentist for you. You want the top treatment possible. Let’s say you lose a tooth and need to replace it. Will your dentist only offer removable partial dentures or does he know about dental implants, which give you a permanent, secure tooth?

I’m not telling you to switch dentists. However, I would advise you to take a good look at what your dentist offers and see if he is keeping up in his field.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Advice on Fixing One Crooked Tooth

I have one crooked tooth in the front that is well behind the other front tooth. So far behind you can barely see it. Dentists keep suggesting different things and I don’t know who to trust. One dentist said to get braces. Another suggested I just pull that tooth. Then there are all the pieces of advice in between. Would Invisalign even be a possibility for me?

Marie

Dear Marie,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

It used to be that Invisalign would only work on the more ideal cases. These days are different. Invisalign can work on all but the most complicated cases. Because of that, there is a great possibility that Invisalign will be a good solution for you.

They also have the added benefit of the aligners being able to double as teeth whitening trays, which means you can straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time, if that is something you are interested in.

Don’t let the dentist pull your tooth. First, if you left it as is, you would never look normal with a smile that is asymmetrical. If you wanted to replace the tooth with something like a dental implant, you would still need to open up the space with some type of orthodontics. In that case, why not keep your natural tooth structure?

If you decide not to go with Invisalign, another possibility is to use porcelain veneers. These will not actually straighten your teeth, but it will make them look straight,

Veneers are typically used by someone who wants a full smile makeover. That is because they can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth. If you decide to go that way, you will need an expert cosmetic dentist, like an AACD accredited dentist because your case is more complicated.

My suggestion, if the only thing that bothers you about your smile is that one crooked tooth, is to see a dentist who offers Invisalign. Let them examine you and they’ll be honest about whether or not you are a good candidate.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Could A Dental Flipper Make My Teeth Look Straight

I feel at 42 years old I am too old for braces, but my teeth are crooked and I’m tired of it. I wondered if a dental flipper could make my teeth look straight?

Kelsey

Dear Kelsey,

Invisalign aligner

I think you may be confusing a dental flipper with Snap on Smile. A dental flipper is a temporary means of replacing a missing tooth. It fills in the open gap with a fake tooth.

Snap-on Smile, on the other hand, is a fake smile that will snap over your existing one. However, they are made of acrylic, so will not look as natural looking as porcelain. Plus, because they snap over your teeth they can make your smile look a bit bulky. It’s mostly used for something like a job interview or photoshoot when you need straight teeth fast, but only temporary.

You do have an option for straightening your teeth that does not include braces. These days you can get your teeth straightened using clear aligners. The top brand that provides that is Invisalign. These truly are invisible even at a conversational distance, allowing you to straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing.

If you are looking for an instant straight smile. You can look into porcelain veneers. These are used for complete smile makeovers and can give you a brand new smile in just two appointments. They won’t straighten your teeth per se but can make them look straight.

The only “catch” is that while any dentist who chooses to can provide you with Invisalign, you will need a dentist with expertise in cosmetic dentistry to provide a beautiful smile for you with porcelain veneers. This does take post-doctoral training.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Closing a Tooth Gap

I asked my dentist about how I can close my tooth gap on my front teeth. It has always bothered me. He said we could do it with porcelain veneers. The price was a bit higher than I was expecting. Is that the typical way to solve this problem or do I have other options?

Melanie

Dear Melanie,

Invisalign aligners

You have a few options here. If the only thing you were wanting to change about your teeth is the gap, then I would consider porcelain veneers a major overtreatment. Veneers are designed for people who want a complete smile makeover. They can change anything and everything about your teeth, including the shape, size, and color. It is the procedure people use to get that Hollywood Smile.

That did not sound to me like what you needed. In that case, you have two much more affordable options. Your first is to simply use dental bonding. This uses a composite resin that the dentist will place and sculpt between the two teeth to fill in and close the gap. It does take an expert cosmetic dentist to do this well because it has to be done freehand, so I would not just let any dentist do that.

Another option is Invisalign (pictured above). This is the modern way of straightening teeth. Instead of metal wires and brackets that traditional braces use, this uses clear aligners, allowing you to straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing. It also has a hidden benefit where the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This means you can straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay with the procedure your dentist suggested.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Invisalign Versus Smile Care Club

I’ve been wanting to straighten my teeth for some time. I’ve been looking at Invisalign and was pretty excited about it. I almost have enough money. Today, I received an advertisement for Smile Care Club. This is less money and I could get it right away. Are there big differences between the two? Is it worth it to wait for the Invisalign?

Callista

Dear Callista,

Smile Care Club is a do-it-yourself copy of Invisalign that was founded in 2013. They operate under the same concept as Invisalign, though they switch aligners every three weeks, where Invisalign switches every two.

For some people, this works fine, but when it doesn’t there can be rather serious consequences. Even starting out there is a danger. Before you get Invisalign, your dentist will give you a complete examination to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy enough to make it safely through the treatment. The biggest concern is gum disease. If your teeth are being shifted with orthodontics while you have gum disease, you risk them coming loose.

The only examination you get with Smile Care Club is done through photographs you send in. That is not adequate enough for the dentist to get a true sense of your oral health. Plus, there will be no x-rays which will be important as well.

There are other things to consider. The human body is unpredictable and that includes our teeth. Sometimes teeth need some aditional room to get into their proper position. If there is a lot of crowding then the dentist may remove a couple of back teeth. If there is minor crowding, then there would only need to be some mild shaving of the sides of your teeth. While they will send you to one of their dentists if that is necessary, I would not want someone doing that who is not really invested in my case. They could mess up the look of your smile quite a bit.

Bottom line: While for many this will work out fine and they can save some money, when things do not go well, there can be pretty serious consequences.

One thing I might recommend is you talk to your dentist about your desire. He may let you pay out your Invisalign and allow you to get started right away.

There is a hidden benefit too. Your dentist can provide you with some teeth whitening gel. Your aligners can double as whitening trays. This will allow you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time, giving you a mini smile makeover at a fraction of the cost.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.