Invisalign has been improving smiles for more than 20 years.

While Invisalign is becoming an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment, there is still a lot of misinformation about this new technology. Most people are familiar with the traditional metal braces that have been used for decades to straighten teeth, so they are naturally a little skeptical when told that clear aligners can now be used to deliver the same results. To help clear up misconceptions about Invisalign and help you decide if this teeth straightening treatment is right for you, we have put together a list of common myths along with the actual facts.

Myth #1: Teeth straightening is just a cosmetic procedure.

It is true that having your teeth straightened will improve your smile and help you feel more comfortable and confident, but using Invisalign provides benefits that go well beyond cosmetic concerns.

Fact: Crooked teeth can cause other health problems.

Crowded and crooked teeth tend to be harder to clean. This can cause plaque and bacteria to become trapped, which will accelerate tooth decay, gum disease and potentially lead to tooth loss. Misaligned teeth will also have abnormal wear patterns and can cause jaw pain. All of this puts unnecessary stress on the teeth, gums and supporting bones.

Correcting crooked teeth can help realign the jaw and make it easier to thoroughly clean teeth and gums while also creating a beautiful smile.

Myth #2: Straightening my teeth means wearing braces for years.

For years, metal braces have been the standard in orthodontic care. When you think of teeth straightening, the first thing you probably picture are metal brackets and wires attached directly to your teeth. While this method is still highly effective and widely used, it isn’t your only option.

Fact: Invisalign offers an alternative to braces.

Invisalign provides a high-tech alternative to metal braces. This system uses the latest technology to create a 3-D scan of your mouth. This data is then used to map out the gradual movement of your teeth and generate an image of what your smile will look like after the treatment so that you can preview the results and know what to expect. Your dentist will be able to create a step-by-step plan using clear, customized aligners.

Every four weeks or so, you will return to the dentist to check your progress and receive your next set of discreet aligners. Keep in mind that you will want to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day to allow them to do their work properly. Expect to use Invisalign for 12 to 18 months for optimal results.

Myth #3: Invisalign isn’t as effective as braces.

It is hard for some people to believe that plastic aligners can deliver the same results as metal braces. However, Invisalign uses patented technology and unique Smart-Trac material to provide strong and effective aligners.

Fact: Invisalign can straighten teeth as well as braces.

The main difference between Invisalign and braces is that they take on different cases. The metal construction moves teeth more quickly, but this can also result in more pain and discomfort. In addition, Invisalign clear aligners are practically invisible, so no one will know that you are even wearing them. If you are a good candidate for Invisalign, your treatment should be just as fast or faster than the typical length of time in traditional orthodontic treatments—typically Invisalign takes less than twelve months.

Myth #4: Invisalign is a temporary solution.

Again, people assume that the aligners simply aren’t that effective and that their teeth will go back to their original position once the treatment has ended.

Fact: Invisalign provides a permanent teeth-straightening solution.

As with any orthodontic treatment, your dentist will recommend that you wear a retainer after the treatment has ended to prevent further shifting of the teeth. How long and how often you have to wear the retainer depends on your individual needs. The good news is that today’s retainers are clear and comfortable for an invisible look that will help maintain your new smile.

Myth #5: Teeth straightening is for teenagers.

While it is true that dentists and orthodontists will try to treat crooked teeth at a young age, the benefits of a straighter smile aren’t limited to teenagers and young adults. Because of the discreet nature of Invisalign, many more adults are opting to use it to achieve a straighter smile. This is especially beneficial for anyone whose career exposes them to the public eye frequently.

Fact: You are never too old to have your teeth straightened.

Once patients reach a certain age, they tend to become resigned to the way their teeth look and assume that their window of opportunity to have them corrected has simply passed. However, this simply isn’t the case. Invisalign and other teeth straightening procedures can be done at any age and provide a range of benefits. If you haven’t been happy with your smile, there is no time like the present to take action and start feeling more confident today.

Myth #6: Invisalign is too expensive.

Often times, patients settle for crooked teeth because they assume that treatment options are too expensive and that they will have to pay up front to get started.

Fact: Payment plans are available.

Just as with braces and other dental procedures, dentists offer payment plans and financing options to make Invisalign more accessible. All you have to do is talk to your dentist about options and find a strategy that works for you.

Don’t make the mistake of getting caught up in the myths surrounding Invisalign. Get the facts, understand your options and don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist with other questions and concerns. At Acorn Dental, our team is always ready to help and work with you to help you achieve the smile you have always dreamed of.