Everything You Need To Know About Clear Aligners

Here at Kottemann Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing you with the latest and safest orthodontic treatment options. We believe you should have as much information as possible when it comes to your treatment so you can make the best decision for your unique smile. That’s why we’re bringing you everything you need to know about clear aligners from Invisalign!

As Diamond Plus Invisalign providers, our expert team is able to offer teens and adults the same stunning results as traditional braces without using any metal brackets or wires. Clear aligners can be the perfect choice if you are looking for a more flexible treatment option, but what exactly is Invisalign? How does it work? To learn more about this innovative system, keep reading below! 

What are clear aligners? 

Invisalign doesn’t use any brackets, bands, or wires, but rather a series of removable clear aligners to move your teeth and give you a straighter smile. Each set of aligners is customized specifically for you with the help of 3-D computer imaging, which gives us a precise look at where the teeth are and where we want them to be. 

If you spend any time watching tv or online, you most likely know what aligners look like. While the design may look simple, there’s actually a lot that goes into those trays! Invisalign aligners are constructed of a special thermoplastic material that’s smooth enough to be comfortable but strong enough to move your teeth into alignment. When aligners are worn as directed by your orthodontist, they can be just as effective as traditional braces at treating many of the most common orthodontic issues.

How does Invisalign work?

The first step in any orthodontic journey is an initial consultation with an experienced dentist or orthodontist. When you schedule your free Invisalign consultation with Kottemann Orthodontics, one of our doctors will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and jaws. If you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan for you, built around your specific needs, preferences, and goals. 

This plan will include all the movements we want your teeth to make and an estimate of how long we expect treatment to take. We may even be able to give you a sneak peek of what your new smile will look like once treatment is complete! We’ll then begin the process of designing your aligners using the 3D scan of your teeth and gums as our guide. 

Because they’re custom-designed, the aligners will fit firmly but comfortably over your teeth. For them to work properly, you must wear your aligners for at least 20-22 hours every day throughout the course of treatment. They should only be removed to eat, drink anything other than water, and to brush and floss. Failure to follow these recommendations can result in longer treatment times and subpar results.  

Clear aligners should be switched out for the next in the series every one to two weeks to keep up with the movements your teeth are making. We’ll schedule follow-up visits for you every 6-10 weeks or so to check that everything is progressing as it should be. Every case is different and every patient responds to treatment in their own way, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer as to how long treatment is likely to take. On average, however, most Kottemann Orthodontics patients tend to wear anywhere from 24-36 aligners over a 9-15 month timeframe.


What are the benefits of clear aligners?

It’s not surprising that what patients love most about Invisalign is the fact that the aligners are discreet and removable. However, there are many other advantages to this innovative system! These benefits include:

Zero food restrictions

The food restrictions that come along with braces are often the toughest parts of treatment. Crunchy or chewy foods can break or damage the wires and brackets, so its important to avoid them until your braces are removed. While the end result is definitely worth it, having to eliminate some of your favorite foods for months on end can be frustrating. Unlike braces, which are a fixed appliance, Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed every time you eat. That means you’re free to enjoy all the treats you normally would as long as you brush and floss when you’re finished. 

Easy to maintain a good oral hygiene routine

We should all do our best to keep our teeth and gums healthy and clean, but this is even more important if you’re an orthodontic patient. It can sometimes be tough with braces, with the nooks and crannies that make it easy for bacteria to hide and multiply. With Invisalign, keeping your teeth free of pesky food particles and harmful plaque is easy! The clear aligners are designed to be removed before you brush and floss, making it simple to maintain a great oral hygiene routine. There are also special kits made specifically for cleaning Invisalign aligners, or you can brush them with a soft toothbrush and denture crystals. 

Convenience and flexibility 

For Kottemann Orthodontic patients who regularly participate in sports, Invisalign can be a game-changer! The aligners can be removed before practice and games and replaced with a mouthguard to keep the mouth safe. They’re also great for musicians who play certain types of instruments since they can be taken out for short periods of time, such as the duration of a concert. And when it comes to special occasions like weddings, prom, and senior pictures, Invisalign aligners can be removed to allow your natural smile to shine through!


Invisalign aligners are the clear winner at Kottemann Orthodontics

Kottemann Orthodontics is proud to offer Invisalign to patients in Chaska, Maple Grove, Orono, and Plymouth! Once you have everything you need to know about clear aligners, you can make the best decision for your unique smile. Schedule a FREE consultation with our team today and start your journey to a straighter smile!