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What Does Invisalign Do?

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Someone holding out a pair of Invisalign braces inside its designated holding case

A lot of people want to improve their smile but believe that traditional metal braces are their only option. Fortunately, that picture-perfect smile you dream of is achievable without them. You don’t have to be self-conscious about your Invisalign aligners because they’re nearly invisible.

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses a system of clear plastic trays or aligners that are customized to the user’s evolving bite to straighten teeth. 

The clear aligners are popular among adults and teenagers who want to straighten their teeth without the use of traditional metal-and-wire braces.

What is Invisalign?

The Invisalign system is custom-designed based on tooth molds. These BPA-free plastic aligners gently move your teeth into position by applying gentle pressure.

Patients are given new aligners every few weeks during their treatment. The wearer advances to the following tray as the teeth are pushed into position, gradually finishing the treatment regimen, and eventually developing a new smile. 

Whether you are a parent considering orthodontic treatment for your teen or an adult who has put off treatment for years, Invisalign is a viable and discreet option. There are no metal brackets or wires to distract from your smile.

Most orthodontists advise using Invisalign in minor to moderate orthodontic cases. It may be a good option for you if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crowding
  • Gaps

Even though Invisalign trays are not permanently attached to your teeth, they can work as fast as or faster than traditional braces. For a period of three to eighteen months, Invisalign users wear their aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, removing them only to eat and brush their teeth.


The comfort of wearing Invisalign aligners is one of the most common rationales for choosing them. You should be prepared for some minor discomfort as your teeth move because they are shifting into a new position, especially with the first set of aligners.

Over the course of a few days, the initial pressure that new aligners put on your teeth will gradually lessen and settle. 

A woman placing Invisalign braces on her top teeth

Invisalign vs Braces

Many of the problems that traditional braces correct can be addressed with Invisalign. The use of plastic aligners per the recommended course of treatment can result in noticeable changes. However, they do not work for everyone.

For aesthetic reasons, many adults dislike wearing metal braces, but this isn’t the only disadvantage of traditional braces. Invisalign comes with its pros and cons as well, it’s up to you and your dentist to decide what will work best for your needs.

Dental Hygiene

When it comes to dental hygiene, braces are usually a challenge because food gets stuck in the wires and brackets. It may take some time to adjust to eating and drinking while wearing metal braces. 

Food Restrictions

Food and beverages must be consumed with caution while wearing braces. Hard or sticky foods can cause the arch wire to break or a bracket to come loose from a tooth. When this happens, the braces will stop working until the break is repaired. The removable nature of Invisalign allows you to remove them while eating and brush/rinse off the Invisalign trays.

Complex Cases

Because braces can be more effective in certain cases, some complex orthodontic cases may be resolved faster with traditional braces rather than Invisalign. When deciding between braces and Invisalign, the cost of orthodontic treatment is also a deciding factor.

In some cases, traditional braces may be less expensive than Invisalign. However, it’s really dependent on the complexity of the problem, which will necessitate consultation with your dentist.

Self Discipline

The discrete appearance of Invisalign may be very alluring to adults and teenagers who have a tendency to be self-conscious, and its removability is also a big draw. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the patient is largely responsible for Invisalign’s success.

They won’t function if you are not strict about wearing them as instructed. You really don’t have a choice to wear or not if you have traditional braces!


A study published in 2019 in the journal BMC Oral Health found no statistically significant difference in outcomes between the use of clear aligners and conventional braces, though more research is required in this area.

In other words, the clear aligners worked just as well as traditional braces. Another factor in favour of Invisalign: Those who wore clear aligners experienced shorter average treatment times.

Will Invisalign Work For You?

People want straight teeth, but most don’t want to deal with the discomfort and lifestyle changes that traditional braces necessitate. When it comes down to it, Invisalign isn’t invisible, and it’s not a quick fix, but it has more advantages than just aesthetics.

Book your consultation online today at Outdoor Dental and discuss with your dentist if Invisalign will work for you!

Jay Patel

Written by
Dr. Jay Patel

Dr. Patel aims to provide Calgarians with comprehensive oral health care and preventive dental care focused on improving overall well-being. This shows in Dr. Patel’s focus on preventing diseases and achieving effective dental results through patient education and the use of advanced dental technology.

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Dr. Jay Patel

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