Want straight teeth? It will probably require multiple appointments and a hefty financial commitment. But if you’re prepared for the expense and necessary upkeep, orthodontics is the way to go for a straight and sexy smile.
A popular orthodontic treatment, Invisalign uses a series of custom-made removable aligners that straighten teeth without metal or wires over a period of time. Other choices are American Orthodontics’ cosmetic self-ligating braces, which consist of clear brackets and a clip to hold the wire, and lingual braces, which are fitted to the backs of teeth.
The aligners are usually made to wear for two weeks before switching to the next in the series as teeth are continually shifted to achieve the desired final result. A commitment to a lifetime of wearing either a clear Invisalign retainer or a traditional retainer is essential. Initial shifting can happen as quickly as 24 hours without a retainer. Patients who fail to wear the retainer can expect an orthodontic relapse that will require additional treatments to correct. Initial shifting can happen as quickly as 24 hours without a retainer. However, a complete orthodontic relapse, which would require redoing the orthodontic treatment, might take several months or years depending on the patient.
“After a year or so, patients can experiment with taking the retainer out for a period of 24 hours. If it refits easily, they may try two days, but if it is tighter, then that means there is some muscle pull on the teeth to return them to a crowded position and therefore they can only take the retainer out for a limited amount of time,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS.
It might sound silly but Dr. Goldstein advises, “Never leave your aligners even for a minute where pets can get to them since dogs love to chew them up. This also applies to retainers.” If you do lose your aligners or retainer, see your dentist right away to avoid undoing any progress you may have already made toward a straighter smile.
For more information on maintaining your perfect smile, pick up the latest NewBeauty issue, on stands now.