Invisalign®/Clear Aligners

Invisalign® consists of clear, removable aligners that straighten your teeth as an alternative to traditional braces. Many adult patients prefer Invisalign® for its aesthetic discretion. It offers flexibility for special occasions like weddings or birthdays. You can remove the Invisalign® aligner or other clear aligners during the day and reinsert them at night, which helps adults navigate some common challenges.

 

Our Product Quality Guarantee – We are selective and trust in the products we use and will replace fractured aligners at no charge to you, if required.

Some other common questions our patient seek are listed below.

Can Clear Aligners or Invisalign® achieve the same result as braces?

This needs to be examined on a case by case basis. There are certain medical and dental teeth conditions where clear is better suited for a patient than braces.

If there are large spaces to close, braces can be more effective. There are some cases where we use a combination of clear and braces to speed up treatment time and to keep the tooth movements very precise; the braces are only usually attached to the back teeth and hence not seen when talking and smiling.

In the instance that braces are better suited to treating your condition, we’ll discuss this with you at your initial consultation and also provide some other options which may interest you, clear braces or lingual braces, which are braces that sit on the inside of your teeth.

How do Clear Aligners/ Invisalign® compare to braces?

The clear aligners/ Invisalign® are removed when eating thereby allowing maximum flexibility with eating. This differs from fixed braces where care with eating is required and hard foods have to be avoided or modified in the way they are eaten ie: cutting apples into wedges before they are consumed.

In addition, the clear aligners are removed when cleaning your teeth, making this process a breeze compared to tooth brushing and using floss with braces.
Unlike braces, the clear aligners do not have any projecting hooks, and are thinner than the width of the mini-braces that we use, so our patients universally find clear to be a very comfortable appliance, more so than braces.

Will Clear Aligners affect my speaking?

There can be some slight speech changes with the ‘s’and ‘th’sounds after the clear aligners or Invisalign® are first fitted. This quickly returns to normal within a few days as the aligners mainly only cover your teeth surfaces and do not extend onto the gums. If you are concerned with this aspect, you may arrange to have the 1st series of the clear aligners fitted at the end of your work week.

What is a Clincheck?

With the clear option, we are able to estimate what your new smile will look like at any particular point in time, prior to the actual clear aligners or Invisalign® being made. This is through the Clincheck- a computerized sequential projection of the planned teeth movements, which we will send to you, which shows the position and duration of any tooth coloured attachments, elastics, projected outcome and the need for any auxiliary orthodontic treatment.

I am looking for the fastest treatment time possible, what are my options?

There are some options that Dr. Chang or our Treatment Coordinators can discuss with you at your consultation. An appliance called a BitePod/Accelerdent is a vibrating mouthpiece that can help to reduce treatment duration with your aligners, as well as reducing the discomfort associated with changing your aligners. The vibrating mouthpiece also helps to seat the aligners better, which ensures your treatment continues to track smoothly and on time.

invisalign aligners
spark aligners
suresmile aligners

 

What happens if I break or lose my Invisalign®/ Clear Aligners?

Accidents happen; we get it.

If you lose or break your aligner, kindly call the practice and we can inform you of the best course of action. We’re also available on Facebook to message; through this method, you’ll be able to send a photo. Link to facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SmilesandFaces/

We don’t recommend moving on to your next aligner or back to a previous one until we can gauge how many days you’ve been in your current aligner, try to establish how the fit was and a couple of other factors, so before proceeding, please speak to one of our friendly staff .

Remind me again.. What do I do?

Everyone’s orthodontic journey is unique, so these instructions are general and apply to most patients. If they don’t match what you’ve been told, don’t worry. And remember, if you have any questions, our friendly staff are always here to help.

Typical Invisalign® Instructions:

  • Wear each clear aligner/ Invisalign® for 22 hours a day
  • Remove your aligners to eat and drink, unless its plain cold water
  • Use your chewies daily, especially at the start of a new aligner
  • If your aligners aren’t in your mouth, put them in your case. This will prevent accidental loss of aligners, i.e. getting wrapped in tissues/napkins and being thrown out
  • Keep all your old aligners in a safe place
  • Clean your aligners with liquid handsoap, a whitening mouthwash or a ‘Polident’ denture cleaning tablet. Only clean your aligners with cold water, as hot water can disfigure them
  • Where possible brush and floss your teeth before placing your aligners in after eating

Tips on Keeping Your Aligners Clean

It is important to stay on top of cleaning your clear aligners/ Invisalign® to keep them clean and prevent them from staining or turning yellow and getting bad odour. Cleaning your aligners well will also help your teeth and mouth to stay healthy.

Here are some tips on how to clean your aligners:

  • Make sure that you brush your teeth at least 2 times a day and floss daily.
  • It is also best to brush your teeth and your aligners after each meal. If food and plaque are trapped in your teeth and aligners, there is a risk of getting tooth and gum problems as well as bad breath. So it is a good idea to keep them clean all the time.
  • Use Listerine Whitening Mouthwash and cold water to brush and clean your aligners. This mouthwash will prevent your aligners staining or turning yellow. It also contains hydrogen peroxide which destroys bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • If you find you’re out and about at work/school/travelling, it’s a good idea to bring along a spray bottle (you can buy this at the shops as part of a travel kit). Fill it up with the Listerine Mouthwash. To clean your aligners, simply spray your aligners and brush it if you have your brush with you, otherwise rinse it with cold water. Again this will help prevent malodour or bad breath especially that you wear your aligner for about 22hrs per day.
  • Use a cleansing denture tablet such as Polident Denture Cleanser once a week. The Polident Fresh Active Express tablet can clean your aligners in 3 minutes, keeping your aligners clean and fresh.
  • For a demonstration of how to clean your aligners, watch a video of this here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY0_-XM1GTE
 

3 Tips to Finish Your Treatment On Time

Remember, your aligners are custom-made and typically change every 2 weeks. You should remove them while eating and then put them back on immediately.

Teenagers and young adults often ask us how they can speed up their orthodontic treatment to complete their Clear Aligner treatment on schedule.

 

1. Full Time Wear ie: 22 Hours a Day

So in regards to in the invisible braces treatment, the first tip, and probably one of the most important tip: Wearing the aligners fulltime. It is recommended that you wear them for 22 hours a day; which only really allows you to take them out when you are eating or brushing your teeth. If you like eating small but frequent snacks, you can keep your aligners in when you are eating.

If you are finding it a bit awkward removing the aligners before eating and then putting them back in again, you may eat with the aligners in. Sometimes with the aligners, particularly when you have the hard crunchy foods you would have to be a bit more wary, because they could potentially crack your aligners. Other than that, if you are having a sandwich, pasta or a stir-fry, you could keep your Invisalign® aligners in. They are generally changed every 2 weeks, so the risk of them cracking or breaking, even if you eat with them in, is low. You may find though that when you eat or drink any coloured foods/liquids the fluids can go beneath the aligner so you may need to excuse yourself and take out the aligners and rinse them before you put them back in.

What happens if I do not make the 22 hours a day?

Many of our young adult patients with busy lives may occasionally need to remove their aligners for significant events. In such cases, it’s crucial to compensate by extending the wear time of the current aligner before moving to the next one. If you wear the aligners for less than 22 hours on any day, add an extra day to the wear time of that aligner. Ensure you never wear them for less than 12 hours to avoid disrupting your teeth’s intended movement.

 

2. Using aligner chewies

Now in regards to the second must have tip to completing your aligner treatment on time: Aligner chewies. For those that are considering aligner treatment, aligner chewies are basically like chewing gum but they don’t degrade, they are ”chewing gum” in the shape of a cotton roll. They don’t absorb saliva so they are easy to wash after you use. You really want to use these aligner chewies for 10-20 minutes every evening, particularly in that first week when you change your new set of aligners. After you use each chewy, just rinse it out with some water and put it back inside the bag. Because they are essential to the progress of your clear aligner treatment, we provide them as part of your orthodontic treatment.

 

3. Using elastic bands as requested by your Orthodontist

The final tip involves following instructions for wearing any elastic bands. These bands stretch from top to bottom, typically attaching to the aligner or buttons on your back teeth. Not everyone needs to wear them; we’ll discuss this during your Clincheck appointment. The bands help move your teeth. Usually, you’ll wear them full-time at the start of aligner treatment. With proper use, we might reduce this to part-time, or you might not need them at all.

 

To sum it up, the three tips to completing aligner treatment on time:

  • Wearing the clear aligners/ Invisalign® full-time (22 hours a day)
  • Using the aligner chewies to help the aligners fit very snugly around the teeth
  • For patients needing to wear elastics, it’s important to wear them as directed, usually around the clock.

Retainers: Life after Invisalign® or Clear Aligners

We generally provide Fixed and Removable Orthodontic Retainers as part of your orthodontic treatment. After we issue your retainers, we follow you up for another 12 months to make sure that the retainers are fitting well, all intact and that your teeth have not moved.

Fixed Retainers

Our Oral Health Therapists bond or “glue” fixed retainers, which are permanent wires, to the inner surface of the front teeth, making them invisible. They effectively prevent your teeth from shifting since they’re permanently in place. These retainers are comfortable, and with regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings, they’re unlikely to cause tooth or gum disease. At your retainer check-ups, we’ll ensure your fixed retainers remain secure.

fixed retainer
fixed retainers
 

Removable Retainers


On top of the fixed retainer, we also provide clear removable retainers that fits over the entire arch of the teeth. They are easy to wear and are nearly invisible! It is important that these retainers are worn as instructed. They must be worn frequently enough and for long enough to keep the retainers fit comfortably. If they are left out of the mouth for too long, teeth will sometimes start to move and if this occurs, some discomfort or tightness may be experienced the next time the retainer is worn. In this case, retainers must be we worn more often and should be checked for fit in our office.

 
 

We Want You to have that Smile for Life!

Who wouldn’t want to maintain their straight teeth and smile for life? You’ve put in a lot of effort during your orthodontic treatment, so wearing your retainers as instructed and going to your retainer check-ups are crucial to ensure everything stays on track.

With proper care, your removable retainers can last several years. However, they can wear out or break over time and will need replacement. We’ve seen patients lose their retainers, sometimes while on vacation or to pets chewing on them. Keeping a spare set of retainers is a smart move to ensure your teeth stay aligned.

Regarding wisdom teeth: “Can I Keep ‘Em??”

Firstly, check if you have wisdom teeth. Not everyone has all four; some may have fewer.

Having wisdom teeth isn’t always a problem; you might not need to remove them if there’s enough space in your jaw for them to emerge fully and become functional for eating.

If your jaw lacks space, your wisdom teeth might become ‘impacted.’ When impacted teeth cause pain, removal is often the best solution. However, we’ll make this decision together, considering your unique situation.

Please speak to one of our Orthodontists for the treatment that is best for you.

I Grind my Teeth… What are my options?

*This is the audio version of the transcript if listening is a preference over reading.

After braces are removed, removable clear plastic retainers are issued as part of your treatment to help keep the teeth straight. In some instances, a Retainer Splint may be recommended by Dr. Chang. This is ideal particularly for patients who grind or clench their teeth. Some signs and symptoms of grinding or clenching include making teeth noises at night, waking up with tender jaw muscles or headache in the morning and worn down teeth. Teeth that continue to wear down from the force of grinding and clenching are at risk of becoming sensitive overtime, and may be prone to fracture. Jaw joint problems may also develop from grinding and clenching.

The Retainer Splint, crafted from sturdy acrylic, is perfect for long-term use to shield teeth from wear due to grinding and clenching. It also helps to keep the teeth straight. Dr. Chang will advise you if this is suitable for you or your child.

Retainer Splint

If you are concerned about grinding or clenching or experience any jaw pain or discomfort, please do not hesitate to approach our staff or contact us on 8814 9941 or [email protected].  We can provide you with tips and guide you to get the treatment you need.

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