Invisalign in patients mouth

Invisalign offers patients an almost invisible approach to orthodontic treatment. Instead of the metal brackets and wires used with traditional braces, Invisalign uses customized trays to maneuver the teeth. These trays are worn for a minimum of twenty-two hours a day, however they can easily be removed during meals and when brushing or flossing.

These trays are made from SmartTrack®, which is a highly elastic material that applies gentle, but constant resistance to the teeth, causing them to gradually shift into an optimal position. Over the course of Invisalign treatment, a series of these aligner trays will be worn to achieve the desired results. Each tray will generally be worn for about two weeks.

Woman gently biting down on clear aligners against a pink background

Did You Know?

A recent study found that 70% of Americans feel that changing one thing about their appearance would make them more confident. Out of this, 8 in 10 adults agreed that straight teeth is important to boosting their confidence.


Frequently Asked Questions:


Is Invisalign right for me?

Invisalign may be right for you if you’re looking for orthodontic treatment that is barely noticeable and can treat overbite, under bite, cross bite, gap teeth, and overcrowding. To determine if Invisalign is the best treatment option for you, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at Bethesda Family Dentistry today!

Types of Malocclusion

How does treatment with Invisalign work?

Prior to receiving Invisalign treatment, our dentists will conduct a consultation to determine the course of treatment. At this consultation, they will use an electric scanner to obtain images of your mouth that will be used to fabricate your aligners for treatment. Once your aligners have been fabricated, you will return to our office to pick them up and ensure they are the right fit.

Once your Invisalign treatment has officially begun, you will need to wear your aligners everyday for a minimum of twenty-two hours a day. Ideally, you will only remove your aligners when eating, brushing, or flossing. You will have to visit our office approximately once every six to eight weeks in order to have your progress monitored and to pick up your next set of aligners. Generally, you will need to switch out your aligners once every week or two, unless directed otherwise by our dentists.


What are SmartForce attachments?

SmartForce attachments are used when your aligners need to exert more force on a particular area. They help to execute drastic movement to avoid the need for traditional metal braces. SmartForce attachments are small, tooth-colored shapes that sit on the surface of your teeth. When used with aligners, they are hardly noticeable. Depending on your individual case, you may or may not need to use SmartForce attachments.


How long do I have to use Invisalign for?

Most people who undergo Invisalign treatment use Invisalign for about 12-18 months. However, this can be different for everyone, since the length of treatment depends on your individual case. When you come into Bethesda Family Dentistry for your consultation, our dentists will be able to offer you a more precise time frame for how long you will need to use Invisalign for.


Does Invisalign treatment hurt?

Patients who have used Invisalign do not generally report pain, however they do express feeling mild discomfort when wearing new aligners due to the pressure being exerted on their teeth. This discomfort usually fades quickly once your teeth have adjusted to the pressure and over the counter pain medications can be taken in the meantime, if needed. One key benefit of Invisalign is that the trays will not rub or irritate your mouth like traditional braces would have.


Clear aligners sitting in their protective case

Will I have to make any lifestyle changes while using Invisalign?

The good news is that Invisalign does not require you to make any lifestyle changes in terms of your diet. Since your remove Invisalign when eating, there is no chance of them being damaged by certain foods like traditional braces.

However, there are a few lifestyle changes you will have to make while using Invisalign. The most important change is to brush your teeth after meals and drinks to keep them and your aligners clean. You will also need to rinse and carefully brush your aligners every night to keep them clean. Of course, this is in addition to brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day.

You will also need to take care to protect your aligners from becoming broken. The easiest way to do this is to simply keep them in their protective case when they are not in your mouth. Also, when cleaning them, you will need to avoid hot water because the heat will cause them to change shape and negatively affect your treatment.


Is Invisalign expensive?

The cost of Invisalign treatment will depend on the amount of treatment needed. Contrary to popular belief, Invisalign is about the same cost as traditional braces. Depending on your dental insurance, you may also be able to receive some type of coverage. In addition, there are also monthly payment plans that can help finance your Invisalign treatment.


Vivera retainer on black background

What happens when Invisalign treatment is over?

Once your Invisalign treatment comes to an end, you will need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting back. You can opt for the traditional wire retainer, although Invisalign also offers the Vivera retainers which are as discreet as Invisalign treatment. When your first finish Invisalign treatment, you will most likely need to wear your retainer full-time, however you may eventually be able to gradually transition to only wearing it at night.


For a qualified, experienced, and caring approach to Invisalign, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at either our Fernwood Bethesda Family Dentistry office in Bethesda or our Executive Bethesda Family Dentistry office in North Bethesda.