1234 19th Street Northwest Suite 604 Washington, DC 20036

Invisalign Washington, DC

Do you want to treat your crooked teeth? Are you looking for an alternative to metal braces? Invisalign can help. Modern Invisalign treatment uses clear aligners to straighten crooked and misaligned teeth. This cosmetic dental treatment benefits patients with mild to moderate orthodontic problems who want a discreet treatment option. Dr. Christopher Banks is a cosmetic dentist who offers Invisalign treatment in Dupont Dental, his Washington, DC office.

Invisalign in Washington, DC

Why Choose Invisalign Over Metal Braces?

Metal braces are the traditional method for straightening crooked teeth. They use metal brackets and wires to move your teeth into alignment. One of the main reasons patients go for Invisalign is that they have clear plastic aligners that aren’t visible on the teeth. You can’t hide metal braces, and they can make you feel self-conscious when you’re out in public. Invisalign boosts self-esteem and allows patients to smile with confidence.

Metal mechanisms protruding from your teeth are uncomfortable. The brackets and wires rub against the soft tissue of your cheeks and lips and can pinch your soft tissues in certain places. You need to use wax or other products to prevent this from occurring, often needing to reapply multiple times throughout the day. Invisalign aligners fit tightly to your smile, so they can’t pinch anything. They’re made of soft, smooth plastic that’s comfortable in your mouth and doesn’t irritate gums and other soft tissues.

Another positive is that you can remove your Invisalign aligners. You can eat all the foods you normally would without worrying about issues. Chewy and hard foods are limited when you have metal braces because they can break the wires or get caught, so you cannot remove them easily. You also don’t have to learn how to brush around brackets and wires. Since the aligners come out, you brush and floss your teeth normally.

Lastly, Invisalign treatment is often quicker and cheaper than metal braces. On average, Invisalign takes 12-18 months versus years for braces. You also don’t have to visit the office as often for checkups. With metal braces, you have to come in every month to tighten wires, which is what moves your teeth. Since you change your aligners at home, you can have fewer checkups to ensure treatment is proceeding correctly.

Invisalign in Washington, DC

Before Invisalign treatment, Dr. Banks ensures that patients are healthy. Dr. Banks will address outstanding dental problems like gum disease or tooth decay before recommending Invisalign. He also utilizes treatment planning to create custom aligners. We perform a thorough exam to ensure that Invisalign is best for you. Invisalign treats mild to moderate orthodontic concerns. If you have a more severe case, we may have to refer you to a trusted orthodontist for more extensive treatment.

When you wear Invisalign braces, you know what to expect through the process because the treatment uses a computerized plan. This plan helps you understand how long you’ll wear the aligner trays before putting a set on. You’ll also see a preview of what your smile will look like when treatment is complete.

Dr. Banks takes and sends impressions of the teeth to a lab, where technicians fabricate the Invisalign aligners out of durable, clear plastic. Each set of aligners is different as they gradually shift the teeth into the proper position. Dr. Banks will keep track of your progress, although he will not require as many in-office visits as is required with metal braces.

Once you complete the Invisalign treatment, Dr. Banks will provide you with a retainer. Wearing a retainer keeps the teeth straight and prevents orthodontic relapse. At first, you will need to wear the retainer constantly. After several months, you must only wear the retainer at night. 

Caring for Invisalign Aligners

If you want your aligners to work correctly, you must properly care for them. Rinse them with warm or cool water each time you take them out of your mouth. This removes saliva buildup and any debris that’s accumulated in them. Never use hot water to care for your aligners; it can warp the plastic.

At least once daily, thoroughly clean your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and either non-abrasive toothpaste or mild soap. If you use harder bristles or abrasive chemicals, it can damage the aligners. Bacteria can get into the scratches, making things harder to clean and more dangerous. Regular cleaning prevents bacteria from building up in your aligners. Harmful bacteria can make you extremely sick or even kill you.

At least once weekly, deep clean your aligners. Soak your aligners for the instructed amount of time using a specified aligner cleaner or a non-alcoholic mouthwash solution. This soak sterilizes your aligners, removing any bacteria that have hung on through daily cleanings. It also eliminates odors caused by food and bacteria.

When you dry your aligners, ensure they’re in a well-ventilated area. Never put them in a case without ventilation, as bacteria thrive in warm, wet environments. Store them in a ventilated case whenever you’re not wearing them. If you’re eating, take them out and put them in a napkin; you risk throwing them away with your garbage when finished. A case ensures you always know where your aligners are.

Lastly, never store them in direct sunlight or a very hot area. Since they’re plastic, they can warp and melt, compromising your treatment. If they don’t fit properly, they aren’t going to straighten your teeth properly, making your treatment take longer.

Straighten Your Smile

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of Invisalign treatment? Call our office for comfortable Invisalign treatment today at (202) 946-4720 or request a dental consultation with us online.