How Does Invisalign Work?

Team Invisalign

It’s easy to see why so many people choose Invisalign treatment—clear aligners are discreet, comfortable, and convenient, allowing patients to achieve a beautiful smile without the hassle of traditional metal braces. Below, we answer some of the most common questions we hear about this innovative orthodontic solution.


How does Invisalign work?


Traditional braces use brackets and wires to push and pull the teeth into place. Invisalign is a completely different method of treatment that uses a series of clear plastic aligners to gently guide the teeth into their ideal positions.

The first step of Invisalign treatment is taking impressions of your teeth. These are used to create a 3D model of your bite. We use advanced software to map where we’d like your teeth to be once treatment is complete. You’ll receive between 20 and 30 sets of aligners; each set will get you closer to your final results. In most cases, patients wear a set of aligners for two weeks before moving onto the next.


How long do you have to wear Invisalign?


You’ll need to wear your Invisalign aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day for best results. Aligners only work when you wear them, so if you take them out often and leave them out for extended periods of time, you can expect your treatment to take longer.


Can you eat with Invisalign in?


One of the advantages of Invisalign over braces is that you can eat whatever you like with Invisalign—but you still need to take your aligners out before meals and snacks. You can leave your aligners in when drinking water, but when eating or drinking anything else, remove them first to keep your teeth healthy, clean, and free of decay.


Does Invisalign make your teeth yellow?


As long as you don’t eat with your aligners in, rinse or brush well after eating, and practice good oral hygiene habits (brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day), Invisalign won’t make your teeth yellow or cause any other kind of discoloration or stains.


Can you tell someone is wearing Invisalign?


Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. You can even take selfies and no one will notice that you’re wearing them. When talking to someone up close, they may notice your aligners if they’re looking carefully, but in most cases, your friends, coworkers, and classmates won’t realize you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign.


Do you need a retainer after Invisalign?


Yes, you’ll need to wear a retainer after you complete Invisalign treatment in order to maintain the results. Invisalign has their own brand of retainers, Vivera, which look similar to aligners, but the plastic used to make them is a bit thicker because they need to last longer. If you don’t wear your retainer as directed, your teeth may begin to shift back to their previous positions; this is called orthodontic relapse.


Learn More About Invisalign


If you’d like to discuss Invisalign with one of our doctors, contact us today at 310-530-9893 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.