Straighten your teeth, reduce your waistline

If you’ve been looking into the various systems for getting your teeth straightened then you will, no doubt, have come across a system called Invisalign. This incredibly popular system has been used by over 4 million people. It doesn’t involve metal and wires but gumshield-like aligners that slip over your teeth and are almost invisible.

Many dentists offer Invisalign, and a good one to try in SW14 is Sheen Dental. Invisalign clear braces are somewhat different from the more well-known brackets and wire braces systems most often associated with teeth straightening. Invisalign uses transparent plastic trays, rather like mouth guards, that slide snugly over the teeth and are so thin that it is almost impossible to see them.

How do they work?

The aligners are 3D printed in the USA specifically for each patient, using measurements taken from impressions taken by their dentist. The impressions, along with x-rays and computer technology also help the lab calculate what way each tooth needs to move individually and in harmony with its neighbours to each reach its required alignment. From this, the laboratory then prints a series of aligner trays. Each one is an increment along from the previous one, producing pressure on the teeth to move them forward comfortably. Once the pressure wears off it’s time for the next one.

The patient wears each aligner for about 2 weeks and can expect to get through between about 12–48 aligners, depending on what needs to be done.

The other great thing about Invisalign is that the aligners are removable, avoiding issues with food getting stuck, as can happen with bracket and wire braces. You can leave them off entirely for a few hours if you have to attend an important social or professional event.

All this and lose weight if you need to

People often lose weight effortlessly when using Invisalign. This is because the aligners need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day and anything but water can discolour the clear plastic. Mindless snacking and endless coloured drinks are so much more hassle than before. This happy side effect has become known as ‘the Invisalign diet’ and people find Invisalign can help them permanently change their eating habits.