Category Archives: Invisalign

Can an older adult use invisalign?

My granddaughter came over the other day for lunch. I noticed she pulled out these clear things out of her mouth to eat. I asked her about it and she said they were braces. I thought that was super. I have always wanted to straighten my teeth but didn’t want a mouth full of metal cutting up the inside of my mouth, especially at my age.

Lavinia

Dear Lavinia,

Invisalign Aligner
Invisalign was designed for adults

While Invisalign has become quite popular with the teen set, it was originally designed for adults who have professional obligations and don’t want to have a mouth full of metal at work.

So, yes, if your bite is a candidate, you are NOT too old to have Invisalign. It used to be that only certain cases were good candidates, but it has made quite a few advancements and now even challenging cases can qualify.

Advantages of Invisalign

Aside from avoiding the metal, you’ll find they work faster than traditional braces. This will allow you to get your smile in tip-top form even faster.

If you’re are interested, the aligners can also double as teeth whitening trays. Then, you can straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time. Your smile can look like your 20 years old again.

Because they’re removable, there are no restrictions on what you can eat and drink at meals. You simply take off the aligners, eat your meal, brush and floss normally and put the aligners back in when you’re done.

An Invisalign Precaution

Make sure you limit things like coffee or alcohol to when you’re having a meal. You don’t want to drink them with your aligners in. The liquid will pool in your aligner and will eat away at your enamel.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Invisalign and the Flu

I have the flu. I know I have to throw away my toothbrush. Do I also have to throw away my aligners? I would really hate to do that. They’re way pricier than my toothbrush. Is there a way to disinfect them? If I have to throw them away do I just go to the next set?

Lucy

Dear Lucy,

Invisalign Aligner

I’m very sorry you have the flu. You probably feel miserable right now. At least I have some good news for you. You do NOT have to throw away your Invisalign aligners. Your body is already developing antibodies to the strain of the flu you’ve developed. Simply cleaning your aligners as you normally would is sufficient.

If you’re worried about it anyway and want to disinfect them or if you’ve been vomiting, then you can let them soak in vinegar for about ten minutes and then rinse them out thoroughly afterward. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant.

Hydration and Invisalign

It’s always important to stay hydrated. That becomes even more essential when you are sick. Often, when people have a virus they purchase electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade. It makes sense. You need to replenish those nutrients, especially if you’re vomiting.

A word of warning, though. These type of drinks often have sugar in them. You’ll need to immediately rinse out your aligners after drinking them. Otherwise, the drink will pool in your aligners and eat away at your tooth enamel. That will quickly lead to decay.

While it’s okay to drink Gatorade, make sure you are mostly drinking water while your aligners are in. This way you won’t have to worry about it getting in your aligner and causing damage.

When an Aligner Goes AWOL

You brought up a good question when you asked what aligner you’d go to if you had to get rid of one. Sometimes an aligner will get damaged or lost. Once a patient accidentally put hers in the dryer and it became completely warped.

If you lose an aligner, you can go ahead to the next pair. Just be certain you don’t do that too often. The reason for the two-week duration is to give the bone time to reform around the teeth roots in their new position. Without that, the teeth will eventually become loose. You want to straighten your teeth, not lose them.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Invisalign for Teeth and Gums?

I have some spaced out teeth which are a bit crooked. I think Invisalign will help those, but I also have uneven gums. Would Invisalign help them as well?

Dana

Dear Dana,

A woman placing her Invisalign aligners onto her teeth

You’re likely looking at two procedures. Both are easy. Invisalign will certainly straighten your teeth. Plus, it’s comfortable, invisible, and has many benefits over traditional braces. The one thing it can’t do is even out your gums.

I’m assuming you mean they’re different sizes from tooth to tooth. That can certainly derail the beauty of a smile. Dentists want their patients to love their smile and enjoy sharing it with others. A confident smile adds to everyone’s beauty.

There is a simple procedure, called a gingivectomy, your dentist can do to remove the tissue that’s sort of crawling down too low to get some camera time. It’s easy peasy and done inpatient in just one appointment. Your gums will heal up quickly unless you have secondary conditions, such as diabetes, which can slow down healing time.

The key is talking to your dentist about what you’re hoping to accomplish. He or she will know just what procedures will give the results you desire.

Teeth Whitening and Invisalign

As you’re looking to improve your smile, you may want to consider whitening them while getting them straightened. Teeth Whitening trays are typically used to place the whitening gel. They’re customed designed to fit your smile perfectly.

So is Invisalign. Because of that. Those aligners can double as the bleaching trays allowing you to straighten and whiten your smile simultaneously.

It’s like getting a mini-smile makeover. By the time you’re done with these three procedures, all of which are super easy and patient-friendly, your smile will look like a million bucks.

This blog is brought to you Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Invisalign for Minor Ortho Spacing

I had the full deal of braces when I was younger. They worked fine but I never really wore my retainer. As a result, I have some minor spacing issues, especially on my lower arch. I know now how stupid that was, but hindsight is 20/20. Now that I’m an adult, it bugs me. You can’t tell when I’m smiling but I know the spaces are visible when I talk. I’m too old for another mouth full of braces, but am wondering if Invisalign a good option for someone in my position?

Monica

Dear Monica,

A woman inserting her Invisalign aligners onto her teeth

Don’t beat yourself up too much. You’re not the first teenager to skip their retainer and I’m more than certain you won’t be the last. Invisalign will be a great option for you. In fact, if all you have is minor spacing issues, you’re probably a good candidate for Invisalign Express. It shouldn’t take very long and it’s just as Invisible. You’ll have those spacing issues fixed in no time.

I can tell your smile is important to you. As it is one of the first things people notice about you, it’s good that you do. First impressions matter, especially if you’re involved in the business world.

There’s an additional benefit to Invisalign you might be interested in.

Invisalign and Teeth Whitening

If your teeth have picked up stains over the years, teeth whitening can remove them making you look years younger. On its own, it’s an affordable smile makeover. Combined with Invisalign it’s like getting two for one. That’s because your aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. All you’ll need is to purchase some professional whitening gel from your dentist.

Going All Out

If you’re happy with your smile, other than the spacing, then the above is all you really need. However, if there’s anything you’d wished you could change about your smile that you thought was impossible, it’s not.

With porcelain veneers, you can change absolutely anything—the shape of your teeth, their size, their color, even their character. They’re a total smile makeover. The only trick is making sure you get a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist to do them. They’re an advanced procedure which requires both post-graduate training and some natural artistic skill.

You can find one by going on mynewsmile.com. They research cosmetic dentists who wish to be listed. Only those with the highest technical skill, who can give you a gorgeous smile make it.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Invisalign and Wisdom Teeth

I was told when I was 17 if I removed my wisdom teeth I’d never need braces because there’d be plenty of room for my teeth. I did. Now I’m in my 30s and my front teeth are crowding. Have I done something or was my dentist not honest? Can this be fixed without braces? I’m a little old for a mouth full of metal, even with the cool new colored bands the kids are wearing these days.

Angie

Angie,

A woman inserting her Invisalign aligners onto her teeth

I wouldn’t say your dentist was dishonest. I think he probably meant you’d definitely have crowding if you didn’t get your wisdom teeth out, but there’d be room if you did. However, teeth move and shift throughout our lives. You asked if you did anything wrong. It’s hard to know. There are a few patient-related reasons we’ll go into in a moment.

Some Reasons for Crowding

  • You were made that way: For some, their narrow palates or smaller jaws can lead to misalignment through normal everyday biting forces.
  • Tooth Grinding: This is something that is patient related. Unfortunately, most patients don’t even realize they are grinding their teeth because it often takes place while they’re sleeping. The motion of your teeth causes them to shift and could cause the crowding you’re experiencing. Unfortunately, this type of thing often leads to TMJ Disorder.
  • Bad Dental Work: We’d like to think every dentist is as skilled as the next, but that is not always true. Sometimes there is a poorly fitted crown or another type of dental work which can throw off your bite.
  • Ignoring Dental Care: Sometimes people neglect their dental care and can develop gum disease. This can cause your teeth to shift. Without getting the care you need, your teeth will eventually become loose and you’ll lose them, requiring expensive tooth replacements.
  • Tumors: There are certain medical conditions which cause tumors that can throw off your bite. If you’re getting regular checkups your dentist will do regular examinations for things like that. So, it’s not something you should panic about if you’re diligent with your dental appointments.
  • Trauma: I’m assuming you’d know if you had an accident of some type which affected your bite. But that is another issue which can cause problems.

Invisalign Could Solve this for You

You won’t have to have a metal mouth, even a colorful one. Invisalign is a modern orthodontic system which allows adults and older teens to repair their smile without anyone having to know. The aligners, which are used instead of wires and brackets are completely invisible. Even at a conversational distance, people cannot tell you have them on.

My suggestion would be for you to see your dentist and find out the reason for your recent crowding. While Invisalign can straighten your teeth, if the problem is grinding, you’ll need a mouthguard to permanently protect them or you’ll be right back in the same position.

Additionally, if it’s something like gum disease causing the problem, Invisalign would be dangerous. You don’t want to be shifting around your teeth when they’re already loosening.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Best Smile Makeover for My Nephew

My nephew wants to be an actor. He’s actually quite good. I think the only thing which could hold him back is his smile. It’s not quite Hollywood material. I really believe in him so I’ve offered to pay for a complete smile makeover for him, no matter the cost. I’ve been told to get him Lumineers by our dentist, but truthfully, I’ve never thought he did the most stunning work. So, I’m writing someone whose smile gallery does seem to have beautiful work but also won’t make money from me because of the distance to get a second opinion. I think his biggest problems are some crooked and stained teeth, but I want his smile to look fantastic!

Audrey

Dear Audrey,

First, let me say you are a very devoted aunt and it is wonderful that your nephew has someone who believes in him and gives him support. Acting is a tough career so knowing you’re behind him will give him confidence. I think young people should always be given a chance to live their dreams.

Secondly, I’d like to say that you’ve made the right decision not going forward with your dentist’s plan of Lumineers. This particular brand is not known for its good results. Some of that is the dentists who use the brand and some if it is the lab they require dentists to use. Either way, if you want your nephew to have a stunning smile, Lumineers is not the way to go.

I have two great options for your nephew.

A Smile Makeover with Invisalign and Teeth Whitening

before and after picture of a woman's smile who used Invisalign
An Invisalign Case

If the only thing wrong with his smile is some staining and crooked teeth, those two things can be easily repaired. He can even repair them simultaneously. Above, you’ll see before and after images of an Invisalign case done by Dr. Bader. Once her teeth were straightened with Invisalign, she couldn’t stop smiling.

Whatever dentist you choose could also use the Invisalign aligners as teeth whitening trays allowing him to do both procedures simultaneously.

This may be all he needs. They’re very easy procedures and don’t cost a fortune.

A Smile Makeover with Porcelain Veneers

before and after porcelain veneer images
Smile makever done with porcelian veneers

If you’re looking for a top of the line smile makeover, then porcelain veneers are your likely procedure. This is what most people think of when they say a “Hollywood Smile”. Veneers are able to change anything about your nephew’s smile—their shape, size, color, even their character. An expert cosmetic dentist can do miracles and create a work of art.

Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentist

What he’ll need is an expert cosmetic dentist. My suggestion would be for you to look on the mynewsmile.com website. They screen cosmetic dentists and only recommend those who meet their high standards of technical excellence and artistry. You can search by your nephew’s zip code and even place the distance you’re willing to travel.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Help! Dentist Won’t Let Me Gift My Wife Invisalign

I want to get my wife Invisalign for Christmas but her dentist won’t let me. You’d think he’d want the business. Can I buy them directly from the company?

Bruce A.

Dear Bruce,

Patient putting in her Invisalign aligner

I’m not sure of your dentist’s exact reasoning behind the refusal so I can only take a guess. If your wife is otherwise a good candidate for Invisalign (which she may not be), it may be that he doesn’t want to “sell” it to you until he knows what her exact price will be. There are several factors which determine the final cost. The biggest factor is regarding how complicated her particular case is.

Maybe hers is easy and only needs a few sets of aligners. Or, maybe she needs a significant amount of work which could triple the number of aligners. Your dentist would have no way of gauging that without her coming in.

Purchasing Invisalign Ahead of Time

Here’s what I’d recommend in your case. First, you cannot purchase it directly from Invisalign. This treatment only can be done effectively under the care of a dentist. The company sells directly to the dentists who in turn treat you.

Instead, I’d talk to your dentist about a gift certificate for the “minimum” it could cost. Then after you’ve surprised your wife for Christmas, you can redeem it and pay any remaining cost. He shouldn’t have a problem with that.

I will let you know that many patients who get Invisalign also get teeth whitening. Combining the two is like an inexpensive mini smile makeover. Your wife will likely be thrilled to bits with that package.

I wish you guys a fantastic Christmas.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

What Do You Think of Lumineers for a Tooth Gap?

I have a giant tooth gap. I think the dentist said 8 mm. Originally my dentist recommended snap on smile, but I ended up not liking those. It looked completely fake. Even if it had looked better, I wouldn’t have been happy with it long because I couldn’t wear it all the time. I wasn’t sure what to do and I definitely don’t want a mouth full of metal braces. So, my dentist recommended Lumineers. This time I want to get a second opinion before I spend money on another useless procedure. Especially, because this one is so much more expensive.

Maddy K.

Dear Maddy,

Newton Invisalign

I can’t tell you how glad I am you wrote. You’re going to be glad to because I am about to save you from a very expensive disaster. You mentioned your snap-on smile looked completely fake. My guess is that’s because your dentist isn’t a skilled cosmetic dentist. Snap-on smile isn’t as stunning as porcelain veneers no matter how well they’re done, but they certainly shouldn’t look fake.

Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneers which are often marketed to inexperienced dentists as being easy to place. While they may be easy to place, they’re definitely not easy to make beautiful. In fact, most expert cosmetic dentists won’t place them because their lab isn’t one of the best.

Your case is more complicated. The gap between your teeth is large enough to fit another tooth. It would take a highly skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist.

Two Solutions: Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

There are two good options for you. The first is Invisalign. You mentioned you were opposed to braces. By any chance did your dentist mention Invisalign as an alternative to you? It uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth, and in less time than traditional braces.

Because it uses aligners instead of metal, no one can tell you’re even wearing anything. They also have a very high patient satisfaction rate because of how comfortable they are. And, to top it off, it’s significantly less expensive than the Lumineers options.

Your second option is porcelain veneers. Lumineers are just a brand of porcelain veneers. You won’t want that brand. Find an expert cosmetic dentist by using mynewsmile.com. They recommend the best cosmetic dentists in each area. Get a consultation. Because of its cost, this option really only makes sense if there are other things you want to change about your smile. It can give you a gorgeous complete smile makeover. But, you will only like the results if you get the right dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can Invisalign Substitute for My Retainer?

I just finished my Invisalign treatment. I really loved it. I thought I would be embarrassed, but my friends thought it was cool, especially because they couldn’t see it until I took it out to eat. It was kind of fun having everybody like it so much. Now I’m supposed to wear a metal retainer and I’m not too keen. Is it possible for me to just wear my last pair of aligners as a substitute for a retainer? If so, will you tell my mom so she’ll cancel the appointment?

Arabella M.

Dear Arabella,

I’m glad you enjoyed your Invisalign treatment so well. It has a very high patient satisfaction rate. People love the fact that they’re invisible as well as how comfortable they are.  They’re marvelous at doing the job they were intended to do, but being a retainer won’t work.

Each pair of aligners is designed to last about two weeks. They will start wearing down. Even if they didn’t, you would eventually want to change them just for hygiene’s sake. Though you can’t use the aligners the way you’d hoped, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a mouth full of metal. There are many retainer options these days.

  • Retainers with clear plastic. There are some which just go around your teeth and others which cover the top of your mouth as well. Some of these can even be customized with colors or your favorite sports team logo. Though, you’re going for invisibility so that may not be a positive factor for you.
  • Lingual retainers. These are made of metal, but they are attached to the backs of your teeth where no one can see them. Your friends might also think that is cool.

I wouldn’t cancel your appointment. Instead, I’d talk to your orthodontist about what you just told me. He or she will be able to find something you’ll be happy with.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Is My Dentist Lying to Me About My Invisalign Aligners?

My sister and I are both getting smile makeovers of sorts. We’re doing Invisalign to straighten our teeth and teeth whitening to give them some pop! We live in different cities, so we go to different dentists, but are doing the same procedures. Her dentist is using her Invisalign aligners as teeth whitening trays.  I got excited when I heard what she was doing and asked my dentist if we could. He said it’s not possible to use the aligners for whitening. Is he lying or is my sister’s dentist doing something dangerous?

Corinne – Baltimore

Corinne,

Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. Plus, it saves you both time and money.  So, if your dentist is saying they can’t he’s either confused or dishonest.

However, it may be that he’s saying you’re not a good candidate for the whitening at the moment. You may have fillings that need dealing with or some other issues.

Before assuming he’s being dishonest, ask him what specific reason he had for not wanting to move forward with the whitening.

It’s also possible it’s just a policy he has to do the treatments separately. If that’s the case, he should just come right out and say that instead of pretending they can’t be combined.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.