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Ready, Set, Smile: Everything You Need To Know About Invisalign Treatment

Table of Contents

Back in the day, when you wanted to take a trip, you had to buy a map, take a pencil out and figure out the best route to your destination.

You may also have needed a travel guide to ensure you know everything about your whereabouts and are prepared to face the unknown.

Now, you have to get your phone out, launch your navigation app of choice, and you’re good to go. It’s kind of the same with traditional braces and Invisalign.

While traditional braces are great at getting your teeth straightened, in some cases, there is a much more subtle, flexible, and convenient option: Invisalign®.


We are one of the few clinics in Scotland to offer Invisalign treatment to children and teens.

Invisalign®, A Discreet Path To A Gorgeous Smile

Many people have crooked teeth and want to get them straightened. This could be a cause for concern, as it undermines your confidence and can lead to a slew of health issues down the road.

The problem is that wearing braces makes many people feel even more self-conscious. Traditional braces are made of metal wiring and can draw attention to you. However, a fantastic alternative to braces has gained popularity in recent years.

Invisalign is a treatment used to help straighten your teeth, similar to braces. The difference is that clear plastic aligners are used instead of metal brackets. As a result, you can straighten your teeth without feeling self-conscious about your smile.

If you’re considering starting Invisalign treatment, we recommend reading this entire guide first. We’ll go over some of the most important things you should know before you begin your orthodontic treatment, the cost of getting Invisalign, and give insight on what to expect at every stage of the process.

We Straighten. You Smile.

Why Should You Get Orthodontic Treatment With Invisalign?

1: With Invisalign Treatment, There Is No Age Limit

Some people believe that the Invisalign treatment has an age limit. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. Almost anyone can benefit from Invisalign.

Braces are typically associated with the agony of adolescence, so the prospect of wearing traditional braces to straighten your teeth as an adult can be distressing. Invisalign’s innovative technology has changed that, and now people of all ages can avoid having a mouth full of metal by receiving orthodontic treatment with clear aligners.

At Park orthodontics, we are one of the few clinics in Scotland to offer Invisalign treatment to children and teens.

2: Visible Results Are A Lot Faster With Invisalign

One of the best things about Invisalign braces is how quickly you can see results because nothing is hiding the tooth movement improvements. Most people notice them after only a few months of treatment. One of the most pressing questions patients have is how long Invisalign braces take to do their job.

While treatment time varies considerably, you can expect it to be done in about 6 to 12 months if your case is simple. Complex cases take longer to resolve. Most patients who qualify for Invisalign can finish their treatments in under 12 months after receiving their initial aligner trays. However, this is only possible if you wear your aligners for as long as possible every day. We’re going to discuss this a bit later.

3: Invisalign Treatment Is Suitable For A Lot Of Different Problems

  • Misaligned teeth

Misaligned teeth detract from the beauty of your smile. They can also make eating and chewing difficult. Because it is designed specifically for treating these types of dental conditions, Invisalign treatment can easily fix this problem.

crooked teeth crowding
  • Crooked and Crowded Teeth

Although crooked and crowded teeth are distinct orthodontic issues, they are very similar. Despite not being severe dental issues, they have a significant impact on your life and lifestyle. They can make you feel insecure and embarrassed in front of your peers. And you should be aware that embarrassment can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. That is why it is critical to treat crooked and crowded teeth.

crooked teeth crowding
  • Overbite

Overbite is a dental condition that occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth. A little overlapping of upper front teeth on lower front teeth is normal, but if it becomes excessive, it can cause many problems, the most common being tooth wear and tooth trauma.

  • Underbite

Underbite occurs when the lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth. In extreme cases, it can make speaking and eating difficult. If you have this condition, you may experience pain in your jaw or teeth.

crooked teeth under bite
  • Crossbite and Open Bite

Crossbite is a dental condition in which your upper and lower teeth do not adequately meet together when you close your mouth. This problem can make your teeth wear down and lead to certain (painful) gum conditions. Similarly, an open bite is a dental condition in which your upper and lower teeth do not meet each other when you close your mouth.


4: Invisalign Is Convenient

Nowadays, convenience is a must. It’s critical to get the most out of your money when it comes to work, leisure, or improving your overall health.

Invisalign aligners, unlike metal braces, are removable, making dental hygiene a straightforward process. They must be removed whenever you consume anything other than water. After that, brush your teeth immediately before putting your aligner back in.

This eliminates the need to cut foods, unlike you would with metal braces. It also eliminates the problem of food getting caught in narrow places or the risk of damaging your braces or teeth. There are no restrictions on what you can eat, including popcorn!

teen eating popcorn

Moreover, Invisalign treatment is a fantastic option, especially if you can’t miss work or school to attend your appointments every month. Your orthodontist can track the progress remotely because the treatment works well with Dental Monitoring and Invisalign Virtual Care.

Did you know that now you can install the My Invisalign App directly to your phone to monitor your progress and update your doctor in real time? This way, you will have more time to live your life and enjoy your smile.

5: Invisalign Is Discreet And Comfortable

Your Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible to those around you! This being said, the primary benefit of Invisalign is that it has little to no impact on your life. There is little else to be concerned about when starting treatment other than adding an extra step to your daily oral health care routine and remembering to replace each set of aligners when completing the task.

Invisalign braces, unlike most traditional wire braces, are custom-fit to your teeth. While teeth straightening is always a little uncomfortable, Invisalign is a lot easier to adjust to than traditional metal braces – especially since it is not uncommon for the latter to cause pain, soreness, or even irritation.

6: Invisalign Is Cost-effective

Since it is only available to private patients, paying for orthodontic treatment out of pocket might make you question whether it is worth it. However, when considering the cost of getting Invisalign, know that many practices nowadays offer great payment plans for orthodontic treatments.

Moreover, considering all the added benefits of Invisalign, the decision is relatively easy. Did you know that, in some cases, the cost of getting Invisalign ends up being lower than getting treatment with traditional braces?

Things To Be Aware Of Before Getting Invisalign Treatment

1: You’ll Have To Build Discipline

As we mentioned earlier, Invisalign requires a lot of commitment on your part. Although keeping your trays in for 20-22 hours a day may sound easy-peasy at first, daily habits – like drinking coffee or snacking – or your social life can get in the way.

people at BBQ

You may find yourself forgetting to put the trays back in or postponing that moment because you got caught up in your day-to-day activities. The key is to always keep your desired results in mind and get back on track. After all, teeth don’t straighten on their own.

Speaking about discipline, you will become hyperaware of your habits. If you are used to having a good old cup of coffee or tea a few times a day with Invisalign, you’ll only be allowed to do that when your aligners are off. The same goes for smoking.

Whether you vape, smoke cigarettes, or use other forms of tobacco, none of these choices are good when getting Invisalign orthodontic treatment. It goes without saying that when tobacco is present, the initially clear tray may quickly discolour. Moreover, if you smoke, you’re bringing a lot of heat into the picture, which can alter the tray in a way that is incompatible with the teeth straightening process.

It’s also well-known that smokers’ teeth move very slowly compared to non-smokers, which often leads to poor results.

If you’ve been waiting for a reason to cut back on smoking or quit altogether, there you have it!

2: You’ll Need To Up Your Hygiene Game

Cleaning Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth before putting your aligners back in after eating or drinking is mandatory. Any food residue trapped between the aligner and your teeth is uncomfortable and harmful. It can also discolour your aligners. The same goes for flossing.

woman brushing teeth

Although flossing may be inconvenient, it is critical during your Invisalign treatment. Invisalign clear aligners are designed to fit directly against the teeth, guiding them into the optimal position. If food debris is stuck between your teeth, the aligner will keep it pressed against your teeth for the rest of the day since the saliva can’t wash it away or neutralise germs. Flossing after every meal will prevent you from developing cavities.

With this in mind, you will have to adjust how you look at oral hygiene. Keeping a toothbrush and floss in your desk drawer at work, in your car, in your bag, or anywhere else you see fit is a game-changer.

Cleaning Your Invisalign Trays

To prevent bacterial build-up, odours, and discolouration of your clear aligners, you also need to pay attention to cleaning them. Before choosing any cleaning products for your Invisalign trays, consult your orthodontist beforehand. Gently brushing your trays with a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water is an excellent way to get the job done, especially in-between meals.

For a more thorough cleanse and to get rid of harmful bacteria, use clear, antibacterial soap. A homemade vinegar-water solution is also a great and effective method for eliminating plaque and debris from your aligners.

If you’re dealing with discolouration or another issue, don’t go to extremes to make things better. You could destroy the trays or make them dangerous to wear.

Girl cleaning Invisalign

3: You May Experience Some Discomfort

Because you are not used to having a foreign body in your mouth, you will experience some discomfort at first, similar to when you get a filling. It will take a week or two to become accustomed to moving your teeth with Invisalign.

Afterwards, you will most likely experience a feeling of tightness rather than pain or aching. Typically, that lasts for a few days, and you will be able to eat normally after removing the trays. When you start wearing a new set of trays, your teeth might become slightly sensitive. Additionally, your teeth may feel a little loose during the treatment as they shift into the desired position. That is completely normal. Invisalign is often reported as less uncomfortable compared to traditional braces.

Some people lisp for the first week or so while getting used to the aligners. Although very obvious to you, your lisp may be unnoticeable to others. These new sensations are temporary and will disappear in a few days once you get used to wearing your trays.

Now you know the most important things you must consider when considering orthodontic treatment with Invisalign. Next, let’s look at the actual process of getting Invisalign!

The Five Steps of Getting Invisalign Treatment

Step 1: Schedule An Appointment With Your Orthodontist

Although Invisalign is a versatile treatment system, it is not appropriate for all orthodontic issues. Some issues can only be fixed with traditional braces or surgery. Aside from medical considerations, your orthodontist will consider your ability and willingness to keep the trays in nearly 24/7. Some health conditions or lifestyle choices may prevent you from being able to do that.

Orthodontist & patient

It would be best if you remembered that it’s often better to receive Invisalign treatment from a specialist orthodontist rather than a dentist. Although many dentists now provide Invisalign or cheaper alternatives, they lack the additional training. specialisation, and expertise that orthodontists have, and the results are frequently subpar. You need an Invisalign provider with the skill and vision to improve your smile and change it according to your specific needs and desires.

Step 2: Your Orthodontist Customises A Treatment Plan

To establish exactly what your orthodontic issues are and how to fix them, your specialist orthodontist takes X-Rays, pictures, and 3D digital scans of your teeth. Did you know that your orthodontist will be able to show you the outcome of the process using iTero technology?

They will wave a hand-held wand over your teeth until they have a complete digital representation of your teeth and gums. The iTero Scanner allows your doctor to speed up your orthodontic treatment and give you better-fitting aligners while enabling them to instantly generate a simulation of how your teeth will look after the orthodontic process.

These records, corroborated with your orthodontist’s instructions on how they want the teeth to shift throughout the various stages of treatment, are sent to Invisalign. A technician will input all the data into a computer and get to work.

Until Invisalign manufactures the aligners as directed by the specialist orthodontist, there may be some back and forth regarding revisions between the orthodontist’s practice and Invisalign.

Typically, the more experienced and knowledgeable your orthodontist is, the less time this will take, as they know exactly what their patients need and what it takes to achieve that result. Unlike dentists, specialist orthodontists do not need additional expertise when it comes to customising the ideal orthodontic treatment plan.

Invisalign Itero

Step 3: Beginning Your Invisalign Treatment

It might take about three weeks for the first set of aligners to be ready to collect. Once they’re ready, you’ll have to return to the practice to pick them up.

Invisalign Open Box

To help the trays stay in place, the orthodontist will place tiny attachments on specific teeth. They are tooth-coloured, temporary, and nearly invisible. These “buttons” are made of composite resin and allow the right amount of pressure to be applied to specific teeth to help them move more efficiently. The number of attachments you need depends on your treatment plan, and you should talk directly with your Invisalign Provider (your orthodontist). Afterwards, they will check to see if the aligners fit. Sometimes, elastics may be used to help control certain tooth movements.

The aligners are all slightly different and should be worn in numerical order. If you carefully analyse them side by side, you’ll be able to notice how your teeth are expected to shift over time. You will be instructed to wear each aligner for one to two weeks. Every tray typically moves your teeth by 1/10 mm, so the total number of trays differs from case to case.

Once everything is in place, and you’re good to go, you should expect to receive thorough instructions on properly taking care of your teeth and your Invisalign trays during the process. If you have more questions, now’s the time to ask your doctor.

Each new aligner will bring the teeth into straighter positions as the treatment progresses. You should always wear an aligner, aside from eating and practising thorough hygiene.

Every 3-4 months, you’ll return to your orthodontist to get your next set of Invisalign clear aligners and have your teeth and mouth 3D-scanned to track your progress. Overall, check-ups are less frequent than if you had traditional braces. That’s because you can switch your trays every week instead of returning to practice whenever your braces need tightening.

Step 4: Final Adjustments To Your Dream Smile

Depending on the patient, a few extra “refinement” aligners could be needed. Refinement is frequently necessary because some teeth require additional corrective movements to reach their ideal positions during the orthodontic process. This is extremely common, as it can be challenging to anticipate from the beginning exactly how every tooth will shift its position throughout treatment.

Invisalign fitting

Refinement aligners are included in the treatment price since Invisalign knows that patients may need them. You’ll probably only need one or two refinement trays. A new 3D scan of your teeth will be performed to create your refinement aligners.

Step 5: Maintaining Your Smile

After you have completed the entire treatment, your doctor will remove any attachments (‘buttons’) they might have placed on your teeth.

Following treatment, you will have to wear retainers to give the jaw bones time to firmly anchor your teeth in place. Teeth need to be reminded of their new position regularly. The success of your orthodontic treatment depends on using retainers because the movement can occur before you notice it.

Vivera retainers from Invisalign are an excellent option for maintaining your results. They are similar to the Invisalign clear aligners in appearance but are slightly thicker and more robust. They are not intended to be replaced like Invisalign trays. An additional option is a fixed wire retainer; in that case, your orthodontist will install one directly on the back of your teeth.

Invisalign retainer

Refinement aligners are included in the treatment price since Invisalign knows that patients may need them. You’ll probably only need one or two refinement trays. A new 3D scan of your teeth will be performed to create your refinement aligners.

Get Started on Your Invisalign Journey Today

Do you want to have a gorgeous smile, improve your overall well-being and glow with confidence, all without disrupting your day-to-day life in the process? It is all possible, thanks to the Invisalign orthodontic treatment and the advanced technology and software it uses. Teeth straightening can now be done discreetly, without the discomfort, pain, and endless appointments that come with conventional braces.

Are you a potential Invisalign candidate? There is only one way to find out. For an Invisalign consultation in Glasgow, Scotland, leave us a message at Park Orthodontics to get in touch with our top specialist orthodontists who use the latest technology on the market to redefine your smile. Diamond Invisalign provider Dr Andrew McGregor and our experienced team are here to help you every step, from your first visit to your last.

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Picture of Dr Andrew McGregor

Dr Andrew McGregor

Andrew completed his three years of orthodontic specialist training in 2010 gaining his Masters degree and Membership in Orthodontics and has worked at Park Orthodontics since then. As an orthodontic specialist he has treated thousands of patients ranging from simple bite correction in children to complex smile and bite makeovers in adults. Andrew is a member of the British Orthodontic Society, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scottish Orthodontic Specialists Group and the British Lingual Orthodontic Society.

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