How Does Invisalign Work?

The Invisalign process involves an initial consultation with a trained dentist or orthodontist. They will scan your mouth with a digital scanner, and then create a series of customized clear aligners. You will visit your doctor every 6 to 8 weeks to have them evaluated and receive new trays.


Straight teeth are better for your gums and dental health. They also make it easier to clean your teeth, eliminating gaps and crowding.

No Food Restrictions

Invisalign doesn’t have the same dietary restrictions as braces because the aligners are removable. This means that patients can eat whatever they want as long as they remove the aligners before eating and only put them back in after they’ve finished their meal and have brushed and flossed their teeth. Keeping to this routine helps prevent food or drinks from damaging the aligners and helps ensure that they’re being worn for the recommended amount of time each day.

However, there are some foods that should be avoided because chewing them while wearing the aligners can damage or even break them. This can halt the straightening process or lead to discomfort for the wearer. Chewy foods like gum, taffy or jerkies should also be avoided because they can stick to the aligners and cause discomfort.

It’s best to avoid drinking hot drinks while wearing the aligners as well. This is because the heat can warp them and make them less effective at straightening the teeth. Drinking cold beverages instead can help avoid this problem. If a person does have to drink something warm or hot while wearing the aligners then they should use a reusable metal straw in order to avoid causing any damage. If this isn’t possible then it would be better for them to simply remove the aligners before they start drinking anything else.


The smooth plastic edges of Invisalign are much less abrasive to the mouth than metal braces. They are also very easy on the tongue and cheek, compared to traditional braces which tend to poke or scratch at the sensitive areas of the mouth as they shift.

During your first appointment, we will make the necessary preparatory work to ensure that your Invisalign aligners fit as comfortably as possible. This may include some interproximal reduction, which sounds intimidating but is really quite simple: we use dental discs to “sand” away some of the enamel between your teeth in order to create more space for them as they move.

Once the preparatory work is done, we will give you your first set of clear Invisalign trays. These should feel tight at first, but they need to be in place in order to begin the straightening process. If you find them uncomfortable, don’t worry, they will loosen up after a few days, and you will get used to wearing them very quickly.

You should wear each set of aligners for two weeks before switching to the next one. During this time, we will monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed to ensure that you are on track to reach your desired results. If you have any questions or concerns about how your Invisalign treatment is going, feel free to ask us!

Easier to Clean

Unlike traditional braces, which require specific tools to clean underneath their wires and brackets, Invisalign is easy to keep clean. It is a good idea to brush the aligners each time you remove them from your mouth and before putting them back in again. Brushing them gently with a soft bristled toothbrush reserved specifically for this purpose is an effective way to remove any built-up debris from the surface of the plastic.

Soaking the aligners each night is also important as it reduces the likelihood of them staining over time. This can be done using one of several different solutions, all of which can be found in your kitchen cupboards. Baking soda, for example, has an abrasive quality that won’t harm the aligners but does a great job of scrubbing away food particles and plaque. Simply mix a tablespoon of baking soda with warm water and let the aligners soak for about 30 minutes before rinsing them off and brushing again.

You can also use a solution designed specifically for Invisalign, such as Steraligner, which contains a combination of rubbing alcohol and sodium bicarbonate. This is available in a tray that you simply fill with water and submerge the aligners for three minutes. Another option is to purchase a denture cleaner or a set of Invisalign cleaning crystals that dissolve in water and contain the same sodium sulfate as baking soda.

Less Expensive

Generally speaking, dentists and orthodontists with more experience using Invisalign tend to charge more than those with less, says Dr. Eckhardt, but there are exceptions.

When you’re looking for an Invisalign practitioner, he suggests you shop around and find a provider who offers a free consultation. That way, you can compare options without feeling rushed or pressured to use one particular practitioner.

Another thing that affects cost is the severity of your misalignment. More severe problems require more aligners and can take longer to correct, which adds up to higher costs.

The good news is that most (PPO) dental insurance plans cover some of the cost of Invisalign, says Dr. Chen, especially if it’s used to treat a complex malocclusion. And if you have a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account, these tax-free accounts that receive contributions from your employer, you may be able to use them to pay for Invisalign.

Invisalign is more expensive than fully remote aligners like Byte or SmileDirectClub, but it’s worth the investment for many people. Plus, the regular office visits give your dentist or orthodontist the opportunity to adjust your aligners and monitor progress, which isn’t always possible with fully remote options. Plus, if your teeth move more quickly than expected or don’t look quite the same as they did on your treatment plan, you can ask for a “refinement,” which is new custom aligners to fine-tune your smile.