Invisalign FAQ


Your Invisalign® Questions Answered

To get all of the details on Invisalign or Invisalign Teen treatment, schedule a free exam at Houston Orthodontic Specialists online or by calling us at (281) 752-4222 (West Houston) or (713) 667-6000 (Bellaire). You can also browse through our answers to the questions we hear most frequently from our Houston and Bellaire Invisalign patients.

Q: Will Invisalign fit my lifestyle?

A: Of course!

  • Need a snack? That’s not a problem. Take your aligners out to eat or drink whenever you want.
  • Since Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, most people won’t notice you’re wearing them.
  • You can keep your teeth and gums healthy because you’ll remove your aligners to brush and floss your teeth.
  • Occasionally, you can take your aligners out for a special night on the town.
  • You won’t have to make any changes to your day-to-day life. You can do all of your regular activities while we straighten your teeth.
  • There’s no need to hide your smile because of brackets and wires. Feel confident all throughout treatment.
  • Invisalign doesn’t require adjustments, so appointments are quick and typically scheduled every 12 to 16 weeks.

Q: Are there food restrictions with Invisalign?

A: Nope! The aligners are removable and you’ll take them out to eat, so you can enjoy all of your favorite foods and drinks throughout treatment.

Q: What are the benefits of Invisalign?

A: The Invisalign aligners are clear and virtually undetectable. They’re also removable, which means you can brush, floss and eat as you normally would. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign doesn’t involve brackets and wires, so there’s no irritation and treatment is comfortable. The aligners don’t require adjustments. You’ll spend less time in your orthodontist’s chair and more time doing the things you love. The system relies on advanced, 3D computer imaging technology and we’ll be able to show you what your new smile will look like before you even start treatment.

Q: Can I chew gum with Invisalign?

A: There are no food restrictions with Invisalign, gum included! However, you’ll want to take your aligners out before chewing gum to avoid a mess.

Q: How long does Invisalign treatment last?

A: The length of Invisalign treatment depends on how severe your orthodontic issues are and how closely you follow the instructions for wearing your aligners. We’ll be able to give you a specific timeframe when you come in for a consultation and we have the opportunity to assess your bite. For some patients, treatment lasts less than a year, while for others, it’s about the same as braces. If you want to decrease your treatment time by up to 50%, ask us about adding Propel® to your treatment plan.

Q: How often should I wear my Invisalign aligners?

A: For the best results, we recommend wearing your aligners for about 22 hours every day, only taking them out to eat and brush and floss your teeth.

Q: How do I clean my aligners?

A: There are Invisalign cleaning systems available for purchase. Or, you can simply brush your aligners with a toothbrush (no toothpaste) and rinse them in lukewarm water.

Q: How does Invisalign work?

A: Dr. Bloome or Dr. Tabakman will plan out your tooth movements on a 3D model of your mouth and Invisalign will fabricate custom aligners based on their specifications. The clear, plastic aligners exert gentle, steady force to shift your teeth into their correct positions. The aligners are created in a series and each set is worn for one to two weeks. As you change your aligners and make your way through the series, your new smile takes shape.

Q: Does Invisalign hurt?

A: Invisalign treatment doesn’t hurt. However, when you first start treatment or put in a new set of aligners, the teeth and gums can be a little tender. This is normal and means Invisalign is working.

Q: Can I smoke while wearing Invisalign aligners?

A: No. Smoking will stain your aligners and they won’t be clear anymore, which defeats the purpose. It’s a great chance to quit smoking!

Q: How often will I need to visit Houston Orthodontic Specialists during Invisalign treatment?

A: While it will depend on your specific treatment plan, most patients visit us every 12 to 16 weeks during their Invisalign treatment. The appointments are quick and once we ensure your treatment is on track, you’re good to go!

Q: How much does Invisalign cost?

A: To get an estimate of the cost of Invisalign treatment, try out our payment calculator. We think everyone deserves to get their dream smile using a treatment they love. That’s why we accept most insurance and have a variety of payment plans. We do everything we can to ensure Invisalign will fit your budget.

Q: Will Invisalign affect my speech?

A: Most of our Bellaire and Houston Invisalign patients don’t notice a change in their speech. However, some people have a slight lisp for a few days after starting treatment. Once you get accustomed to wearing your aligners, your speech will return to normal.

Q: Will I have to wear a retainer when my Invisalign treatment is finished?

A: Yes. The only way to maintain your results for life, whether you opt for braces or Invisalign, is to wear a retainer. Teeth have a natural tendency to shift back to their old positions when treatment is finished unless a retainer is used. Eventually, you’ll only need to wear it at night.

Q: How do I know if I’m a good candidate for Invisalign?

A: To determine if Bellaire or Houston Invisalign treatment is the right choice for your smile, book a free consultation with us online or by calling us at (281) 752-4222 (West Houston) or (713) 667-6000 (Bellaire). One of our expert orthodontists will help you decide on the best option for your needs.

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