Invisalign clear braces are one of the easiest and most comfortable fixes available for patients who need braces. They’re clear, removable, easy to clean, and convenient for many patients.

However, Invisalign isn’t able to fix every orthodontic problem. While the only way to know if you qualify for Invisalign is to talk to a cosmetic dentist or an orthodontist, there are several factors you can consider yourself to determine whether Invisalign is worth asking about as an option.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign is a series of clear plastic of aligner trays that are custom molded with slight variations to shift your teeth into a new position. You switch them out every couple of weeks and they help create incremental changes that will gently move your teeth to a new position over time. Unlike traditional braces, they’re invisible, removable, and cause less possible tissue damage to your gums and the insides of your cheeks.

What Makes Someone a Good Candidate for Invisalign?

First and foremost, if you’re looking at Invisalign as an orthodontic option, you can’t be a candidate if you don’t have healthy teeth and gums. If your teeth and gums show signs of disease, they are less likely to provide a stable base for the shifts your teeth will be making over time. Good oral health also informs your dentist or orthodontist that you take your oral hygiene seriously so you will properly care for your teeth and your aligner trays.

Second, you will need to be committed to wearing Invisalign. Traditional braces can’t be removed so they can’t be forgotten or neglected. Invisalign can be taken out to eat or clean your teeth, but needs to be cleaned separately and must be in your mouth a total of 22 hours per day in order to correct your orthodontic issues. If you can’t commit to both keeping your Invisalign clean and keeping the trays in place, you won’t see timely results from your treatment.

Third, Invisalign can’t fix as many issues as traditional braces. If your teeth are crooked, gapped, or crowded, Invisalign can be used to treat these issues. However, if you have significant jaw issues such as an overbite or underbite, you will very likely be stuck with traditional braces at least part of the time to try to fix your bite.

If your cosmetic dentist or orthodontist determines that Invisalign won’t work for you, you will have to opt for traditional braces in order to fix your issues. However, there are new options there as well. Clear braces are available that are more aesthetically pleasing to many patients than traditional silver braces. These types of options are particularly helpful for adults who don’t want people staring at their braces like they’re still a teenager.

There are plenty of cosmetic and even medical reasons why braces might be beneficial or even necessary. In some cases, Invisalign will help you get the results you want or need. Talk to your cosmetic dentist or orthodontist to see what options are right for your needs.