Invisalign braces arrived on the teeth-straightening scene back in 1997, creating a stir with their practically invisible “aligners”. Finally, people had an alternative to the metal braces that made it impossible to rid them of their embarrassing smiles without first going through a torturous year or two with steel strapped across their teeth. Metal braces not only looked awkward, but also felt awkward. As well, they are high maintenance, requiring constant visits to the orthodontist and can even be painful, especially following an adjustment. So, Invisalign became a welcome alternative that allowed people to have invisible, removable braces that didn’t require, yet got results in often less than a year. All of this is well-known; however, here are 12 lesser known facts about Invisalign:
1. The idea came from experience
This really isn’t surprising. After all, need is the mother of invention. Zia Chishti, a Stanford student, wore braces and when it came time to wear a retainer, it dawned on him that he could use the retainers to do the same work as braces. By customizing a set of trays each with a slightly different configuration, he discovered that he could ease teeth into place just like braces. He loved the concept of having removable trays, and even better, the idea of them being invisible. He found some partners, got to work designing the aligners, and within a few years Invisalign was born.
2. Invisalign can improve oral health
Well, it might not just be Invisalign, but straight teeth in general that can improve oral health. When you have crowded teeth, it can put you at higher risk for gum disease. Since the teeth are harder to clean and your gums don’t always fit well around crowded teeth, it can create oral health challenges that may lead to dental issues.
3. Invisalign can improve digestive health
What could straight teeth possibly have to do with your stomach? Since digestion begins in the mouth, straight teeth help get that whole digestive process moving by being better at breaking down food.
4. Celebrities love Invisalign
Since people in the spotlight are all about their “look”, many celebrities have used Invisalign to perfect their smiles in their adult years including:
- Eva Longoria
- Khloe Kardashian
- Zac Efron
- Justin Bieber
- Serena Williams
- Tom Cruise
- Oprah Winfrey
And if a Kardashian did it, then they must be good, right?
5. Invisalign are completely technology-based
Your customized Invisalign aligners are created thanks to patented technology. Creator Zia Chishti developed the system to customize aligners using predictive technology software that figures out the exact positions for each set of trays to get the ideal results for perfect smiles. Using 3-D modeling, your aligners are completely personalized to fit your teeth and ease them into a camera-ready perfect position.
6. Aligners are more comfortable than metal
Because you’ve never had metal braces, this one is something you don’t have to learn the hard way. Aligners do lead to some discomfort at the time you switch them, since your teeth have to adjust to the new fit. However, you can pop them in at bedtime, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, and sleep it off. By the time you wake up, your teeth have adjusted to the new trays and, in most cases, you end up without any discomfort at all. Metal braces, on the other hand, require “tightening” at the orthodontics office, which can be quite painful. You’re then left to suffer for the rest of the day.
7. Invisalign doesn’t cause possible wire-related injuries
Not only are your new trays less painful than metal braces following adjustments, but your aligners are also “safer”. Metal braces have wires and brackets that can damage your cheeks and tongue. If you play sports, you’re also more likely to suffer cuts and lacerations in the case of a mouth injury because of the wires and brackets.
8. Invisalign are selfie-friendly
When you wear Invisalign, you are always ready for your selfies. You don’t have to worry about getting your smile or lips just right because you can barely see the aligners. In fact, when it’s time for important photos, like for graduation or your wedding day, you can quickly pop them out and then put them right back in. Just remember that the goal is to wear them 22 hours a day for the best results, so choose the photo ops wisely!
9. Invisalign can be faster
Invisalign can be up to 50% faster than traditional metal braces thanks to technology. Because the patented system predicts your teeth movements so accurately, it is designed to get the results you desire as soon as possible. The typical treatment is between 9 to 12 months, depending on your teeth’s positioning.
10. Invisalign has improved
There was a lot of flack about Invisalign when they started to become popular because they weren’t really effective for as many challenges as metal braces. They were often used by people who had undergone traditional metal brace treatments—but fell off their retainer regime—so they needed a quick way to get their teeth back into place due to relapse. However, over the years, the interest and popularity of the aligners led to further improvements, allowing them to treat a much longer list of smile woes including:
- Open bites
- Crowded teeth
11. Invisalign is 100% anti-ageist
Braces are often incorrectly believed to only be good for awkward teens still growing into their good looks. As a result, adults who never had the advantage of braces as a kid have suffered in silence with their less than perfect smiles. However, Invisalign has made it possible for people of any age to straighten their teeth. Still, it goes beyond just the stigma of wearing metal braces. Many adults are also under the misconception that they missed their chance for braces as teens when their teeth and gums were still developing. Not so. Adults of all ages can wear Invisalign and see the same results as a teen.
12. Over 5 million smiles served
Once Invisalign caught on, there was no stopping them. They have provided perfect smiles for over 5 million people, and that number will continue to grow.