Invisalign FAQ

Expert Orthodontic Care in North Potomac, MD

At the office of Dr. Charles C. Harrington, we're proud to help our patients achieve beautiful new smiles through effective, convenient orthodontic treatments. As a leading orthodontist serving the Gaithersburg/Kentlands and North Potomac areas, Dr. Harrington works with his team to design personalized treatment plans that suit our patients' lifestyles, working with each patient to choose the perfect treatment. Invisalign is one of the most popular treatments we offer, and to help you learn more about this exciting alternative to traditional metal braces, we've compiled a list of common questions about Invisalign along with their answers. 

Common Questions About Invisalign

What is Invisalign, exactly?

Invisalign is an alternative orthodontic treatment to braces that uses clear, removable plastic aligners instead of metal wires and brackets. The aligners fit directly onto the dental arch and can be take in and out to eat, drink, brush, and floss. 

Why would I choose Invisalign instead of braces?

Because of its unique design, Invisalign comes with a number of advantages over braces. Some of the most prominent benefits include:

  • Virtually Invisible: Unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are almost impossible to see when worn. They won't show up in pictures, at important social events, or during presentations at work. 
  • Eat What You Want: While patients need to monitor their diet for hard or sticky foods with braces, Invisalign comes with no dietary restrictions. Because you take the aligners out to eat, you can still enjoy all your favorite foods!
  • Oral Hygiene Is Easy: Because you pop the aligners out to brush and floss, you can maintain your normal oral hygiene routine and won't have to deal with things like floss threaders. 
  • Improved Comfort: Invisalign aligners are smooth to the touch, so they don't tend to cause the small scratches and cuts inside the mouth that braces do.

How long will I wear the aligners?

You'll wear your aligners for about 22 hours a day, taking them out only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. You'll switch to a new set of aligners every 2 weeks. 

Does Invisalign hurt?

Generally, no. As with all orthodontic treatments, it's common for patients to experience some discomfort when they first put in a new set of aligners, but this usually fades within a couple of days and can be treated with acetaminophen.

Can I chew gum with Invisalign?

Gum can damage the aligners, so you'll need to take them out if you want to chew gum. 

Can I smoke?

Smoking can warp and discolor aligners, so you'll need to take them out to smoke, as well. We'd recommend quitting altogether though, and we're happy to provide resources to help you do that. 

How long will treatment take?

Treatment time varies greatly from patient to patient, but generally, you can expect to wear them for about 6-18 months. 

How do I clean the aligners?

You can clean them by brushing them without floss with your toothbrush. 

Schedule a Consultation with Your North Potomac, MD Orthodontist

While it's not right for everyone, Invisalign provides many patients a convenient, effective way to achieve a new smile without the look of braces – and if you're interested in finding out more about Invisalign, we'd be thrilled to help. We've helped countless patients achieve a beautiful new smile through Invisalign, and we strive to use the latest tools and techniques to ensure your treatment is always as effective and convenient as possible. Call us today at 301-977-1441 to find out more about Invisalign and set up a treatment consultation. Together, we'll help you achieve a beautiful new smile that lasts a lifetime!