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Invisalign revolutionized the field of orthodontics when it was introduced more than 20 years ago, offering patients a discreet and removable option to straighten their teeth. 

Like any innovative treatment, it initially had its limitations. However, thanks to extensive research and real patient experiences, both the Invisalign system and orthodontists’ proficiency with clear aligners have advanced significantly over time. Despite these advancements, certain myths and misunderstanding still persist. 

At Bird Smiles Orthodontics, our Platinum Invisalign Providers are here to address these misconceptions and shed light on the truth. Let’s debunk these six outdated Invisalign myths once and for all!

Myth #1: Invisalign treatment can’t fix complex orthodontic problems. 

Years ago, Invisalign was reserved for mild orthodontic issues. Today, this is no longer true thanks to refinements in the aligner design, the creation of SmartForce® attachments and improvements in treatment planning software. If you’ve looked at Invisalign before and after pictures online, you’ve probably noticed some pretty dramatic results. 

What can Invisalign fix? In the hands of an expert, it can be used to address a range of concerns, including overbites, underbites, open bites, crossbites, crowding, overjet and spacing. At Bird Smiles Orthodontics, orthodontists Dr. Sonia Talley and Dr. Katie Clark are able to tackle any case that would respond to braces with clear aligners, including complex cases. 

Aside from innovations to the Invisalign system, this also comes down to product proficiency. When Dr. Clark and Dr. Talley did their orthodontic residencies, Invisalign already existed. So, instead of learning the ins and outs of clear aligner therapy down the road like many other doctors, it was a big part of their residency training and a treatment option they’ve always used. 

Myth #2: You don’t need to see an orthodontist for Invisalign, especially if you have mild cosmetic concerns. 

Yes, you can order clear aligners online or go to a general dentist for Invisalign treatment. But, it’s important to keep in mind that Invisalign is just a tool. It’s only as effective as the person planning your treatment. Think of the clear aligners as scissors and you’re looking for a haircut; it’s important to choose the right provider to get results you desire.

Orthodontists like Dr. Talley and Dr. Clark attend years of additional post-graduate education in orthodontic residency programs after dental school. This specialty training is focused solely on the diagnosing and treatment planning of dental and skeletal misalignment with appliances like clear aligners. 

Even if you have a very minor cosmetic issue, shifting the teeth will change your bite. This is why so many people who get clear aligners online or from someone with less experience end up having unintended outcomes that require further treatment. 

It’s in your best interest to see an orthodontic specialist from the start. If you had a relapse after past treatment or only have mildly crooked teeth, limited Invisalign treatment could be an option. Dr. Talley and Dr. Clark can create the exact number of aligners you need to achieve your specific goals more quickly and affordably than comprehensive treatment. But you’ll have the benefit of expert oversight to ensure it will be safe and effective. 

Myth #3: Invisalign takes longer than braces to straighten teeth. 

Another Invisalign myth is that the aligners will take longer than traditional braces to straighten teeth. In reality, Invisalign treatment lasts about the same length of time as braces treatment and can range anywhere from six to thirty months. 

For certain concerns or limited treatment, Invisalign may even be faster than braces. The duration depends on the problem being corrected, the complexity of your case and how consistent you are about wearing your aligners. 

Myth #4: Only adults can get Invisalign. 

At Bird Smiles Orthodontics, of course, we offer Invisalign for adults. It’s a great option for busy professionals, parents or anyone who wants virtually invisible treatment without food restrictions, irritation or the possibility of repair appointments. 

But adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit from clear aligner treatment. Invisalign Teen was designed especially for adolescents and the aligners accommodate the eruption of permanent teeth and growth. Invisalign for teens works as well as braces in many cases and helps some patients feel less self-conscious about straightening their teeth. 

Though parents are often concerned that their teenager won’t wear their aligners enough, we have to say, our Washington, DC Invisalign Teen patients do great! 

Myth #5: You don’t need to pay extra attention to your oral hygiene during clear aligner treatment. 

Oral hygiene is easier with Invisalign than braces. You’ll take your aligners out to brush and floss your teeth, so you don’t need any extras like floss threaders and there’s no hardware where plaque can hide. 

However, if you put your Invisalign aligners in when your mouth isn’t clean, food, liquid and bacteria will get trapped between your aligners and your teeth. This can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis and staining. Therefore, you’ll have to be diligent about oral hygiene throughout treatment. 

To ensure your smile stays healthy, brush and floss your teeth in the morning and before bed. Options for after meals and snacks include rinsing your mouth with water before putting your aligners back in. Dr. Talley’s personal favorite option is to chew two pieces of sugar free gum for about a minute and then discard the gum and put your aligners back in. The gumball effectively acts as a toothbrush, removing plaque and freshening your breath before aligners go back in. 


Myth #6: Invisalign is a lot more expensive than braces. 

At Bird Smiles Orthodontics, our Invisalign price is no different than our braces price. This is so our doctors can choose the best tool to improve your smile without finances as a factor. At our practice, we start the process with a consultation where we’ll be able to provide you with the exact Invisalign price, which is based on the severity of your case and your individual treatment needs.

We offer flexible financing options and paid-in-full discounts. Our team can work with your HSA/FSA funds as well to ensure treatment fits your budget. Be sure to check with your dental insurance for orthodontic coverage.

Connect with Dr. Talley & Dr. Clark, our leading Washington D.C. Invisalign providers

With these common Invisalign myths debunked, we hope you have the information you need to make a more informed decision about your orthodontic care. 

To find out if you’re a candidate for clear aligners, schedule a complimentary consultation with our Washington, DC Invisalign experts. Orthodontists Dr. Sonia Talley and Dr. Katie Clark can help you choose the ideal solution for your needs and create a personalized treatment plan to bring out the best in your smile. Check out some of our Invisalign before and after photos to see their work in action!