Getting Started with Invisalign®: What to Expect

Sep 01, 2022

 Getting Started with Invisalign®: What to Expect

Invisalign® started the removable clear aligner market in 1998, providing an alternative to traditional braces. It can’t be beat for comfort or convenience, though it does give the user an active role in their own treatment.

A perfectly aligned smile doesn’t always happen naturally. Sometimes, you need treatment to set your teeth into an arrangement that allows efficient biting and chewing. In the past, braces were the go-to method used, cementing bands onto your teeth, then connecting them by wires to adjust. 

That all changed in 1998 when Invisalign® clear aligner trays made their debut. A radical new concept for aligning teeth, a series of removable trays guide your teeth into the desired position. The trays are so discreet, few people will notice you’re wearing them. 

You can visit the Invisalign specialists at Los Altos Family Smiles to find out more about this in-demand service. To help start the conversation, we’ve prepared this article to help you know what to expect from Invisalign. 

How Invisalign works

The goal behind Invisalign was to make orthodontic treatment less obvious, and the key to this is a proprietary thermoplastic called SmartTrack™. It has the ideal characteristics necessary to gently move your teeth into place using a progressive series of clear trays. 

Instead of frequent office visits to have the wires of conventional braces tightened, you simply move to the next tray in the sequence. Each tray represents a step of progress toward your final result. Use the Invisalign system as directed, and you’ll arrive at your pre-planned smile as expected from the beginning of your treatment. 

A removable system

Even though Invisalign trays are discreet as you wear them, you can also remove the trays at your discretion. Need that tiny bit of extra confidence for a meeting? Simply pop the tray out for the duration. 

You also remove the trays while eating, drinking, and cleaning. You don’t need to adapt your diet while you’re undergoing care, as you may need to do with braces. 

However, the time the trays are in your mouth is crucial to the speed of your overall treatment. Invisalign trays must be in place for 20 to 22 hours a day for your treatment plan to proceed and finish as planned. If you wear your trays less than the recommended time consistently, the following tray may not fit in the usual one-to-two-week time frame that’s usually prescribed. 

Caring for your trays

Apart from brushing, your role in orthodontic treatment with braces is largely passive. You’ve got a greater responsibility with Invisalign because they’re removable. The form-fitting trays can hold bits of food against your teeth, accelerating the rate of decay. Cleaning after you eat and before replacing your trays is crucial. 


If you can’t brush your teeth in an occasional situation, thoroughly rinse your mouth before replacing the trays and then perform a complete cleaning at your earliest opportunity. 

Your trays also require cleaning. Follow the instructions we give you, and avoid using hot water. Extreme temperatures may alter the shape of your trays, leading to an unexpected fit or tooth movement. 

Despite their effectiveness and popularity, Invisalign may not be the best option for every patient. Consult with the team at Los Altos Family Smiles to discuss your needs and options. Call the office or book online to set your appointment. The time to get started with Invisalign is now.