All about

3M Clarity Aligners and Invisalign

Hello Ortho in Napa and Petaluma are the leader in Invisalign services to help you attain a beautiful smile without using unsightly traditional braces.

If you’ve decided to invest in your smile with braces, you no longer need to hide that smile during treatment. Instead of traditional wires and brackets, many of our patients are now opting for a nearly invisible alternative, 3M Clarity Aligners and Invisalign. At Hello Ortho located in Napa and Petaluma Dr. Jordan has invested many years of learning and training in Clear Aligner therapy so that he can offer it as an alternative to most cases that require braces.

 If you are interested in clear aligner therapy for you or your teen, call our office for a free consultation and more information. Join a growing number of our patients who are opting for this effective, attractive orthodontic treatment.

What is Clear Aligner Therapy

Clear Aligner Therapy technology straightens your teeth with clear plastic trays, called aligners, that gradually move the teeth into proper alignment. The aligners are barely noticeable when you wear them.

How does Clear Aligner Therapy work?

The aligners are custom molded for both your top and bottom teeth. You wear each one for about one week before progressing to the next one. There are no brackets or wires, though sometimes a small tooth-colored “attachment” will be needed. Clear Aligner Therapy has proven to be just as effective as traditional braces for most people. There are other advantages, too, as you can see below.

What can I expect from treatment?

With Clear Aligner Therapy, we use computer technology to design your treatment plan. First, we take impressions of your mouth with a 3D intra-oral scanner – no more sloppy goop! You will also have x-rays and photos taken. Based on this data, our orthodontist custom designs your smile and the lab then create your set of aligners and sends them all to us at one time.

You will wear each aligner, or tray, for about one week, but the good news is you don’t have to visit us that often. With Clear Aligner Therapy, all your trays at one time, so you only need to come into our office every 8-12 weeks. The total length of treatment depends on the severity of your malocclusion.

What are some advantages of Clear Aligner Therapy?

We already mentioned two: invisible appearance and about half the normal number of office visits, but there are more:

Taking care of your teeth is easier. With metal braces, you use special toothbrushes, and flossing is very difficult. With Invisalign, you can remove your aligners and floss and brush as you normally do. Better cleaning means healthier teeth and gums.

You can take your trays out for a couple of hours each day without increasing your treatment time. That means you can enjoy some activities you often can’t with metal braces, including playing certain musical instruments.

You can take them out to eat, too – just put them in a safe place so they don’t get lost or tossed away.

When you do eat, there are no food restrictions as with metal braces. Enjoy all your favorite dishes!

Aligner trays are more comfortable than wires and brackets – they don’t scrape or poke your cheeks as metal braces sometimes do.

It can be easier to speak more clearly with Invisalign trays.

And it’s definitely easier to smile. Aligner trays don’t hide that!

But why choose clear aligners?

There are tons of reasons to choose clear aligners like Invisalign or 3M Clarity. Obviously, two of the BIGGEST reasons are their invisible appearance and the fact that clear aligners can accomplish the same results as normal braces but in about half the number of office visits.

But there are even more reasons to go clear…

Easy dental care. With metal braces, you use special toothbrushes, and flossing is very difficult. With Invisalign, you can remove your aligners and floss and brush as you normally do. Better cleaning means healthier teeth and gums.

Take a break. You can take your trays out for a couple of hours each day without increasing your treatment time. That means you can enjoy some activities you often can’t with metal braces, including playing certain musical instruments.

Aligner-free meals. You can take them out to eat, too. Just put them in a safe place so they don’t get lost or tossed away.

ZERO food restrictions. When you do eat, there are no food restrictions as with metal braces. Enjoy all your favorite dishes!

Superior comfort. Aligner trays are more comfortable than wires and brackets—they don’t scrape or poke your cheeks as metal braces sometimes do.

Speak confidently. It can be easier to speak more clearly with Invisalign trays.

Smile more often. Aligner trays don’t hide your beautiful smile like metal braces do!
Have questions about clear aligners? We have answers!

What is Clear Aligner Therapy?

Clear Aligner Therapy technology straightens your teeth with clear plastic trays, called aligners, that gradually move the teeth into proper alignment. The aligners are barely noticeable when you wear them.

How does Clear Aligner Therapy work?

The aligners are custom molded for both your top and bottom teeth. You wear each one for about one week before progressing to the next one. 
There are no brackets or wires, though sometimes a small tooth-colored “attachment” will be needed. Clear Aligner Therapy has proven to be just as effective as traditional braces for most people. There are other advantages, too, as you can see below.

What can I expect at my treatment?

With Clear Aligner Therapy, we use computer technology to design your treatment plan. First, we take impressions of your mouth with a 3D intraoral scanner – no more sloppy goop! You will also have x-rays and photos taken. 
Based on this data, our orthodontist custom designs your smile and the lab then creates your set of aligners and sends them all to us at one time.

How long does treatment take?

You will wear each aligner, or tray, for about one week, but the good news is you don’t have to visit us that often. With Clear Aligner Therapy, all your trays at one time, so you only need to come into our office every 8-12 weeks. 
The total length of treatment depends on the severity of your malocclusion.

What are Invisalign clear aligners made of and what do they look like?

Invisalign’s aligners are made of a flexible plastic material called SmartTrack® that was created specifically for Invisalign treatment.
Invisalign is FDA-approved, and contains no BPS, BPA, gluten, or latex.

How will Invisalign treatment straighten my teeth?

We’ll help you create a unique treatment plan that will map out the precise movements of your teeth.
Your very own Invisalign aligners are designed and applied using the correct amount of force in the exact locations needed for your specific plan. We’ll be by your side at every step of the way to check your progress and ensure your aligners are fitting correctly.

How much does Invisalign treatment cost?

For most people, the cost of clear aligners is very similar to the cost of braces. We’ll help you figure out exactly how much your treatment will be based on factors such as complexity and how many aligners you actually need.

Is Invisalign treatment more expensive than braces?

Good news—traditional braces and Invisalign are comparable in price.

Will my insurance cover Invisalign treatment?

There are many insurance plans that cover clear aligners the same as they cover traditional braces. Of course, this varies from plan to plan. Your insurance provider may only cover a certain percentage—or dollar amount—of your treatment plan.  

How many people have used Invisalign clear aligners? Is Invisalign common?

Tons of people have used Invisalign to achieve better smiles, including 1.4 million teens. To date, more than 10 million people in total are proud Invisalign smilers! 

How is Invisalign treatment different than other teeth straightening options?

Invisalign and other clear aligners are made from specially designed plastics that provide accurate, predictable results that are far more comfortable for patients.

Do Invisalign clear aligners contain Bisphenol A (BPA)?

Both Invisalign’s aligners and retainers are made of medical-grade materials specially selected for their safety and unique properties. These materials have a lengthy history of FDA approval for long-term use inside the human body, and tests have shown that these materials pass all necessary regulatory requirements.
Based on the dental community’s current knowledge, we’re not aware of any BPAs, epoxy, latex, etc. in Invisalign retainers or aligners.

How old is the company behind Invisalign clear aligners?

Invisalign aligners are produced by Align Technology, which was founded in 1997.

Has the FDA approved Invisalign treatment?

Yes! Invisalign was approved by the FDA in 1998.

I am currently wearing braces. Can I make the switch to Invisalign treatment?

It’s possible! This all depends on the patient. If you’re currently wearing braces, we can help you figure out the best path forward at your consultation.

Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign treatment fix this?

Yes! Clear aligners can correct just about any common issue related to straight teeth, whether your problem is simple or complex.
Many patients have found themselves in this situation, where their teeth have shifted since removing their traditional braces.

I have veneers or crowns. Will Invisalign clear aligners work with them?

That depends! Speak with us regarding your past dental work, including crowns and veneers.  We’ll help you evaluate your options based on your own personal factors.

I have bridgework on several teeth. Will Invisalign clear aligners still work?

This one is more difficult. Invisalign and clear aligners work by moving each tooth separately. Since bridgework connects two or more teeth together, various clear aligners might not be the best option for this area, however many times we can work around bridgework.

Can anyone tell that I’m wearing the aligners?

Clear aligners are just that—clear. They’re unobtrusive and far less noticeable than regular braces, making them the perfect choice for anyone who wants a seamless path to a better smile.

Can I take my aligners off whenever I need to?

It’s a cinch to remove your aligners whenever you need to eat, brush, floss, or drink. You can even remove them for special occasions like job interviews, weddings, sporting events, music recitals, etc.
The only catch is that you should remember to wear your aligners at least 20-22 hours every day to get the best, fastest results.

Are there any restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?

No, and that’s one of the best parts about Invisalign. Since clear aligners are removable, you don’t have any food restrictions to stress about. Popcorn, anyone?

Compare that to traditional brackets and wires, which have a long list of food restrictions that could get stuck in your braces.

Is Invisalign treatment painful?

Invisalign is often preferable to traditional braces because it uses constant, gentle force to correct your smile. However, some patients do feel (temporary) discomfort during the first few days of their treatment.

This discomfort is usually described as “pressure” rather than “pain,” and it’s totally normal. It just means your treatment is already working to transform your smile.

If you continue feeling discomfort after a few days, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately.

Sometimes when I remove my aligners, my teeth feel loose. Is that common?

That’s totally normal! Your clear aligners are designed to shift your teeth into their correct position. As your teeth slowly shift, your gums must adapt and reform around your teeth. As always, speak with us whenever you have any concerns!.

Will Invisalign treatment still work if I only wear my aligners while I sleep?

Unfortunately not. To get optimal results, you should wear your aligners between 20-22 hours per day.

Will wearing Invisalign clear aligners affect my speech?

For the first few days after you receive your aligners, you may have an adjustment period while your tongue gets used to having the aligners in your mouth. Don’t worry, this should go away quickly on its own.

Will smoking stain my aligners?

Smoking can stain clear aligners, which is why we highly recommend patients abstain from smoking for the duration of their treatment.

Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?

Although you can remove your aligners to chew gum, we highly recommend that you don’t eat or chew gum while wearing them—gum can easily become stuck to your Invisalign. 

Can the aligners slip off while I’m asleep?

Regardless of what you’re doing, it’s highly unlikely that your aligners will ever fall out. Invisalign and other clear aligners are designed to fit snugly over your teeth. Whether you’re sleeping, talking or laughing, you shouldn’t be concerned about your aligners falling out.

I went on a trip and forgot to take my aligners with me. Will my aligners still fit?

That all depends on how long you’ve been missing your aligners. If you’ve missed a short period of treatment then your aligners should still fit your teeth (although they might be a bit snug). If you miss longer periods, contact us.

What’s the best way to clean my aligners?

You can easily clean your clear aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste, followed by a rinse in warm water. Avoid hot water—it can warp and permanently damage the plastic.

If I have food residue in my mouth when I put my aligners back in, can they become stained?

Unfortunately, yes. That’s why it’s so important to brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal before placing your aligners back in your mouth.

I dropped my aligners? Do I need to sterilize them after I clean them?

Definitely. Always make sure your aligners are clean before inserting them. And again, definitely avoid using hot water to clean your aligners, as that could warp the material.

What if I lose or break an aligner. What should I do?

Accidents happen. If you break or lose your aligner, no bid deal. Just skip forward to the next aligner and wear for double the amount of time. 

Can I order replacement aligners from the Invisalign brand directly?

Because clear aligners are a prescription, you can only get Invisalign through a doctor.

Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?

For many patients, retainers are recommended to prevent teeth from migrating back to their original positions. However, everyone is different. We’ll help you figure out exactly what to expect after your consultation!

How long will I have to wear my retainers?

Retainer use is patient-specific. In general, patients will want to wear their retainers 12 hours per day. From there, we may try to reduce the length of time you’re wearing your retainers, with our end goal of nighttime use only.

Is Invisalign treatment right for me?

Invisalign can be an excellent treatment option for teens and adults who want to smile better and more often. Clear aligners are great at correcting almost every common bite and tooth straightness issue. And best of all, you won’t even notice they’re there.