can you get invisalign if you already had braces - woman smiling wearing braces

Can You Get Invisalign If You Already Had Braces?

Many people get braces as a child or teen to straighten their smile. However, their teeth might start to shift again over the years. If your smile has become crooked or gapped since you got your braces off, and you’d like to straighten your teeth again, you may be wondering if you can get Invisalign even though you already had braces. The orthodontists at Lifetime Family Dental answer this question and more below.  

Can You Get Invisalign If You Already Had Braces?

If your teeth have shifted since you had braces, you may need more orthodontic work. The good news is that you can still get Invisalign even if you already had braces. The only people who aren’t eligible for Invisalign treatment are people who have extreme cases of misaligned teeth. If your teeth are severely crowded, crooked, or gapped, or if you have significant bite problems, you may need another round of braces instead. 

Why Do Teeth Shift After Braces?

Not Wearing Retainers

Wearing your retainers as directed is crucial to the success of any teeth straightening treatment. If you don’t wear your retainers as recommended after getting your braces off, your teeth will start to shift again. Braces don’t change the placement of your teeth permanently—they will always want to shift back to their original positions. Keep in mind that just like braces, you will have to wear retainers after completing your Invisalign treatment. 

Teeth Grinding

If you grind or clench your teeth under stress or while you’re asleep, the pressure can cause them to shift. Grinding your teeth can also cause other damage, like cracked teeth and enamel erosion. Wearing Invisalign trays helps protect your teeth by acting as a barrier. However, once you finish treatment, teeth grinding can cause your teeth to shift again. 

Wisdom Teeth 

If your wisdom teeth came in after your braces came off, they might have caused shifts in the alignment of your other teeth. When your wisdom teeth grow in, they can become impacted and put pressure on the teeth nearby. If you haven’t yet had your wisdom teeth removed, you may want to remove them before getting Invisalign, to ensure they don’t affect your alignment after treatment. 

How Is Invisalign Different from Braces?

Traditional braces are made of metal brackets and wires that cannot be removed until your treatment is complete. As you may recall, you have to make some changes to your diet when you wear braces, like avoiding hard and sticky foods. 

With Invisalign, on the other hand, you wear custom-fit clear aligners or “trays” for around 22 hours each day, switching to new trays every few weeks. Invisalign aligners get removed before eating and drinking, so there’s no need to limit your diet. While you may feel some discomfort whenever you switch to new Invisalign trays, they are much less painful than braces. Invisalign treatment also takes less time than braces, around a year in most cases. 

Get Invisalign in Gilbert, Arizona

Even if you’ve already had braces, you can still get Invisalign! Contact Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert to schedule a consultation, and we can determine whether or not Invisalign is right for you. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about Invisalign or our other dental services. Call us at 480-558-4331 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/14/2022). Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels