How noticeable is Invisalign®?

Will people be able to tell that you're wearing your aligners?

More about wearing Invisalign®.

One of the things that patients really like about the Invisalign® system is that their teeth are straightened using hard-to-see transparent aligners instead of a set of brackets and wires (like with traditional braces).

But even with this advantage, there can be some aspects of having Invisalign® treatment (or treatment with the similar aligner products ClearCorrect® or Simpli 5®) that may be a giveaway that something is going on with your teeth.

Why people may be able to tell that you're wearing invisible dental braces.

Here's a list of points that explain why wearing Invisalign® braces may not be quite as "invisible" as you'd expect. (Be sure to check out all of the pictures on this page for examples.)

I) The way that your aligners look can be a tip-off that you have Invisalign®.

Although Invisalign® aligners are unquestionably less obvious than other types of dental braces, wearing them can't be expected to be totally undetectable. Here's why.

a) Invisalign® aligners are made out of shiny plastic.

The slick plastic surface of an Invisalign® aligner can make your teeth look extra shiny. This shouldn't be much of an issue most of the time. But it may be especially noticeable when you're standing in direct sunlight or in front of really bright lights.

b) The halo effect.

When you have your Invisalign® aligners in, your teeth are essentially plastic-wrapped. And the thickness of this plastic, or any fit discrepancies between the aligner and your teeth, can create a "halo" affect.

c) The edge of your aligners may show.

If you're lucky, the edges of your aligners will lie hidden under your lips, maybe even when you smile. But this isn't always the case.

If you have a relatively high lip or smile line (a "skin grin"), or if your aligners have a design where they just cover over most but not all of each tooth, other people may notice that you're wearing your aligners.

Saliva bubbles trapped in an Invisalign® aligner.

d) Some portions of an aligner may accumulate debris.

If you have very large tooth gaps, these wide, empty spans in your aligners may trap debris or foamy saliva.

Distance does matter.

Of course, the importance of all of the factors mentioned above will probably just depend upon how close the person looking at you happens to be.

If they're three feet or more away, your Invisalign® braces probably won't be detected.

But if you work closely with other people, especially the type that pay close attention to detail, your aligners, and the fact that you're having treatment, very well may be noticed.

II) Wearing Invisalign® can affect some of your daily activites.

Although people may not notice that you have aligners in your mouth, the way they can affect some of your normal everyday activities might give them a hint, or even make it quite obvious, that they're in there. Here're some examples:

III) Not all of the parts of the Invisalign® system are invisible.

Invisalign® tooth attachments.

Only Invisalign® aligners are see-through clear, the "attachments" and "buttons" that are sometimes used with them are not. And if your case requires them, they may be a tip-off to others that you are having orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign® Braces
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