What Are Invisalign Buttons & When Do You Need Them?
Invisalign Buttons Are Sometimes Required for More Effective Treatment
Clear aligners are highly effective at giving you the smile of your dreams, but when teeth don’t move in accordance to plan some providers recommend Invisalign buttons to get you back on track. They aren’t required in every case, and some providers don’t even offer Invisalign buttons as part of their treatment plan, but if your teeth straightening process is less than desired, these refinements may be the solution for you.
If you’re curious about buttons (or the closely related Invisalign attachments), this blog has the answers. We’ll describe what Invisalign buttons are, when and why you need them, and how they are an essential element of the smile journey.
What Are Invisalign Buttons?
Whereas traditional metal braces are affixed to your teeth, clear aligners fit over them. With each new set of trays you wear, they gradually move your teeth into their ideal positions. When Invisalign treatment first debuted on the market, it was primarily used for mild to moderate straightening. But as their science and technology advanced, Invisalign evolved its treatment to handle more complicated tooth movement, and can even work on teeth with composite bonding.
Invisalign buttons and attachments are two such innovations, and both fall under the category of Invisalign refinements. Invisalign buttons are small auxiliaries that are placed onto your clear aligners where rubber bands are then placed to move stubborn or difficult teeth. They are commonly mistaken for attachments, which are adhered to specific teeth so that your aligners anchor more effectively over them. Attachments are primarily used to encourage certain types of movements like extrusions, intrusions, or rotations.
Will I Have to Wear Invisalign Buttons?
Some patients with more severe smile problems might need to wear Invisalign buttons.
Not everyone will need to wear Invisalign buttons. They are usually reserved for more severe teeth issues or for patients with teeth that are shaped or angled in a manner that makes it difficult for trays to straighten them without additional orthodontic force. As mentioned above, they are part of the refinements process, so while you may not start your treatment with buttons, they may be recommended later in your smile journey if course corrections are needed.
Refinements for Invisalign are only offered by orthodontists or dental professionals, and not currently available for patients straightening their teeth with at-home treatment providers like CandidCo.
How Do You Get Invisalign Buttons?
If buttons or attachments are required for your treatment, you will be told by your provider. Often this occurs during one of your treatment checkups, where your orthodontic professional might notice certain teeth not moving in accordance with your plan. Buttons and attachments can be used together or alone at the guidance of your provider.
If you need Invisalign buttons, your provider will send you replacement trays and instruct you on how and where to attach the rubber bands. If you need attachments, your provider will bring you in for an appointment to place the composite resin onto the surfaces of your teeth and then send you new trays with the corresponding anchors on the clear aligners themselves. Once treatment is over, they will remove your attachments using a polishing tool. Never attempt to remove attachments from your teeth, as this should only be done by a professional.
Are Invisalign Buttons Noticeable?
The visibility of your refinements will depend on where your orthodontist placed them on your teeth or aligners. Generally speaking, they are barely noticeable, however they can be a source of Invisalign pain. Because buttons are placed onto your aligners, they can create irritations in your mouth or even lead to Invisalign cutting your tongue. If this occurs, try using dental wax for braces and place the wax over any Invisalign sharp edges.
Remember that buttons and attachments are temporary but highly effective tools for straightening your teeth. Despite their inconvenience, they are necessary to help you enjoy a stunning new smile that you can enjoy for the rest of your life (just remember, you will have to wear clear retainers after treatment).
Top 3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Invisalign Treatment
Did you just receive a new pair of aligners? Here’s how you can get the most out of your treatment!
Invisalign buttons are only part of your Invisalign treatment. In order to get the best results, you will need to:
- Clean your aligners on a regular basis
- Wear them for at least 20 hours a day
- Try chewing exercises or snack on a mint to help your aligners track properly
1. Remember to clean your aligners regularly
Learning how to clean Invisalign properly is a very important part of your smile journey. Most people clean their aligners at the same time that they brush their teeth, which is a good start. Consider adding an on-the-go retainer cleaner like Smilesaver™ to your toolkit, which you simply spray onto your aligners. This peroxide-free solution works in 60 seconds to eliminate bacteria, odor, and funky tastes from any oral device and doesn’t require rinsing before reinserting your trays.
In addition to this cleaning routine, make sure you stay diligent about your own oral hygiene. Brushing after every meal or snack before you put your trays back in and flossing daily are key to preventing Invisalign gum damage.
2. Wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day
In order to obtain the best results from your treatment, you need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. This might seem like a long time, but remember that you will be wearing your aligners while you sleep. As you continue to wear your aligners, you will become acclimated to wearing them for long periods of time and experience more Invisalign pain relief during treatment.
3. Try chewing exercises
Some people have issues with their Invisalign not tracking properly. To fix this, many orthodontists recommend chewing exercises to help seat trays correctly on their teeth for maximum tooth movement. You can use Invisalign chewies for these exercises, but they don’t taste great and have to be cleaned after each use.
We created Movemints Clear Aligner Mints as an alternative to Invisalign chewies. Our aligner-friendly mints have a patented groove that fits between the trays and they’re hard enough to withstand the gentle chewing exercises necessary to seat your trays. Plus, they are formulated with a therapeutic dose of xylitol to freshen your breath and fight Invisalign dry mouth. To use one, simply place it between your aligners and bite down gently to seat your trays.
Wearing Invisalign buttons and attachments is more common than you think. If they are recommended by your orthodontist as part of the refinements process, just know that they’re a necessary step in the journey to the smile of your dreams!