Invisalign trays are great since they can be removed when you are eating and cleaning your teeth; and, they are practically invisible. However, some patients may be surprised if they have to get an Invisalign tray with an attachment. While attachments may slightly alter the appearance of the trays, they are important for completing orthodontic treatment in a timely manner. Here are two types of attachments you may need if you get Invisalign.
Bite ramps are plastic or composite bumps that are cemented to the backsides of the Invisalign trays. For people with traditional braces, bite ramps may be small acrylic pieces that are cemented to the backsides of teeth. The idea of bite ramps is to prevent full closure of the mouth, so it can help patients correct overbites and encourage vertical changes to the bite. These ramps are also ideal for patients with bruxism. If you grind your teeth forcefully enough, you can actually chew small holes in the thermoplastic aligners, so smaller bite ramps can help prevent this issue. Because the bite ramps are formed on the back of the Invisalign tray, other people shouldn't see this attachment when you wear your trays and smile.
Rubber Band Buttons
Some people with Invisalign may be disappointed if they have to wear rubber bands as well, but these bands can be clear in color and are much less noticeable than metal braces. Rubber bands have great corrective force and help to fit the upper and lower jaw together correctly.
Your dentist will apply clear, plastic "buttons" to the outside of the tray if you need to wear rubber bands. These buttons have grooves which the rubber bands can slip into. Wearing rubber bands may be a little uncomfortable at first, but as long as you wear them regularly, this discomfort should fade. While it may be tempting to skip and not wear rubber bands on the Invisalign buttons, that can prolong your treatment.
The good news is that neither of these attachments should stain, so you'll still be able to get the appearance of invisible braces. Keep in mind that if you have bite ramps, rubber band buttons, or other attachments, you may not need to wear these attachments for the duration of your treatment. For instance, rubber bands are often used in the final phases of orthodontic treatment. When you no longer need an attachment, your dentist can remove it without damaging the tray. Reach out to a dentist in your area to learn more about Invisalign and possible attachments during treatment.