In the process of straightening their teeth, many patients are pleasantly surprised to find they lose a few pounds while undergoing Invisalign® treatment. Cosmetic dentists are including weight loss – jokingly referred to as the “Invisalign Diet” – as part of their pitch to patients seekingstraighter teeth without having to wear braces.
“We don’t promote Invisalign as a method for weight loss, as that’s not our area of expertise,” say Dr. Elliot Koschitzkiand Dr. Nick Augenbaum, two cosmetic dentists on Long Island. “Yet, we do mention the fact that patients lose anywhere from five to twenty pounds off the bat when using Invisalign.” Learn all about Invisalign here.
How does Invisalign weight loss work?
The invisible braces are worn 22 hours a day and are removed only to eat or drink anything besides water. After consuming a meal, snack or drink, you must brush your teeth and the trays before putting them back in. The process is not arduous, but it does take a few minutes, which makes wearers think twice before investing in that piece of chocolate or full-fat latte. This lifestyle change can be dramatic for some users.
Cori Kessler – single mom, entrepreneur, and blogger – chronicled her experience with Invisalign at her blog Embracing the Absurd.
“This has been a HUGE disruption to my life. I like to spend the mornings sipping coffee. Meals aren’t as big a part of my life as is snacking on almonds and berries. All. Day. Long,” she wrote in 2012. “Needless to say, I’ve been taking less bites, sips and tastes. It’s not so easy to snack on grapes while driving home from the grocery store, stop for a quick coffee, taste food samples at CostCo or TJ’s. I have to be much more mindful of when I eat and where there is a suitable place to brush my teeth after doing so.”
Other advantages of Invisalign
In addition to straight teeth and incidental weight loss, patients who have chosen Invisalign have reported other unexpected benefits such as:
- Protection against night grinding and jaw clenching.
- Straightening aligners can be administered along with tooth-whitening treatment.
- Unlike metal braces, the clear plastic trays are virtually invisible.
- Dental cleanings are easier than for braces wearers who may need extensive plaque and gum tissue removal.
- The lips and tongue adjust quickly to the oral appliance, so it’s easier to speak and enunciate.
- It’s easier to brush, floss and prevent gingivitis without maneuvering around rubber bands.
- Many wearers find their TMJ, migraines and neck pain dissipate.
- Gum recession, tooth loss and bone loss risks are significantly reduced once the teeth become straightened.
- The patient’s smile looks straighter, whiter and better following treatment.
Another advantage is cost. Many dental plans cover Invisalign treatment just as they would cover metal braces, with as much as 50% paid by insurance companies. Given payment plans, health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts, straighter smiles and weight loss can be achieved without dipping far into the patient’s pockets.
Straight teeth & a slimmer waist
“Who wouldn’t want to have straighter teeth and a slimmer waistline?” ask Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot. “Invisalign is an ideal alternative to braces for patients with crooked or protruding teeth, malocclusion, overbite, underbite, gaps, or overcrowding. It takes a little getting used to and sacrifice initially, but the procedure soon becomes second nature – and the results are life-changing.”