For years, Invisalign has been the market leader in clear aligners, and they continue to innovate in order to bring you beautiful results.

SmartForceTM attachments are among the most powerful tools developed by Align Technology. With these small devices, Invisalign clear aligners can be gripped and maneuvered with greater ease. By using them, your orthodontist has precision control and predictability in the movement of your teeth, which ensures faster and more reliable results.

Here you will find everything you need to know about Invisalign attachments or buttons – in order to aid you on your journey towards a beautiful, healthy smile.

Attachments are small, tooth-colored dental pieces that attach to certain teeth during your Invisalign treatment. They are useful for moving teeth by serving as grips for the Invisalign aligners to adhere to. In addition to the aligners fitting snugly over the attachments (also known as buttons), these buttons help hold the aligners in place to slowly and gently move your teeth to their correct positions.

Invisalign SmartForce attachments are patented technologies designed specifically for use with Invisalign aligners. SmartForce attachments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed to accommodate a particular movement or grip. 

As a result of SmartForce attachments, which are designed and manufactured using exclusive state-of-the-art technology and premium materials, your Invisalign treatment will be supported in the most effective manner, resulting in long-lasting, healthy, beautiful smiles.

Your case and dental diagnosis will determine what you need. It is not necessary to attach attachments to every case. Some simple cases may not require them for your aligners to move your teeth well.

Invisalign treatment begins with a consultation with your orthodontist, who will create your treatment plan and determine whether you will require attachments. 

Generally, attachments are required to achieve the best results. The SmartForce attachments are tiny and barely noticeable, especially with the aligner fitted snugly over them. Their grip allows for greater reliability and treatment speeds, so attachments help you complete your treatment more quickly, leaving you with a beautiful, healthy smile and straight teeth for a lifetime.

If you wish to decline attachments, you may do so. It is likely that your Invisalign treatment will work, it may just take longer and be less effective than before.

If you are considering Invisalign treatment without attachments, please consult your orthodontist to determine if this will work for your particular condition and how long the procedure may take.

Before you receive your first set of Invisalign aligners, your orthodontist will do attachment bonding. This means they will affix the attachments to a few of your teeth using dental bonding glue.

They will remain in place for the duration of your Invisalign therapy, and each set of aligners will be specially designed to fit over them, giving the aligners the necessary grip to safely and effectively move your teeth into place.

Each set of aligners slowly adjusts your teeth a little more towards their correct positions. The patented technology in SmartForce attachment design gives the aligners a handle to grip onto, which enhances the precision of movement and the speed and effectiveness of your teeth shifting!

When your treatment is over and your smile is complete, your orthodontist will remove the attachments. They will not leave any permanent damage. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to avoid any staining or discoloration.

Invisalign attachments are pain-free! To put them on, your orthodontist will use safe, non-toxic dental adhesive glue. It is designed to keep your attachments on for as long as the treatment lasts, and then be dissolved easily and painlessly when you’re finished, without any lasting impact on your teeth.

They don’t hurt coming on or off. When you first get them, they may feel uncomfortable as your mouth adjusts – but the discomfort only lasts a day or two before you get used to the attachments and the aligners. Most patients report feeling so comfortable with the aligners and attachments, that they actually feel uncomfortable when they are finished and they’re not wearing them anymore!

When your treatment is completed, the orthodontist will remove the Invisalign attachments in a simple procedure. They use a specialized tool to remove most of the dental composite materials that kept the attachment on your tooth, and then another tool – usually an ultrasonic scaler, to gently remove the remaining bits of material off your teeth.

Getting your attachments removed does not hurt: you may feel a bit of vibration against your teeth, but no pain. 

Do not attempt to remove attachments yourself — they are bonded to your teeth and need to be removed with the proper instruments so that your dental enamel does not get damaged. If an attachment is loose or falls off, don’t try to scrape away the remaining material. Your orthodontist will take care of it at your next visit.

It’s best to keep the Invisalign attachments on during the course of your treatment, but in certain cases they can be removed. For special occasions such as a wedding or religious coming-of-age ceremony, your attachments could be removed temporarily.

That happens occasionally and isn’t a big issue. Let your orthodontist know and a new one can be attached at your next visit. If your aligners are still fitting well, the tooth will still move properly, and you can continue wearing your aligners as prescribed until then.

The attachments won’t damage your teeth, as long as you take proper care of your oral hygiene throughout your Invisalign treatment. Staining is more common — the attachments can stain if you drink a lot of dark liquids like coffee, tea, or red wine. Luckily, Invisalign attachments respond well to whitening, so you can bleach them throughout your treatment, just like your teeth.

One big benefit of Invisalign removable aligners is that you can eat everything! You just need to remove aligners while eating and brush regularly. There are no specific foods you need to avoid.

Invisalign attachments are barely noticeable, especially when wearing the clear aligners over them.

They are very small and the same color as your teeth, so they blend in seamlessly. Invisalign technology allows you to straighten your teeth with minimal interruptions to your appearance! 

Typically, Invisalign attachments are put on the front and side teeth for the most effective results, not the back teeth, but it all depends on your specific case.

The specific placements of the SmartForce attachments are determined by your orthodontist, who will examine your teeth and jaw and decide what will be most effective for your treatment.

The number of attachments varies depending on the treatment and the specifics of your case. Some Invisalign patients do not require attachments, and others require up to 20. Most require somewhere in between. Your orthodontist will make the ultimate decision depending on your case and diagnosis. The more complex the case, the more attachments you will need.

No, SmartForce attachments are safe for use throughout your treatment and will not damage your teeth. Poor oral hygiene, however, can create plaque build-up around the attachments, leading to tooth decay and/or staining and discoloration. For that reason, it’s important to brush and floss regularly!

Each tooth is a different shape and requires a different kind of movement to align in the correct position. Your orthodontist will carefully select the proper size and shape of attachments, in order to best move your teeth to the correct positions.

Yes, your attachments will not break off or be damaged by the toothbrush. Be sure to brush your teeth during treatment, twice a day, to prevent bacteria and tooth decay!

When your dentist refers to your orthodontic elastics, he could be talking about two different kinds of orthodontic elastics. Ligatures are the rubber elastics that go around your brackets that help the archwire stay in place on your brackets. These ligatures come in all kinds of colors that you can choose to compliment your smile during treatment. Ligatures work to push or pull teeth in the directions they need to go during treatment. Rubber Bands are a larger form of elastic that are employed to apply pressure to the jaw to help achieve proper alignment of your bite. Rubber bands can be inserted in several different configurations to meet the connective force requirements you need. The most common configuration is the inter-arch, or top-to-bottom, configuration. Rubber bands also come in a variety of colors to spice up your smile!

Orthodontic elastic bands pull your jaw forward or backward depending on what movement you need to achieve proper alignment. Your upper teeth and lower teeth should line up and fit together comfortably when you bite down. Rubber bands accelerate the moving/straightening process and are an essential part of orthodontic treatment.  If you want to get out of your braces on time (or possibly earlier) wear your orthodontic elastic bands the prescribed amount of time–not more, not less.  Typically, elastic bands will need to be worn a minimum of 10-12 hours, but for some patients, they need to be worn 24-hours and only removed for eating and cleaning/caring for your braces and teeth.

Some patients get overly excited about the power of rubber bands and mistakenly think that by doubling up on their bands they can move their teeth more quickly and shorten treatment times. Too much force, too quickly can damage tooth roots and actually stretch-out the amount of time it takes to move your teeth. Wear your orthodontic elastic bands how you are instructed and you will move along without any problems.

Choosing the colors of your elastic bands is an exciting part of the treatment process. Reaching a point where you are ready to use elastic bands also means you have arrived at one of your important treatment milestones. Orthodontic elastic bands get you that much closer to achieving your healthy smile rewards! As with anything new, it is common to have some anxiety at incorporating a new skill/habit into your orthodontic treatment. Before you know it, you will be a pro at using them and won’t even really notice that they are there working for you. Soreness of your jaws, mouth and teeth is normal for the first few days after adding orthodontic elastic bands to your treatment routine. Stick to it, the discomfort will go away after your mouth adjusts to this new tool.

After you have been fitted for your aligners, you will need to wear them continuously; removing them for a maximum of 15 minutes ONLY for eating and hygiene is the TRUE SECRET for the fastest and most perfect treatment times and results. This allows time for you to remove your aligners so you can enjoy all your meals, which is not possible with traditional braces. Once you have finished eating, you will need to brush and water-floss your teeth before reinserting your Invisalign aligners. We also recommend that you lightly brush or rinse your aligners as well. Once you have put them back into place, you may go about your day as normal. Remember, keeping your appointments is also key to advancing toward your perfect life-lasting smile.