Straightening your teeth is a big achievement – even with all the benefits of Invisalign®, such as superior comfort and fast results, you’ll still want to make the most out of your treatment. After all, your appealing smile can last you a lifetime.
Invisalign is revolutionizing the tooth straightening process. Traditional braces feature metal brackets and wires that pull teeth in a desired direction. While effective, these metal braces can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Made from smooth plastic, Invisalign is comfortable, convenient, and nearly invisible.
Tips for Invisalign Success
Clean the aligners regularly
One of the best things about Invisalign is that it is nearly invisible – that is, unless they are stained.
Cleaning your aligners at least once a day can prevent stains from setting in. Use a gentle, antibacterial soap and warm (not hot!) water to remove buildup and bacteria from the aligner.
Wear them for the full 22 hours each day
Your Invisalign aligners can work only when they are in your mouth. Our Invisalign dentist recommends that you wear your Invisalign aligners for 22 hours each day, taking them out only to eat, drink and brush your teeth.
Follow the schedule
Unlike traditional braces in which your dentist makes the necessary adjustments to your braces on schedule, you will be responsible for maintaining your schedule. To stay on schedule, you will switch to a new set of Invisalign trays about every two weeks. If you forget to switch out a tray, you may delay your progress and have to wear Invisalign even longer.
Expect some discomfort
While many find Invisalign to be more comfortable than traditional braces, they may still cause some degree of discomfort as they gently guide your teeth in the desired direction. This is especially true after switching to a new aligner tray. However, the pain should never be severe and it should disappear after a couple of days.
To reduce discomfort, switch to a new aligner tray just before going to bed so that you can sleep through most of the discomfort. It is also smart to keep a supply of soft foods on hand to help you through the sore period.
Floss and brush
Invisalign completely encases your teeth. While this is great for straightening your teeth, it can also trap bacteria and germs against the surface of your teeth and gums, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. To prevent these dental issues, brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. It is also helpful to rinse your mouth after eating and drinking before you put your aligners back in.
Hang onto your old aligners
Accidents happen, even to those who take exceptional care to avoid losing or damaging their aligners. If something happens to your aligner, our dentist will be glad to order you a new one. You’ll need to preserve your progress while you wait, though, and your old aligner will work just fine as a temporary retainer.
Never eat with your aligner tray in your mouth
Certain food and beverages, such as berries and coffee, can stain the clear Invisalign aligner tray. Hot foods and drinks can also warp the plastic trays, which prevents the aligners from working properly.
Store Invisalign aligner trays properly
While the near-invisibility of Invisalign is great for getting a discreet orthodontic treatment, it makes the aligners incredibly easy to misplace. Be sure to put your aligner trays in a retainer case or other container any time you are eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. For best results, use a brightly-colored case that is easy to use and hard to miss.
Stick with it
It’s easy to become discouraged with teeth straightening, as it takes a long-term commitment to see meaningful change. The good news is that it does not take long to grow accustomed to Invisalign aligner trays, and you can begin to see changes within the first few weeks of wearing Invisalign.
Get regular checkups
With traditional braces, you’d be going to your dentist every few weeks to have your braces tightened. With Invisalign, you are free from these visits – although you still need to visit your dentist regularly to make sure that your teeth straightening treatment is on track and that you don’t have any other dental issues developing.
For more information on how to make the most out of your Invisalign, consult with our dentist at Preston Dental Loft. Our dentist provides the Invisalign teen and adult patients rely on for a great smile.