It’s an exciting day! Your Invisalign clear aligners have arrived and you’re ready to get started on the beautiful smile you have wanted for years. The Invisalign System of clear aligners has exploded in popularity, with over 15 million patients worldwide using them since 1997. In fact, Invisalign is the world’s largest user of high-tech 3-D printing technology for clear aligners.
The images taken of the patient’s mouth are used to calculate exactly how much force the aligners must place on every tooth to move it to the desired position. The customized clear aligners and input from your orthodontist ensure that every tooth moves in the right order and at the right time during the treatment plan.
But, Invisalign is only successful if the aligners are worn properly. You are investing money and time to reach your goal so you want to make sure you do everything you can to make the most of your aligners.
In this article, we provide 10 Invisalign tips to follow so that you can improve the success of your clear aligners and make sure your experience is comfortable and cost-effective.
10 Tips for Treatment With Invisalign Clear Aligners
Follow these simple, common-sense tips to get the most from your Invisalign aligners:
#1 – Use Your Aligners According to Schedule
Don’t spend money on aligners and then not use them as directed by your orthodontist. Your teeth will not move as much or on schedule if you don’t wear the aligners as long as you should every day. The general guideline is 22 hours a day, so they should be in your mouth at all times unless you are eating, brushing your teeth, or cleaning the aligners.
#2 – Change the Aligners as Directed
Your orthodontist will provide a schedule for changing aligners and it’s important to follow this plan to get the best result. It’s easy to lose track of time, so set a reminder on your calendar or you could end up leaving aligners in your mouth too long or changing them too soon. The result can be an aligner that won’t fit properly and a disruption in your treatment plan.
#3 – Be Ready for Normal Tenderness and Soreness
Your orthodontist will alert you to minor soreness and tenderness when new aligners are put into your mouth. Be ready for it each time by preparing ahead. Preemptively take over-the-counter pain medication if that helps. You can also plan to avoid foods that would only add to the problem, like chewy and crunchy items. Have ice cubes ready to suck on for a couple of days. On the days you switch aligners, do it early in the day. The normal adjustment time will then most likely be over by the time you go to bed.
Be assured that this normal tenderness will go away in a few days. Don’t take the aligners out thinking that will help; it will only prolong it when you put them back in. And if the soreness lasts longer than a few days, check in with your orthodontist right away. There is no need to suffer with an aligner that needs attention.
#4 – Don’t Get Discouraged With Your Speech
Be prepared for some adjustments in speaking normally. Many users have a slight lisp for a few days. It will probably be more bothersome to you than to others and don’t assume it will be a long-term annoyance. Your mouth needs time to adjust to the aligner. Soon you will be back to your normal speech.
#5 – Take Care Of The Aligners
All you need are warm water and some antibacterial or regular soap to properly take care of your aligners. There are also products made specifically for cleaning aligners or other plastic orthodontic appliances and these are fine, too. Just don’t use toothpaste! It is too abrasive and can scratch the plastic.
Remove the aligners and use a soft cloth with soap/cleaner and water to wipe them clean. This also gives you a chance to inspect the aligners for any problems. If there are any, bring those issues up with your orthodontist right away.
#6 – Rinse, Brush, And Floss Regularly
Your regular dental care routine must still be followed every day. Take the aligners out twice a day while brushing and flossing. Also, use a fluoride mouthwash as directed by your dentist. This routine to keep your mouth and teeth healthy is just as important with aligners as without them.
#7 – Don’t Skip Any Routine Dental Cleanings
Part of getting the most out of your aligners is to maintain your schedule for regular dental cleanings and exams with your dentist. Removable aligners make this easy so
don’t skip any cleanings. If you neglect this, you are inviting preventable oral health problems. Don’t work on straightening your teeth just to get cavities or gum disease.
#8 – Use Your Aligner Case!
Adopt the habit early to put your aligners in the case as soon as you remove them. Aligners are often lost by wrapping them in a napkin in a restaurant and many are chewed by dogs at home.
One suggestion to prevent this from happening is to have more than one case. Keep one with you at all times and the other one can remain at home.
If your aligners are lost or damaged, your treatment may be prolonged, plus you have the added expense of replacing them. Notify your orthodontist right away if you lose an aligner. They will reorder them and can advise you on what to do until the replacement arrives.
#9 – Keep the Last Set of Aligners
Don’t throw the last aligners away as you replace them. Keep that last set on hand for those cases where you lose or damage the one you’re wearing. The old one will then become a backup while your replacement aligner is on the way. This will keep your teeth from moving back to their previous position.
Make sure to discuss this scenario with your orthodontist. They can then advise you on restarting the 2-week timetable for the current aligners with as little disruption to your treatment plan as possible.
#10 – Wear Your Retainer After Treatment
Imagine the day when your treatment plan to straighten your teeth is finished! Plan a celebration for that day, because you will have earned it.
But remember, you will need to use a retainer for a while to ensure your teeth are stabilized in their new alignment. Though this is a minor issue after all the work you’ve already done. Your orthodontist will give you a schedule for the retainer. It’s simple to follow and will be worth it to protect your investment in time and money to have the smile you have always wanted!
You Can Help Maximize Your Investment in Your Teeth!
By following these 10 tips for Invisalign clear aligners, you will maximize the success of your treatment plan. Get ready for a smile you’ll be excited to show off!
Our team here at Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics offers effective Invisalign treatment for patients from Bedford, Huntingdon, Altoona, and the surrounding areas. We can help you achieve a picture-perfect smile that you are proud to show off!
To learn more about how aligners can give you a straighter and more beautiful smile contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert orthodontists.