Many patients choose Invisalign® over traditional metal braces to maintain their appearance while straightening their teeth. And why not? Invisalign® patients report experiencing greater comfort and convenience during treatment than patients with metal braces. But just like any orthodontic treatment, you must follow certain guidelines to get the most out of your care. Here are seven tips and tricks for Invisalign® patients.
Always Carry a Case
Invisalign® is a great option for busy patients, because of the flexibility of removing the trays when you need to. Though you must wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day, you should take them out to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. Some patients put their aligners in a napkin or on the table, but this is very unsanitary and can damage your trays. Carrying a case ensures you always have a safe place to put your aligners when you’re on the go and prevents you from accidentally throwing them away with at the end of your meal.
Remove Your Aligners Before Drinking
Most patients know to remove their aligners before eating, but it’s just as important to remove them before drinking as well. Certain drinks such as coffee, wine, and soda can cause stains, and hot beverages can even warp your aligners, affecting treatment. Play it safe and remove your aligners before drinking anything other than water.
If you do happen to stain your aligners, don’t panic. Proper sanitation techniques and stain-removing solutions can erase most stains and keep your aligners sparkling clean.
Practice Removing Your Aligners
Since patients are instructed to firmly insert their aligners, they can be difficult to take out.
Use a soft touch when removing Invisalign®. Pushing or pulling too hard can cause damage. Start from inside your back molars and gently lift the tray away from your teeth. Slowly move closer to your front teeth until your aligner is free.
Keep Your Three Most-Recent Aligner Sets
It’s recommended that patients switch to a new aligner set each week. That new set will be slightly more adjusted, bringing you closer to your ideal grin. Every time you switch to new trays, be sure to keep your three most-recent sets.
If you accidentally lose or damage the new aligners, try to insert the next set in your progression. If that set doesn’t fit, use an old set until your orthodontist makes a replacement. Though the previous trays won’t be exactly the same, it’s better to wear them than to go without your aligners entirely.
Make sure you label and store each set separately to avoid confusion.
Clean Your Trays Regularly
Proper oral hygiene will help ensure effective treatment, so be sure sure to brush and floss each time before putting in your aligners. You put so much effort into getting a perfect smile, the last thing you want is a mouth full of cavities!
To prevent bacteria build-up, rinse your aligners with water each day and brush gently with a soft-bristle brush. Many patients get into the habit of cleaning their aligners when they brush their teeth at night so they don’t forget. You may also soak your aligners in a denture cleaning solution or with hydrogen peroxide for one minute.
Wear a Retainer After Treatment
This is a critical step for Invisalign® and braces patients alike to keep their new smiles intact. After treatment is over, you’ll need to wear a retainer throughout the day for several months, and it’s recommended that you wear a retainer at night for life. Neglecting your post-treatment retainer can allow your teeth to shift back into their original positions, reversing your progress and hard work.
Keep Your Aligners Away From Pets
Dogs love to get hold of your aligners, but they’re quite an expensive chew toy! Keep them out of reach of pets to prevent an unplanned need for replacement.
If You Have Questions, Ask!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your orthodontist is happy to address any concerns you have about your aligners. If something doesn’t look or feel right, don’t hesitate to give your orthodontist a call. Your comfort is our top priority.
Why Choose Prentice Orthodontics?
A healthy smile isn’t just good for your appearance, it’s good for your health. We improve our patients’ quality of life by helping them achieve their ideal grin. Our office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide you the best and most comfortable treatment possible. Schedule a free consultation, today. The smile of your dreams awaits.