Invisalign is a common orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligners to adjust your teeth into their correct position over time, much like traditional braces. It’s also one of the most popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry. If your cosmetic dentist has recommended Invisalign treatment, it’s important to follow instructions carefully to get the most from your treatment. These Invisalign tips can help you improve your treatment success and make the treatment process as easy and comfortable as possible.
#1. Wear your aligners!
The biggest mistake you can make is simply failing to wear your aligners as often as you should. The goal is to get as close to 22 hours per day as you can. If you leave your aligners out for too long, it can extend the treatment process or hinder results. During the first 2 days, wear your aligner trays as much as possible, removing them only to brush and floss your teeth.
#2. Change your aligners on time
Dr. Mishaan will give you a schedule for when you should change your aligners and in which order they should be changed. Each set is typically worn for two weeks. We recommend not trying to speed up your treatment by switching to the next set of aligners too soon, because this could ultimately delay the overall treatment period.
#3. Combat tenderness as you adjust to the aligners
At our dental office, we always take extra care to ensure that the aligners will sit comfortably in your mouth. Still, some people do experience some discomfort while adjusting to the aligners.
The good news is you can take steps to combat the tenderness and soreness to feel more comfortable during the adjustment process. We recommend trying these Invisalign tips if you experience sore gums:
When you can have your aligners out, suck on an ice cube to numb your gums.
Avoid crunchy, chewy, and crispy foods when you notice soreness of your gums or teeth.
When it’s time to switch to a new aligner, make the switch early in the day. This gives you plenty of time to adjust to the tenderness before you need to sleep.
If you feel a rough edge, discuss it with your dentist so it can be fixed.
#4. Keep the last set of aligners
Don’t toss your old aligners when it’s time for the new set. Always keep the last set on hand just in case you break or lose your aligners. This way, you have a backup set while you wait for the replacement set. Wear the last set of aligners to prevent your teeth from moving back into their previous position. Once your replacement set comes in, restart the 2-week process to avoid too much delay in your progress.
#5. Rinse, brush, and floss regularly
You will need to take your aligners out at least twice a day to brush and floss your teeth and use mouthwash. Remembering good oral hygiene is still required to ensure your mouth stays healthy and clean while wearing Invisalign.
#6. Practice makes perfect
Fun fact: there can sometimes be a learning curve to speaking normally with aligners in place. At first, you may speak with a slight lisp. Keep practicing talking with the aligners in; it shouldn’t take more than a few days until the lisp isn’t noticeable and you’re back to your normal speech.
#7. Attachments can speed up your treatment
Don’t be afraid to opt for attachments or “buttons” to speed up your treatment. These attachments can hold aligners in place, move a tooth, and treat a broader range of orthodontic cases that the plastic aligners could not otherwise treat. The “buttons” are tiny tooth-colored dots of bonding material usually on the middle of your teeth at strategic locations. These attachments work by ensuring there is the right amount of force in the right places to pull your teeth into alignment.
#8. Take care of the aligners
The aligners are easy to clean and take care of with warm water and antibacterial soap. Regular soap and water are usually fine to clean the aligners but you may also use cleaning products specifically for plastic orthodontics. At our office, we always make sure our patients have the correct and most effective cleaning products for their aligners. We recommend never using toothpaste to clean the trays because it can scratch the plastic.
#9. Wear your retainer after treatment
Once you’ve finished using the Invisalign aligners, you will need to use a retainer to help hold your teeth in their new positions. Unfortunately, some patients think their retainer isn’t all that important because their teeth look straight and perfect. If you skip the retainer though, your teeth may drift back out of alignment. So, we always recommend working with your Invisalign specialist to determine how often and for how long you should wear your retainer upon completing treatment.
Considering an alternative to traditional braces to straighten your teeth? Contact Midtown Dental today to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Mishaan, a leading NYC dentist, to learn more about how aligners can give you a straighter and more beautiful smile.