Are you wondering how to get the most out of your Invisalign clear aligners – and how to wear them comfortably? Our Orléans dentists discuss some helpful hints with you.
How can I get the most out of wearing Invisalign clear aligners?
Clear aligners can be an excellent orthodontic treatment option for patients who want to straighten or realign their teeth without wearing traditional metal braces. They are removable and allow for discreet teeth straightening.
If you and your dentist decide that clear aligners are the best option for you, you may still have concerns about how to wear them effectively and fit them into your hectic schedule. Our dentists have compiled a list of helpful hints for an exceptionally clear aligner experience.
1. Keep Your Aligners Clean
Due to the clear and transparent nature of Invisalign aligners, they readily show discoloration and food particles. That is why it is critical to thoroughly clean both your teeth and your trays each day. While you sleep, bacteria accumulate on the trays, and by the end of the day, they will require another cleaning.
Each time you remove the aligners from your mouth, thoroughly rinse them. We recommend washing them with clear, antibacterial soap and soaking them in either denture cleaner or the cleaning solution included with them.
Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before placing the trays back in your mouth, and you're good to go.
2. Track Your Schedule for Switching Times
You'll switch to a new set of clear aligners approximately every two weeks. It is critical to switch to the next set in the series at the prescribed time to ensure that your teeth shift properly and that your treatment progresses as planned.
You can write it in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone to keep it top of mind, and some clear aligner brands have an app designed to help you track your treatment.
3. Store Your Clear Aligners Properly
When you remove your clear aligners to eat, brush or floss, or participate in sports, you'll need a secure storage location. Maintain them in a secure location, such as a plastic storage case that fits in your pocket. This will keep them clean and prevent them from becoming dirty or damaged, as well as help keep your teeth clean when you replace them. If they are left out, thoroughly clean them and soak them in solution before reintroducing them to your mouth.
4. Give Your Teeth Time to Adjust
Each set of clear aligners will move your teeth in minuscule increments. Though adjustment is not as difficult as it is with braces, which include brackets and wires, your teeth may still require some adjustment during the first few days of wearing a new set. Although some soreness is to be expected, once your mouth adjusts, you should return to normal. Consult your dentist for suggestions on how to make the adjustment easier, and keep dental wax on hand in case it is required.
5. Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Are you aware that your Invisalign aligners can assist you in whitening your teeth? Because they are effective at retaining substances close to teeth, you can use this to your advantage to prevent whitening agents and fluoride remnants from washing away after teeth brushing.
6. Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene
While proper oral hygiene is critical for all patients, it is especially critical for those who choose clear aligners. Given that the purpose of clear aligners is to fit snugly against your teeth and realign them, you're dealing with a double-edged sword; anything on your teeth will be held in place by your aligners.
Normally, saliva would wash away some bacteria, food, and plaque, but this will not happen while wearing clear aligners. To keep your teeth sparkling clean and prevent decay and cavities, you'll need to brush and floss every time you remove your aligners to eat or drink anything other than water.
7. Change to New Aligners at Night
If you experience discomfort when switching aligner sets for the first time, a good hack may be to switch them at night, allowing you to sleep through those first few hours. Pre-bedtime use of an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also be beneficial.
8. Wear Your Aligners for 22 Hours Each Day
A critical component of treatment is ensuring that your Invisalign aligners receive sufficient daily wear time to move your teeth into their proper positions. You'll need to wear your aligners for approximately 22 hours per day, which means limiting the amount of time they're removed for eating, drinking, and socializing.
As you become accustomed to wearing your clear aligners, any insecurity you may feel will likely vanish – and others will likely be unaware you're straightening your teeth. If you do develop a slight lisp during the first few days of treatment, practice speaking to allow your mouth and yourself to adjust to your aligners.
9. Monitor Your Diet & Eating Times
Because you'll only have two hours in total to eat each day, you may find that by necessity most snacking will have to be cut out.
If you're trying to maintain your weight, you may want to speak with your doctor or nutritionist about adding more calories or protein to your meals safely. Additionally, drink additional water to rehydrate yourself and replenish any water lost due to excessive salivating, which may occur with clear aligners.
10. Have Backup Aligners With You
Certain clear aligner plans include backup aligners in case you lose your first set; if not, keep your previous set of aligners as a backup in case your current set becomes lost or damaged.
This is because new aligners typically take about a week to arrive, and during that time, you risk losing valuable progress if you are not wearing them.
If you've been wearing your previous set while waiting for your replacement set to arrive, you'll restart the set you'd normally wear and revise your reminders for when to switch to new aligners in the future. Though this brief mishap may set your treatment back a week, you may suffer a greater setback if you do not have a backup or previous set available.
11. Change Aligners in Private
You'll also become accustomed to removing and replacing your aligners during those early days as you adjust to treatment. You may wish to conduct this activity in the privacy of a restroom rather than in public. Due to the snug fit of the clear aligners on your teeth, you may find it difficult to remove and replace them properly without a mirror.
12. We're Here to Answer Questions
If you ever have any questions about your clear aligners, your treatment plan, or how to make them more comfortable to wear, our Orléans dentists are here to assist you and can address any concerns or questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.