Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 7-12-2020
When our patients decide it’s time to make some changes to their smiles, we are excited to help them find the perfect solution. One of the most popular choices to address smile imperfections is Invisalign clear aligners. These handy little aligners offer the perfect alternative to traditional wire braces and can address a long list of smile woes. However, as with any orthodontic treatment, Invisalign aligners need some getting used to. Since they must be worn 22 hours a day, some people might feel a little antsy with the commitment. As well, you can expect to feel some discomfort when you first put your aligners on. To help you make it through the first few weeks, here are 8 tips on how to get used to Invisalign so you can see the best results.
1. Tongue protection
One of the most discouraging things patients might experience is friction on the tongue. Your tongue rubbing against the plastic edges of your aligners can cause sores. This happens not only when you first start wearing them but also each time you change to a new set of trays. An easy tip is to use wax to cover the areas of the aligner that are causing issues. Although your mouth will adjust to the trays, this is a good way to avoid friction. Just roll some wax in your fingers to heat it, and then apply it to the edges that seem rough. If this doesn’t work, give us a call, and we can use our tools to file the rough areas down.
2. Sooth the tongue
If you do find that you get sores from your aligners, a peroxide-based mouthwash can help. Rinse with it twice a day to help heal the irritated areas of your mouth.
3. Use chewing exercises
This might sound a little silly, but your jaw needs to adjust to the added layer in your mouth. Chewing exercises relax your jaw and can also help ease any tooth pain. When you exercise your jaw with chewing motions, it sends blood to your mouth, which naturally eases pain. This motion also helps your aligners work more effectively.
4. Use a tracking app
Because you might find Invisalign braces uncomfortable at first, it can be tempting to take them out for long periods of time. While you can take them out for meals and to brush and floss your teeth, anything beyond this interferes with your treatment. Using a tracking app to remind you how long they have been off and provide an alert when to put them back in can be very helpful, especially in the early days. Free mobile apps also keep you on track for when you are due to switch your trays.
5. Keep track of your trays
If you are worried about losing your trays, you’re not alone. This is an expensive loss, and it’s also very easy to do. Since you are taking your aligners off for meals throughout the day, your risk of losing them is high. The best way to avoid loss is to carry an aligner case wherever you go. Many Invisalign patients actually place spare cases everywhere, from purses and knapsacks to glove compartments and office desks. If you always have access to a case, you can pop your aligners away safely and be less likely to accidentally lose them, or even worse, toss them in the garbage with the rest of your lunch trash.
6. Clean those trays
We probably don’t have to encourage most patients to be diligent in cleaning their trays. If you don’t, it won’t be long before they begin to get a little stinky and foul tasting. From day one, you should clean your trays as part of your daily brushing and flossing regime. You can soak your trays using a cleaner that’s specially made for Invisalign or with a denture cleaner. Using mouthwash, toothpaste, or even hot water can actually damage your trays, making them appear dingy and foggy. However, using a clean toothbrush to give them a good scrub following the rinse will remove any particles or plaque buildup from the trays.
7. Rinse your trays
Because you will be taking your trays out a few times a day, you should make sure to rinse them to wash away spit and plaque. You can even use an anti-bacterial dishwashing liquid and a thorough rinse with water to keep them germ-free and fresh.
8. No food or drink
It can be tempting to keep your aligners in your mouth when you eat or drink, but this is a no-no. While you might feel embarrassed removing them when you are on a date or hanging out with friends, it is possible to discreetly remove them by slipping off to the bathroom. This way, you can rinse them, put them in your case, and stash them in your purse or pocket until needed. Just remember, you really shouldn’t be leaving them out for prolonged periods of time.
Our advice is don’t eat or drink (other than water) with them in, and don’t take them out for more than 2 hours a day.
So there you have it: 8 tips to help you survive the first few weeks of your Invisalign treatment. If you would like to learn more about Invisalign braces in Milton, set up a consultation with Milltown Dental today.