Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 12-07-2019
Invisalign® is the groundbreaking dental treatment that allows you to address a number of smile-challenging dental issues without the need for metal braces. They are the aligner of choice by dentists and patients alike as they are highly effective, require fewer appointments, and gently align teeth without the potential for causing damage like traditional braces. These clear aligners are also more cosmetically appealing as they are barely detectable when compared to the harsh contrast of metal braces. Last, but not least, in some cases, treatment is also much quicker, allowing you to achieve the perfect smile you desire in under a year. Here are five tips to make Invisalign easier.
1. Perfect the switch
Your aligners are switched every two weeks. Each new aligner helps ease your teeth into the right position. Because this does require some pressure, when you switch aligners, you might experience some discomfort. These tips will help:
- Use an Anti-inflammatory: Take an anti-inflammatory about an hour before you put in your new aligners. This will help keep your mouth more comfortable.
- Rinse with Warm Water: If you are experiencing discomfort, another trick is to swish tolerably warm water in your mouth for a few minutes. This is very comforting. You can also add a little salt to the water to help reduce inflammation.
- Switch Aligners at Night: When you make your switch to a new aligner, don’t do it until bedtime. This allows the most uncomfortable first 10 to 12 hours to occur while you sleep. You might still feel sore when you wake up, but this is normal. You can also take anti-inflammatories for the first few days until your mouth adjusts to the new aligners.
2. Respect the schedule
Success for your Invisalign® treatment depends on how well you stick to your schedule. These tips will help keep you on track:
- Mark Your Calendar: We will let you know how often you have to change your aligners. As mentioned, this tends to be around the two-week mark. It’s very easy to overlook the date you have to make the change, so marking it on your calendar will help. Use a phone reminder as well if this works better for you. There’s even an app you can download for reminders. Timing is everything because if you wait too long, it can slow down the process.
- Stick to 22 Hours per Day: One of the biggest attractions for Invisalign® aligner trays is the fact they are removable. This allows you to eat comfortably and also continue a good hygiene regime. However, removal can often prove to be one of the downsides. This is because many people decide to take them out for reasons other than eating and hygiene.
3. Stick to good hygiene
Proper cleaning of your teeth and aligners is key to maintaining good dental health while undergoing your treatment. Use these tips:
- Clean Your Aligners: Invisalign® aligners can become foggy if not properly cleaned. Even worse, if not cleaned regularly, they can feel awful in your mouth and also begin to smell. There is an Invisalign® Aligner Cleaning System available that will remove plaque. However, you can also use and warm water or toothpaste as long as it is not an abrasive formula. Avoid hot water, which can warp your aligners.
- Don’t Smoke, Eat, or Drink Wearing Aligners: Smoking will stain your aligners the same way it will stain your teeth. The only thing you can consume while wearing your aligners is water. Anything else can cause stains and increase the risk for cavities. And no gum!
- Stick to Healthy Dental Hygiene: Dental hygiene is very important for Invisalign® patients. Your aligners hold debris and bacteria on your teeth because your saliva can’t reach your tooth surfaces to wash debris away. Brush and floss every time you take your aligners out to eat or drink something other than water, especially if you have food and drinks that stain like coffee, berries, or tomato sauce.
4. Be safe
Losing an aligner can prove disastrous for your treatment. Be safe with these tips:
- Use a Case: Always use a retainer case when you take out your aligners. It might be easier to just put them in a napkin while you eat your lunch at work, but it is also very easy to forget them, or worse, have a server pick them up and toss them out. Keep a retainer case at work, in your car, or in your purse so you always have somewhere safe to store your retainers when you eat.
- Keep Old Aligners: If you do lose your aligner, you’ll need a backup. Your best bet is to use the last set to avoid your teeth shifting back to their previous position. Date your aligners so you know which your last set was and wear them while you wait for your replacements to arrive. This takes about a week, so you’ll want to limit the damage by wearing your newest aligners while you wait.
5. Maintain that smile
Once you have used all your aligners, you’ll need to maintain that new smile. Unfortunately, teeth can shift once your treatment is complete. That means you have to transition to wearing a retainer. We can discuss how to use your retainer to avoid issues with shifting to help you keep that winning smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
These tips will help keep your Invisalign® treatment on track so you can finally have that beautiful smile you have always wanted.
Call Milltown Dental if you would like to learn more about Invisalign®. Click here to contact our office today.