Are you looking for tips on wearing your aligners comfortably and getting the most out of your treatment? Our dentists in Pictou County are reviewing some tips for you.
How can I get the most out of wearing Invisalign clear aligners?
Are you looking to improve your smile without metal braces? Clear aligners are a great orthodontic choice with many benefits. They're removable and provide discreet teeth straightening. If you're considering clear aligners as your preferred treatment, you might have some questions on how to wear them effectively and fit them into your busy schedule. Our dentists have some helpful tips for a great clear aligner experience.
1. Keep Your Aligners Clean & Clear
Invisalign aligners are clear and transparent, which makes them prone to showing stains and food particles easily. That's why it's crucial to clean your teeth and the trays diligently daily. During the night, bacteria accumulate on the trays while you sleep, so they require another round of cleaning by the end of the day.
Remember to rinse the aligners thoroughly every time you take them out of your mouth. It is recommended to wash them with clear, anti-bacterial soap and soak them either in denture cleaner or the provided cleaning solution.
Ensure you brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before reinserting the trays, and you're good to go.
2. Track Your Schedule for Switching To New Aligners
Every two weeks, you need to change to a new set of clear aligners. It's crucial to switch to the next set at the prescribed time to ensure your teeth move properly and stay on track with your treatment. To remember, you can mark it on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone. Additionally, certain clear aligner brands offer apps that assist you in tracking your progress throughout the treatment.
3. Store Your Clear Aligners in Their Case
When you remove your clear aligners for eating, brushing/flossing, or playing sports, storing them safely is important. Keep them in a convenient plastic storage case that fits in your pocket. This ensures they stay clean and undamaged, while also maintaining your oral hygiene when you wear them again. If you accidentally leave them out, make sure to clean them thoroughly and soak them in a solution before reinserting them in your mouth.
4. Give Your Teeth Some Time to Adjust
Clear aligners gently shift your teeth little by little. While not as challenging as braces, which involve brackets and wires, your teeth may still require a period of adjustment when you begin wearing a new set. It's normal to experience some soreness initially, but once your mouth adapts, you'll feel normal again. Consult your dentist for tips on easing the adjustment process, and keep dental wax handy for any potential need.
5. Use a Whitening Toothpaste Regularly
Discover the amazing benefits of your Invisalign aligners: they can help whiten your teeth by keeping whitening agents and fluoride in direct contact with your teeth. This clever feature prevents them from getting rinsed away after brushing, making them super effective.
6. Practice Great Oral Hygiene
Proper oral hygiene is important for everyone, but it's especially crucial for patients using clear aligners. These aligners are designed to fit tightly against your teeth and move them into their correct positions.
However, this can create a challenge because the aligners will trap anything on your teeth. Normally, your saliva would help wash away bacteria, food particles, and plaque, but with clear aligners, this doesn't happen.
To maintain clean and healthy teeth, and reduce the risk of decay and cavities, it's essential to brush and floss each time you remove your aligners to eat or drink anything other than water.
7. Change to New Aligners at Bedtime
If you experience discomfort when you switch sets of aligners, try this helpful tip: switch them at night and sleep through the initial hours. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen before bed can also provide relief.
8. Wear Your Aligners for 22 Hours Each Day
One crucial aspect of treatment is ensuring that you wear your Invisalign aligners for a sufficient amount of time each day in order to move your teeth into their correct positions. It is recommended to wear your aligners for approximately 22 hours daily, minimizing the time they are removed for eating, drinking, and socializing.
As you become accustomed to wearing the transparent aligners, any initial feelings of self-consciousness are likely to fade away. In fact, most people won't even notice that you are straightening your teeth. You may experience a slight lisp when speaking in the beginning stages of treatment. However, with practice, both you and your mouth will adapt to the aligners.
9. Monitor Your Diet & Eating Times
Since you have only two hours each day to eat, you'll likely have to reduce snacking. If you're aiming to maintain weight, consult your doctor or nutritionist to find safe ways to add more calories or protein to your meals. Also, remember to drink extra water to stay hydrated and replace any lost due to excessive salivation caused by clear aligners.
10. Have Backup Aligners With You
Some clear aligner plans provide backup aligners in case you lose your initial set. However, if backup aligners are not included, it's important to keep your previous set as a backup in case your current aligners get lost or damaged. This is because it typically takes about a week to receive new aligners, and during that time, you risk losing progress if you're not wearing any.
If you've been using your previous set while waiting for replacements, you should resume wearing the set you would have used according to your regular schedule. Additionally, remember to adjust your reminders for future aligner switches. While this temporary setback may delay your treatment by a week, not having a backup or previous set could result in an even greater setback.
11. Change Aligners in Private
During the initial stages of your treatment, as you adjust to wearing aligners, you'll also become familiar with the process of taking them out and putting them back in your mouth. It's recommended to do this in a private restroom rather than in public. Since the aligners fit tightly on your teeth, removing and reinserting them accurately might be difficult without a mirror.
12. We're Here to Answer Questions
Our dentists are available to assist you with any questions or concerns regarding your clear aligners, treatment plan, or tips for wearing them comfortably. Feel free to request an appointment for further assistance.