Once upon a time, straightening your teeth meant living with a mouth full of highly conspicuous and extremely uncomfortable metal for months. Today, clear plastic aligners like those from Invisalign offer an opportunity to improve your smile without the self-consciousness and pain associated with traditional braces. If you’re ready to perfect your grin, use these Invisalign tips and tricks to make the process even easier.
Invisalign Tips and Tricks
Wear Them 24/7.
This may sound obvious, but simply wearing your plastic aligners is the most crucial part of the process. Invisalign and similar systems use sets of clear aligner trays to prompt your teeth to move into the desired positions. These aligners only work if you wear them nearly 24/7. When you start a new set of trays, you’ll need to wear them almost constantly for the first 48 hours. Basically, if you aren’t eating or brushing, then you should be wearing the aligners. Most days, you’ll need to wear the aligners for 22 hours. What happens if you don’t? Your teeth won’t move as planned, and your dentist or orthodontist will have to extend your treatment time.
Why talk about talking when offering Invisalign tips and tricks? Although few people will see your clear aligners, some might hear the difference in your speech when you first begin wearing them. Many patients speak with a small lisp initially, but it will vanish with a little practice.
Carry a Case.
Always carry a case for your aligners. You’ll need to remove them to eat, and if you place them on a napkin or plate, you may accidentally throw them into the trash. Protect your aligners and your progress by carrying a case so you can stow your aligners safely whenever you take them out of your mouth.
Aligner chewies are small cylinders that look like rolls of gauze. Made from a spongy material called styrene copolymer, chewies are tools that can improve the fit of your aligners. By biting down on a chewie for 5 minutes or so, you reduce any gaps between the aligners and your teeth, which helps the aligners to work more effectively.
Get Serious About Oral Hygiene.
Since the aligners are removable, you don’t have to worry about brushing or flossing around them (like you would with metal braces), but you do need to take extra care with your oral hygiene while undergoing treatment. The trays create a warm, moist space next to your teeth that’s a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. They also block the saliva that would normally rinse your teeth. Remember to carry a travel toothbrush with you so that you can brush your teeth after eating before you put your aligners back in.
Clean the Aligner Trays.
Bacteria and other unpleasant things can flourish in your aligner trays if you don’t keep them clean. To avoid issues, rinse them with warm water and brush them with a soft toothbrush. You can use a nonabrasive toothpaste or a gentle soap as a cleanser or soak them in a solution of white vinegar and water.
Beware of Stains.
Certain foods and beverages have the potential to stain your teeth. If any remnants of these substances get caught between your teeth and the aligners, it can intensify the staining on your teeth and leave your aligners looking dingy and gross. Approach foods like coffee, tea, wine, and turmeric with caution. If you choose to indulge, be hypervigilant about cleaning your teeth before inserting the aligners.
Keep Your Previous Set of Aligners.
When undergoing treatment with clear aligners, you’ll generally wear one set of trays for two weeks before transitioning to the next set. When you switch to a new set, hold onto your old one. If something happens and an aligner is lost or damaged, you can use the prior one to keep your teeth from moving in undesirable ways while you wait for a replacement.
While Invisalign may be the most widely recognized system of clear aligners, it isn’t the only one. Orthodontic options have expanded with new technologies like ClearCorrect, another system that uses customized clear aligner trays to correct problems with your bite, alignment issues, or troubles with the spacing of your teeth. Whether you opt for Invisalign or ClearCorrect, using these Invisalign tips and tricks can make the process easier.
If you’re interested in straightening your teeth with clear aligners, contact Wilkinson Dental if you live in or near Springfield, MO. We use Invisalign and ClearCorrect to correct overcrowded teeth, misaligned teeth, gapped teeth, and bite problems, including overbite, open bite, crossbite, and underbite. Check out these before-and-after photos. Finally, to schedule your complimentary consultation, please give us a call at 417-708-0556 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!