Invisalign is a convenient, comfortable way to get your dream smile. Yet, there are still things you’ll have to do (and avoid) to get the best possible results. As an Alaska, Bothell, Monroe, Mill Creek and Everett orthodontist, I’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about Invisalign when you start treatment. By following the instructions and keeping your aligners and smile in tip-top shape, you’ll breeze through the process. Here are some of the key dos and don’ts of wearing Invisalign.
Wear your Invisalign aligners for about 22 hours per day.
Does Invisalign work? Yes, but only if you wear the aligners. They exert steady, gentle pressure to shift the teeth into place and they can’t do that if you don’t have them in your mouth. We recommend wearing your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours per day, taking them out only to eat, drink, and brush and floss your teeth.
Clean your Invisalign aligners daily.
Plaque and bacteria will accumulate on your aligners as you wear them and you’ll want to get rid of it. As for how to clean Invisalign, gently brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse them with lukewarm water in the morning and before bed. You’ll also want to rinse them before putting them back in your mouth after meals. You can purchase Invisalign cleaning crystals and other products but keep in mind, you only wear each set of aligners for a week or two. By the time they get gross enough to need a deep clean, you’re on to the next set, so the Invisalign cleaning products are nice but not a necessity.
Brush your teeth after eating and drinking before putting your aligners back in.
The aligners fit snug and can trap any food debris or liquid. It will then sit against the teeth since the saliva isn’t flowing freely, which can lead to tooth decay. To keep your smile healthy, brush your teeth, or at least rinse out your mouth, before putting your aligners back in after eating or drinking.
Store your aligners in your Invisalign case.
Your Invisalign case will be your aligners’ best friend. One of our best Invisalign tips is whenever you take your aligners out of your mouth, store them in the case. Since they’re clear, they’re easy to accidentally throw away. Plus, pets love aligners and have been known to damage them. If you do lose your aligners or they get damaged, you’ll have to purchase replacement aligners, which could put your treatment off track if it happens frequently.
Forget to take out your aligners when eating and drinking.
You should avoid eating and drinking with Invisalign aligners in your mouth, with the exception of plain water. The aligners aren’t built to withstand the pressure from chewing food. Additionally, as I noted before, food and drinks can get trapped between the aligners and your teeth. Not only does this put you at risk for cavities but also stained teeth. Lastly, eating or drinking with Invisalign in can cause the aligners to discolor, which defeats the purpose of virtually invisible treatment!
Expose your aligners to heat.
If you rinse your aligners in hot water, drink a hot beverage with them in your mouth or leave them in the hot car, they can warp. This will affect the fit and could ultimately impact your results. So keep your aligners away from any kind of extreme heat, always rinse them in lukewarm water and take them out of your mouth before drinking beverages.
Automatically jump ahead to the next tray if you misplace your aligners.
If you lose your Invisalign aligners, call our office and we’ll let you know how to proceed. Each set of aligners is pre-programmed to achieve certain tooth movements and plays a key role in your overall Invisalign treatment plan. Depending on where you’re at in your wear cycle, we’ll let you know if you can move on to the next set or if you should wear your previous set while your replacement aligners are being made.
Use harsh cleansers on your aligners.
Toothpaste can be abrasive, which may scratch your aligners. This will make them more noticeable when you’re wearing them. I also tell my Alaska and Washington Invisalign patients to avoid harsh soaps, especially ones that are colored or scented. These can cause discoloration and probably won’t taste great when you put your aligners back in.
If you follow these do’s and don’ts of wearing Invisalign, you’ll be off to a great start with your treatment. If you’re interested in Invisalign in Everett, Bothell, Monroe, Mill Creek or Alaska, schedule a free consultation at Richard Chan Orthodontics today! We also offer virtual consultations so you can get started from the comfort of your own home.