Helpful Tips for Going Through Invisalign Treatment
The Invisalign system of teeth straightening provides a popular alternative to the wires and brackets of conventional braces. Youngsters and adults alike enjoy the benefits of Invisalign aligners, including greater comfort than old-style braces.
Invisalign appliances are also removable, which makes them healthier and more convenient, and the clear plastic trays are, as the name suggests, practically invisible. However, as with all types of orthodontic treatment, you need to take certain measures to make the most of your Invisalign therapy.
Following these tips for going through Invisalign treatment will help you get the amazing smile you deserve as fast as possible.
Wear Your Aligners for the Recommended 20-22 Hours a Day
Although Invisalign1 appliances are the most popular type of removable dental brace, you need to wear them as instructed by your orthodontist to get the best results. If you don’t keep your aligners in place for the recommended amount of time, your orthodontic treatment could take longer.
Invisalign provides a series of trays designed to give better control than regular braces in moving your teeth. Each aligner in the series should be worn 20 to 22 hours a day for about two weeks.
Make sure, though, that you take out your aligners to clean your teeth. In fact, this is one of the key health benefits of Invisalign.
Brackets and wires of old-style braces make oral hygiene tricky, increasing the risk of tooth decay through a build-up of food debris, bacteria, and plaque. The removability of Invisalign appliances means you can continue to brush and floss as normal.
You should also pop out your aligner for meals, so you can maintain a nutritious diet without having to give up the types of foods that can damage fixed braces.
Many orthodontists advise wearing each new Invisalign tray for as long as possible during the first 48 hours, only removing it to brush your teeth.
Take Good Care of Your Aligners
Like your teeth, Invisalign aligners are prone to accumulating bacteria-laden plaque if not cleaned regularly. This plaque can calcify and harden into tartar (dental calculus), which is more difficult to remove than plaque alone.
You can help to prevent plaque and tartar build-up by looking after your aligners properly. Cleaning your aligners shouldn’t take long but it’s important to be thorough by following this routine each time you brush your teeth:
- Rinse your aligner under tepid tap water.
- Clean it with antibacterial soap, or non-abrasive toothpaste applied to a soft-bristled brush.
- Use small circular movements to gently brush the aligner inside and out.
- Rinse again under tepid water.
If calcium builds up on your aligner, you should notice a cloudy white film. Soak the aligner in a cleaning solution recommended by your orthodontist.
Don’t soak your aligner in a mouthwash, which may contain chemicals that could damage the appliance. A mouth rinse may also stain your aligner by transfer of colored pigment.
Maintain a Good Routine of Oral Hygiene
Invisalign appliances can’t protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque build-up, so you need to continue to be diligent about looking after your teeth as well as your aligners.
Fortunately, this is far easier with the Invisalign system, compared with fixed braces. Just take out your aligner and brush your teeth after each meal to prevent bits of food getting trapped between your teeth and in your aligners. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste and clean all the surfaces of your teeth.
Ideally, you would brush your teeth after every snack as well. When this isn’t possible, rinse your mouth with water to flush out food particles, sugars, and starches. Alternatively, carry a travel toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste.
Flossing continues to be crucial when going through Invisalign treatment but you can do this normally without having to navigate around the metal wires of standard fixed braces. Take out your aligner and floss between your teeth at least once a day.
Invisalign devices may look like teeth bleaching trays but don’t be tempted to apply whitening gel to them. The substance would leak into your mouth and cause irritation.
However, you may find that whitening toothpaste is more effective when you’re going through Invisalign treatment. The aligner will hold the whitening component – and enamel-strengthening fluoride – against your teeth rather than allowing it to be washed away by saliva.
When your Invisalign therapy is completed, you might want to consider a professional teeth cleaning and whitening treatment to add an extra sparkle to your brand-new smile.
Eat and Drink Healthily
Unlike conventional fixed braces, the removability of Invisalign devices means you can eat whatever you want. Nevertheless, it’s important to stick to a healthy, balanced diet as you go through Invisalign treatment.
If your body is healthy, the outcome of your treatment will be better. A good diet provides vital nutrients for the soft tissues and bones that go through substantial changes during orthodontic care.
Bear in mind, too, that a lot of hot drinks such as tea or coffee may warp or stain your aligners, and sugary beverages can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Quick Tips for Going Through Invisalign Treatment
Besides wearing your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, taking good care of them and your teeth, and eating a healthy diet, you can also get the most out of your Invisalign treatment by:
- Taking regular selfies for motivation and self-confidence as you see your teeth – and your smile – gradually looking better.
- Keeping your regular orthodontic appointments. These are essential so your orthodontist can monitor your progress and you get new aligners when you need them.
- Bearing in mind that any minor discomfort from a new aligner will quickly disappear.
- Drinking plenty of water to avoid a dry mouth.
- Wearing your retainer after treatment, as instructed by your orthodontist.
If in Doubt, Ask an Invisalign Orthodontist
Following all our tips during Invisalign therapy will help you to get the best outcome from your orthodontic treatment.
These measures will also maximize the advantages of greater comfort, convenience and discretion that Invisalign has over traditional braces.
If you’re unsure about the best way to go through Invisalign treatment, you can always get further advice from an experienced Invisalign orthodontist2.