Are you dreaming of a beautiful, straight smile?
But do you not want metal brackets of braces on your teeth?
If the answer to these two questions is yes, then an Invisalign treatment might be the perfect option for you!
Invisalign straightens out your teeth over a specific period of time, without anyone even knowing because the retainers used are clear.
If you are thinking about getting the Invisalign treatment, or if you already have it, it is important to know how to properly take care of them.
Here we discuss 10 Invisalign tips that every patient should know so that you can get the best results from your treatment.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign are clear retainers, known as aligners, that are a form of dental braces that straighten teeth over time.
Invisalign retainers are essentially clear braces.
Invisalign treatment can be given by both a dentist who specializes in either orthodontic or cosmetic dentistry.
You get new Invisalign aligners about every two weeks, and each new aligner you get will help to move your teeth a little bit more each time, eventually leading to a straight smile.
Each Invisalign aligner is custom-fit for your teeth and is adjusted just enough each time to create movement of your teeth.
Want to know more about how Invisalign works? We have a guide on that process so you can discover what to expect and how Invisalign works.
10 Invisalign Tips
Now that you know exactly what Invisalign is, it is time to discuss some tips so that you can properly take care of them.
Whether you have your Invisalign treatment for six months or for two years, you will follow the same steps throughout the treatment and will use the same tricks and techniques to take care of them.
Here are 10 Invisalign tips for proper care of your aligners, so that you can get the best results from your treatment.
- Wear your aligners for at least 22 hours every day
- Never leave your Invisalign aligners out in the open
- Keep your previous set of aligners
- Change your Invisalign aligners on time
- Don’t clean your aligners with toothpaste
- Always have a retainer case with you
- Practice talking with your Invisalign aligners in your mouth
- Do chewing exercises for discomfort or pain
- Handle any sores you get
- Use a tray removal tool
Now let’s discuss these 10 Invisalign tips in more detail…
1. Wear Your Aligners for At Least 22 Hours Every Day
Always wear your Invisalign aligners for as long as possible each day, and try to shoot for 22 hours every day.
The longer that you wear your aligners each day the more your teeth will move, which leads to a more effective treatment.
Avoid taking a lot of snack breaks throughout the day where you have to take your Invisalign in and out, and try to do most of your eating during mealtimes.
Try to brush your teeth and clean your Invisalign aligners after each meal, so that you remember to put them back in your mouth right away to reach the full 22 hours a day.
The basic rule of thumb is that if you are not eating or brushing your teeth, then your Invisalign aligners need to be in your mouth!
2. Never Leave Your Invisalign Aligners Out in the Open
When you are eating or brushing your teeth and have your aligners out of your mouth, it is crucial that you do not leave them out in the open.
Leaving them out exposes them to bacteria and can cause buildup on your Invisalign aligners, which will be unhealthy to put into your mouth.
Your chances of losing or misplacing your aligners also increases if you leave them out in the open, so make sure that you know where they are for the small amount of time per day that they are not in your mouth.
When your aligners are out of your mouth, make sure that you put them in their proper case, and not on a napkin or table.
3. Keep Your Previous Set of Aligners
During your Invisalign treatment, you will most likely wear a set of aligners for 2 weeks, and then will move on to the next set.
Whenever you get a new set of aligners, make sure that you keep your previous set with you as well.
If you lose one of your new aligners or one of them is damaged then you can use your last set to keep your teeth in place as you wait for your replacement aligners.
Replacement aligners usually take about a week to get to you, so it is crucial that you wear the previous set in the meantime.
Once you receive the replacement set of aligners, then restart the 2 week process with that set to get your teeth placement back on track.
4. Change Your Invisalign Aligners On Time
Your dentist will provide you with a schedule during your Invisalign treatment that will tell you when you should change your aligners and in what order.
As we stated before, you will most likely wear each set of aligners for 2 weeks before moving on to the next set.
Avoid switching to your new set of aligners before the scheduled time is up, to try to rush the process and your treatment.
This will most likely lead to a delay in your treatment process, because you will be changing to the new set too early, and your teeth will not follow suit.
5. Don’t Clean Your Aligners With Toothpaste
Even though toothpaste is great for your teeth, it is actually not good to use it for your Invisalign aligners.
Using toothpaste to clean your aligners can lead to discoloration that can even become noticeable when you are wearing them in your mouth.
Cleaning your aligners with toothpaste can also possibly lead to damage to your aligners, since toothpaste does include some abrasive ingredients within it.
So if toothpaste is not what you should be cleaning your retainers with, what should you be using?
Check out our guide on how to clean your clear braces and what can be used to clean your Invisalign retainers!
6. Always Have a Retainer Case With You
Whenever you have to take out your aligners to eat or brush your teeth, it is crucial that you put them into their proper retainer case.
Always bring a retainer case with you, just in case you are in a situation where you have to take your aligners out of your mouth.
If you place your aligners on a table or wrap them in a napkin or towel, your chances of losing them increase dramatically.
Keep a retainer case in your purse or briefcase so that you never have to worry about where you are going to put your aligners if you need to remove them from your mouth.
7. Practice Talking With Your Invisalign Aligners in Your Mouth
Especially when you first get your aligners, you may speak a little differently or have a slight lisp when you have them in your mouth.
Even though others may not even notice it, you may feel a little more comfortable and confident talking to others if you know that you do not sound any different than usual.
Practice talking with the aligners in your mouth in private, so that when you talk to people in public you will feel more comfortable.
Even though talking to yourself to practice might feel a little strange, you will be happy you did it once you get used to speaking with your aligners in your mouth!
8. Do Chewing Exercises for Discomfort or Pain
Since the Invisalign treatment is used to move your teeth into an ideal position so that they are straight, you will definitely experience discomfort or pain at some point during your treatment.
This is completely normal!
A good way to get your mouth and jaw more comfortable with the Invisalign process is to do chewing exercises every day.
The act of chewing will massage your gums and will allow your aligners to properly fit on to your teeth, which will lead to more movement.
Chewing will relieve pain in your mouth, gums, and jaw, and will also lead to a more effective treatment.
9. Handle Any Sores You Get
It is extremely common to get canker sores in your mouth from your Invisalign aligners, especially if there are areas of your aligners that rub against your mouth or gums excessively.
You can use dental wax on areas that rub against your mouth or gums, so that it creates a protective barrier between you and your aligners, leading to less irritation and canker sores.
If there are parts of your aligners that stick really far out, make sure to go back to your dentist to get them fixed.
Incorporate an antibacterial or peroxide-based mouthwash into your daily oral care routine, which will help to sanitize and relieve canker sores in your mouth. This will minimize infections and should speed up the healing process of the canker sores.
10. Use a Tray Removal Tool
It is not sanitary and is not a good look to be sticking your fingers in your mouth to remove your Invisalign aligners, especially when you are in public or around other people.
Using your fingers to remove your aligners can also be messy, and no one wants to deal with that!
Purchase and use a tray removal tool that is small, so that you can keep it in your retainer case and easily bring it with you wherever you go.
This tool will allow you to pop out your aligners easily, so you do not have to maneuver your fingers around in your mouth to get them out.
If you are using Invisalign to achieve the smile that you have always wanted, have you tried any of our ten tips? Do you have other tips that might help others?
Or perhaps you are researching Invisalign and if it is the right choice for you. If that’s the case, Dr. Lewandowski at Princess Center Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ is here to help you on your journey.
Ready to make an appointment? Contact us today!