If you choose Invisalign aligners (the clear plastic removable aligners), you will have fewer adjustments to make than if you chose a more traditional treatment like metal braces, but it will still be an adjustment.
Here are 5 Invisalign tips every orthodontic patient should know:
1. Don’t Forget to Wear Your Aligners
The fact that your Invisalign aligners are removable can be a double edge sword. On one hand it is means that unlike with metal braces there are no food restrictions because you can remove the aligners when you eat. Brushing and flossing your teeth is also easier because you can remove them.
Problems come in though if you tend to forget to put the aligners back in after meals and snacks. The one big rule for wearing Invisalign aligners is that you need to keep them in your mouth 20 to 22 hours a day. If you don’t, you will end up delaying treatment and you won’t be done as quickly as you would like.
An easy tip to prevent long gaps in between when you are wearing the aligners, is to make a habit of brushing your teeth and cleaning the aligners right after every meal so that you remember to put them back in right away.
2. Clean Your Aligners Properly
Other Invisalign tips include avoiding discoloration, odor and a buildup of bacteria by following these tips for how to clean Invisalign trays.
Each morning take your trays out and clean both your teeth and the trays thoroughly. While you were sleeping a lot of bacteria could have built up on the trays so it is important to start the day off right with clean teeth and trays. Make sure you do this every evening as well.
Always rinse them when you remove them. To prevent dry saliva and plaque from building up, make sure you rinse your trays every time you take them out of your mouth. You want to avoid creating an inviting environment for bacteria to grow. You can also use a clear anti-bacterial soap to keep your trays clean and clear. Brushing the trays with a soft-bristled toothbrush can also help remove some of the plaque. Even when you are out and about and not in the comfort of your own home, it is important to properly take care of your Invisalign trays.
Soak your aligners every day. The best way to make sure your Invisalign trays are as clean as possible is to soak them in either a denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaning crystals. After they are finished soaking, use an extra toothbrush that you don’t use for your teeth to brush off any lingering plaque or food particles and then rinse the trays before placing them back in your mouth.
Always brush and floss your teeth before putting the trays back in. If you put the trays back in when there are food particles still stuck between your teeth, you will be trapping them inside the trays which could lead to cavities and other dental issues down the road.
3. Never Leave Your Invisalign Trays Out in the Open
Never leave your Invisalign trays out in the open when you are not wearing them. Leaving them exposed like that could lead to more buildup of bacteria while also making it more likely that you will lose them. Keep your case with you at all times just to be on the safe side. If by chance you do leave them out for a while, it is important that your rinse them, soak them and then rinse them again before putting them on again.
4. Don’t use Toothpaste to Clean Your Trays
While toothpaste is great for your teeth, it can actually cause discoloration to the trays and can damage them. Toothpaste will also cause a dull sheen to the trays which will also make them more noticeable in your mouth. And wasn’t the whole point of choosing Invisalign was so that people didn’t notice you were wearing anything? Toothpaste has some abrasive ingredients in it so it is not the ideal choice for cleaning your trays.
Don’t use soaps that are colored or scented either. Besides the risk of staining your trays, these soaps might give your trays an unpleasant taste when you put them back in your mouth. That can certainly ruin your appetite.
5. Your Mouth Will Need Time to Adjust
The good news is that the adjustment to Invisalign aligners is not as difficult as it is with other types of braces, but your mouth will still need a little time to adjust.
Because there are no metal wires or permanent brackets on your teeth, you won’t have any tooth or gum irritation, but just like with a retainer you will have to get used to putting the aligners in and out, and adjusting to speaking with the aligners. However, while you may experience some soreness the first few days as you adjust to wearing the aligners, once your mouth adjusts you should have no problems.