Making the decision to use Invisalign aligners is important for any orthodontic patient in search of a straighter smile and more comfortable bite, but deciding to get Invisalign is not the end of the experience. There are a few things every Invisalign patient should know once they take home their aligners for the first time. Yes, they will straighten your teeth, but they’ll only do their job if they are handled the right way.
#1 Wear Your Aligners Faithfully
This may seem like common sense, but the single most important tip to remember as you wade through the Invisalign experience is that you absolutely must wear your aligners faithfully. The fact that they’re removable is one of the biggest advantages, but the other side of that coin is that it’s easy to take them out and forget to wear them. In a given day, we suggest that patients wear the aligners for at least 20 hours a day. If you don’t, treatment will take longer.
One way to make sure you hit these time recommendations is to brush your teeth and clean your aligners immediately after eating, so all the “Invisalign-free” activities in your day occur in one fell swoop.
#2 Keep Aligners Clean
Along those lines, keeping your Invisalign aligners clean is incredibly important for the sake of your dental hygiene. What you don’t want is loads of bacteria and plaque left on your aligners because they can contribute to cavities and bad breath. In a general sense, you should wash your aligners first thing in the morning and right before bed.
#3 But Don’t Use Toothpaste to Do It
Since toothpaste does an excellent job cleaning teeth, some Invisalign patients believe it will do equally good work on an Invisalign tray, but that is not the case. Toothpaste can discolor your clear aligners, as can certain types of soaps. We recommend soaking the trays in denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaner crystals, then using a toothbrush to remove any plaque or food particles before returning the trays to your mouth.
#4 Don’t Leave Trays Out in the Open
Leaving your Invisalign trays out in the open air is a horrible idea because it can generate more bacteria and also increase the possibility that you’ll use the trays without cleaning them. If you do leave them out for a while, make sure you clean them thoroughly before wearing them again.
#5 Give It Time
We always tell patients of Clearsmile Orthodontics to make sure they give the aligners time to do their job. Just like braces, this process takes time. You have to wear the trays faithfully, and while there may be some discomfort as your teeth shift, the end result is lovely. You’ll be so happy to see a more gorgeous smile. Invisalign will have had everything to do with it, even if it does take many months to work its magic.
If you are thinking about getting Invisalign and simply haven’t moved forward with the decision just yet, feel free to set up a consultation with Dr. Colin Webb, a trusted Invisalign orthodontist at Clearsmile Orthodontics, to find out if this treatment is right for you. And if you do already have the aligners, make sure you adhere to these tips to make the most out of your investment!