Invisalign is a great option for individuals who want a straighter smile without wearing cumbersome metal brackets and wires in their mouth. The treatment is less painful and more comfortable and convenient than traditional braces – the clear aligners make it easy to eat and brush and are nearly invisible to others. It is still an orthodontic treatment, however, which means that there are guidelines to follow to ensure that it goes as planned. Here are a few tips to make sure Invisalign does what it promises to.
The aligners and teeth must be kept very clean, or any traces of plaque and bacteria will be held closely against your teeth, increasing your risk for tooth decay. When the aligners are worn, they prevent saliva from washing away the residue as it normally does. This means diligent and thorough brushing. Flossing is strongly recommended even if aligners are not worn, but when going through the Invisalign treatment, it becomes more important.
This includes the 20-22 hours you have to wear them daily as well as wearing them as much as possible for the first 48 hours each time a new aligner is worn. Your teeth will need the time to be guided into their new positions, and following this recommendation will help your treatment go more smoothly.
Follow the treatment plan created by your orthodontist. If you are advised to change an aligner early, change it. If he or she tells you to wear it for a few more days, let it sit. Don’t try to make this call yourself, as it could hinder your progress.
Because your teeth are literally being pushed around, the aligners may feel uncomfortable at first, but don’t give up on the treatment. The more you wear the aligners, the less you’ll notice them. In addition to this, the aligners will affect the way you speak. Again, you’ll get used to them and, with some practice, will be able to speak normally again.
Attachments referred to as “buttons” are available to help speed up treatment. They help to hold a tray in place or to move a tooth and can really speed up treatment if you’re willing to give them a try.
There are special products available to clean Invisalign trays, but simple warm water and antibacterial soap are sufficient for cleaning them out. It’s not a good idea to use toothpaste on the aligners, as it could scratch the plastic, creating places for bacteria to live.
First, drink a lot of water. Your mouth may produce extra saliva because of the new obstruction it feels and could become dehydrated. You will also receive specific instructions on what to eat and what to avoid with the aligners in.
Whitening toothpaste may be more effective during treatment than previous to treatment because remnants of the toothpaste are held against the teeth by the aligner, increasing its effectiveness. Hold off on other whitening treatments, however, until treatment is complete.
Many patients who have completed their orthodontic treatment wear their retainer for a short period, then stop, or do not wear it at all. Doing so could cause them to lose some of the progress achieved through the treatment. Be sure to wear your retainer for the recommended amount of time to maintain your new straight smile.