Are you wondering how to get the most out of your Invisalign clear aligners? How about how to wear them as comfortably as possible? Here, we give you some tips.
How can I get the most out of wearing clear aligners?
For patients who want to straighten and realign their teeth without braces, clear aligners are an excellent treatment option with plenty of advantages, including being discreet and removable.
If you and your dentist agree that clear aligners are the best treatment for you, you may still have some questions. How do you wear them effectively, or fit them into your lifestyle? Here are some tips to help you out.
1. Keep Your Aligners Clean
Since Invisalign clear aligners are transparent, they show discolouration and food particles pretty easily.
Every time you remove your aligners, rinse them. When washing them, use clear, anti-bacterial soap, denture cleaner or the cleaner which came with them.
Before retuning the clear aligners to your mouth, make sure you brush and floss.
2. Track Your Schedule for Switching Times
You will switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks. Make sure you switch to your next set at the prescribed time so you teeth can shift as they are supposed to and your treatment stays on schedule.
3. Store Your Clear Aligners Properly
When removing your clear aligners, make sure you keep them in a storage case you can slip into your pocket. This protects them from dirt and damage, and helps keep your teeth clean. If you leave your aligners out, clean them thoroughly after.
4. Give Your Teeth Time to Adjust
Your teeth move a small amount with each aligner. They may need an adjustment period where you can expect soreness. Once your mouth adjusts to your new aligners, any soreness should go away. Ask your dentist about making the adjustment easier.
5. Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Since clear aligners hold substances against your teeth, they can keep remnants of whitening agents or fluoride from brushing against your teeth.
6. Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene
Proper oral hygiene is important for everyone. Since clear aligners can hold substances against your teeth, however, hygiene is even more important for anyone undergoing treatment with them.
Usually food, bacteria and plaque would be washed away by your saliva, but this is stopped by your aligners. Make sure you floss and brush every time you remove your clean aligners.
7. Change to New Aligners at Night
If you're feeling discomfort after switching to the next set of aligners, try switching them at night. This way, you can sleep through the first hours. Over-the-counter pain medication may help when taken before bed.
8. Wear Your Aligners for 22 Hours Each Day
An important part of treatment is wearing your aligners for 22 hours of the day. This means minimizing time spent with them out.
As you become accustomed to clear aligners in your mouth, your insecurities will fade. Others likely won't notice them. If you happen to lisp at first, give yourself a chance to adjust to the feeling of the aligners.
9. Monitor Your Diet & Eating Times
Since you only have two hours to eat each day, this may mean you have to stop snacking.
If you are trying to keep weight, ask your doctor about safe ways of including more protein or calories in your diet.
10. Have Backup Aligners With You
Some clear aligners come with backups in case you lose your first set. If not, hang on to your previous set as backups in case your aligners get damaged. It usually takes a week for new aligners to come in, and you could lose treatment progress if you aren't wearing them.
If you've been using a previous set while waiting for a replacement, you would restart with the set you would have normally worn for that week. While this may set your treatment back a week, there may have been greater setbacks if you didn't have a backup.
11. Change Aligners in Private
As you get used to your treatment, you will also be getting accustomed to removing from and returning aligners to your mouth. You may want to do this in a restroom. Since clear aligners are snug fits, it may be challenging to remove them without a mirror.
12. Your Dentist Can Answer Questions
If you have questions about your clear aligners, your dentist will be there to help address them and alleviate your concerns. Request an appointment whenever you have a worry you would like to speak about.
Do you have questions about clear aligners, or your custom treatment plan?
A dentist will be able to answer any questions you might have.