How to Get the Best Results With Invisalign
For decades, braces have been the go-to method for achieving straighter teeth. But in recent years, Invisalign has become an increasingly popular alternative.
Considering Invisalign’s effectiveness, increased comfort, and easy adjustability, it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing this low-profile orthodontic solution.
But if you want to get the most out of your Invisalign treatment, there’s more to it than popping in your aligners for a few hours a day. It takes commitment. If you follow the steps we’ve put together, you’ll have straighter teeth in no time!
Keep Them in for 22 Hours
No negotiating on this one: you have to do it. To achieve that beautiful, even smile of your dreams, keeping your aligners in for 22 hours a day is key. Of course, you can take them out when eating or drinking, or for special occasions like pictures, parties, and weddings. But, if you want your aligners to work as intended, keeping them for the rest of the time is crucial. And yes, that includes sleeping.
But this doesn’t have to be bad news. The great thing about Invisalign is that it’s practically invisible! Most people won’t even notice that you’re wearing them. So just keep them in. Seriously. You’ll thank us later!
Stick to the Schedule
Invisalign is not like braces. There are no regularly scheduled appointments with your orthodontist to readjust your alignment. With Invisalign, it’s mostly up to you to change out your trays and keep your teeth on the path to perfection. Forgetting to switch out a tray or otherwise not adhering to the schedule could cause your teeth to regress and delay the treatment. And we wouldn’t want that!
Checkups, Checkups, Checkups
While you may feel that checkups are just a formality, they are critical to the success of your Invisalign treatment. Your doctor needs to check in with you periodically to make sure your teeth are developing on schedule, or if any unforeseen complications have arisen.
If you miss a checkup, don’t just wait for the next one, reschedule! Your orthodontist needs to stay up to date with your development.
Practice Good Hygiene
While Invisalign is a wonderful solution for achieving straighter teeth, it’s not without its challenges. Because the Invisalign aligner fits securely over the wearer’s teeth, it prevents saliva from washing away all that bacteria and plaque that build up throughout the day. This means it’s up to you to stay in a consistent brushing and flossing routine. Staying diligent about your oral hygiene will keep your smile bright and prevent all that buildup from causing dental health issues down the line.
Use Your Retainer
Once you’ve achieved your ideal smile with Invisalign, no doubt you’ll want to keep it. The problem is, teeth are somewhat adverse to change; over time, they tend to shift back into their original position, potentially undoing all the hard work you and your orthodontist put in to correct them. To prevent this, you’ll need to wear a retainer.
There are different types of retainers to choose from. Toward the end of your Invisalign treatment, speak with your doctor about retainer options to find the one that works for you.
Cleaning & Maintaining Your Invisalign Aligners
The ability to take your aligners out when eating or drinking is one of the biggest advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces. This helps reduce bacteria and plaque buildup and allows the wearer to clean their teeth more thoroughly. But, to keep your aligners clean, you have to take the necessary steps. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you along:
- Do brush and floss after eating to avoid food staying trapped between your teeth and the aligners.
- Do soak your aligners in either your preferred store-bought cleaning solution or a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water.
- Do rinse your aligners after removing them to mitigate plaque buildup. Be sure to use lukewarm water, as water that is too hot can warp the plastic.
- Do sanitize your aligners with neutral, unscented soap at least once a day.
- Don’t use dyed or scented soaps when sanitizing your aligners. This includes toothpaste. These soaps will leave behind residue that makes your clear aligners appear foggy or dirty. So stick with neutral, clear soaps when sanitizing.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking will discolor your aligners and increase tartar buildup.
- Don’t leave your trays out. Exposing your aligner trays to the open air for prolonged periods may introduce them to pathogens and increase the chances of bacterial buildup occurring. When your aligners aren’t in your mouth, keep them in their case.