10 Tips for Invisalign to Help Ensure Success

After consulting with your dentist, you have decided to use Invisalign clear aligners to straighten your teeth. You are excited to begin the journey toward the beautiful smile you have always wanted! You did your research about how Invisalign works and know that the best results will come from following instructions closely. 

But what are the specific tips for treatment with clear aligners that will maximize the success of your treatment plan? This article will answer your questions with the top 10 Invisalign tips to keep in mind.

10 Invisalign Tips for Success

You are investing time and money in your Invisalign clear aligners journey and you are anxious to get started. Here are 10 tips for Invisalign use:

#1 – Be Honest With Yourself About the Adjustment Period

There will be an adjustment period and it will happen every time you change the aligners (also called “trays”). They will take up space in your mouth and your speech will be affected. You will also experience some mild tenderness or soreness.

It isn’t realistic to think otherwise. Accepting and anticipating this will help a great deal. Don’t put the aligners in your mouth and then take them out because they are uncomfortable. Every time you do that for an extended period, your treatment plan grows longer. Wear them according to the schedule provided by your dentist so your teeth will begin the process of moving into their new aligned positions. Yes, you can do it!

#2 – Be Proactive During the Adjustment Period

Being prepared for these effects of your treatment can lessen them, especially after the first few weeks. Take your favorite over-the-counter pain medication before you change the trays and before any appointments with your dentist and your dentist. 

You can also suck on ice cubes after changing the aligners to relieve any soreness. Don’t chew on the ice, though, and stay away from crunchy or chewy foods until the soreness abates. Drink cold or hot drinks, whichever soothes your mouth the best.

If the pain or soreness persists, contact your dentist for advice. Don’t assume you have to suffer beyond what has been described here so far.

#3 – Keep the Aligners In Your Mouth Unless You Are Eating, Drinking, Brushing, Flossing, or Cleaning Them

It is a simple schedule: Leave the aligners in your mouth unless you have taken them out to eat or drink or to carry out your routine oral hygiene plan every day. (This includes cleaning the aligners, too.) The general goal is to wear the aligners 22 hours a day. This includes the time you are sleeping. 

One advantage of Invisalign clear aligners is the ability to eat and drink whatever you want because you take them out at mealtimes. You have no restrictions on what you can eat like you would with traditional braces. Then, you remove them to brush and floss your teeth and clean the aligners once or twice a day.

#4 – Adhere to Your Customized Schedule for Changing Aligners

Your treatment plan was created by your dental team based on your goals and the amount of movement specified for your teeth. From that treatment plan came the schedule for changing the aligners. Follow it!

Success depends on it. Use your phone to set reminders or mark them on a calendar. By delaying or forgetting to change the clear aligners you are extending your treatment. This costs you both time and money. If you do forget, tell your dentist right away so they can adjust your schedule going forward. 

#5 – Protect Your Aligners By Using the Case When They Aren’t In Your Mouth

If your aligners aren’t in your mouth, they should always be in their case. This will keep them from becoming lost or damaged. Get an extra case so you always have one with you when you leave home, too. When you eat out, put the aligners in the case, not wrapped in a napkin or on the edge of your plate. It’s too easy to leave them there. At home, dogs love the aligners as a chew toy so use the case for safe keeping. 

If you lose or damage an aligner, let your dentist know immediately. They will instruct you about what to do until a new one is ordered and you receive it. The last thing you want is for your teeth to start reverting to their previous position while you wait for a replacement.

#6 – Your Oral Hygiene Routine is Even More Important Now

Your daily routine of brushing, flossing, and using fluoride mouthwash is even more important while you are using any kind of braces, including clear aligners. Take the aligners out twice a day to brush and floss your teeth, then finish with fluoride mouthwash.

When you take the aligners out to eat, make sure to brush or at least swish mouthwash or water afterward. You don’t want bits of food to get trapped between your teeth or under the aligners for long periods.

Make sure to also see your dentist for routine exams and dental cleanings. Don’t assume that your appointments with your dentist take the place of these exams. Your dentist is responsible for the overall care of your teeth and works hard to keep you free from tooth decay or gum issues. With Invisalign, these dental visits are easier since you can remove the trays during the exam and cleaning.

#7 – Clean Your Aligners Daily

When you brush and floss, clean your aligners, too. This will eliminate bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums. Use a small amount of vinegar, baking soda, or antibacterial soap in warm water. You can brush them gently with a soft toothbrush (don’t use a hard-bristled toothbrush since they can be scratched) and then do the same with an added 25 minutes of soaking in the evening. Rinse them in cold water before putting them back in your mouth.

There are special cleaners made especially for clear aligners if you want to purchase one. Some words of caution: Don’t use toothpaste as it can damage the plastic aligners and also don’t use any product that has color in it. The plastic aligner will pick up the color and your aligners will no longer be invisible!

#8 – Save Aligners As You Change Them  

As you change aligners according to the schedule, save the ones you are taking out. Clean them and put them in a case until your dentist tells you to throw them away.

If you lose or damage one that you are currently wearing, your dentist may want you to put in the last one you removed. At least you will have something in your mouth while waiting for the replacement. This will protect your teeth from slipping back into the previous, misaligned position. 

#9 – Yes, You Will Need to Wear a Retainer After Invisalign Treatment

When your active treatment plan comes to an end, your dentist will have you wear a customized retainer. This retainer’s job is to hold your newly aligned teeth in this final position. It takes some time for them to take hold there without slipping back on their own. 

Your dentist will provide a new schedule for wearing the retainer, especially at first. As time passes, you will be wearing it less and less each day. But be aware that you will need the retainer forever, even if it’s just at night. Don’t spend all this time and money to straighten your teeth and then have them crooked again in the future simply for the lack of using a retainer as instructed.

#10 – Stay Focused on Your Goal!

The hardest step was the decision to invest in your future by straightening your teeth. As you face the inevitable challenges of tackling your treatment plan for the months ahead, stay focused on that goal. It will all be worth it when you look at your beautiful smile in the mirror every day for the rest of your life!

TLC Dental Center Will Be With You Every Step of the Way!

Invisalign clear aligners are used by thousands of people every day. They have valuable advantages over traditional metal braces: They are invisible on your teeth and are more comfortable, plus you can eat whatever you want. 

As you can see above, in order to maximize your success with clear aligners, there are several things you can do to help. By being proactive, you can be ready for any discomfort as the aligners are changed, protect the aligners against damage or loss, keep up your regular oral health routines, and clean the aligners properly. 

Your dental team here at TLC Dental Center provides top-quality care to every patient and look forward to assisting you in your quest for a straight, beautiful smile!  We pride ourselves on offering personalized care for all ages

Contact us with any questions you may have about your Invisalign treatment or any other dental issue. We are here to help!