Maybe you’re just starting your journey with Invisalign, or maybe you’ve been in treatment for a while now. No matter where you find yourself, these useful tips will help support you in achieving the best results from Invisalign treatment. As an Invisalign Premier Preferred Provider, Speaks Orthodontics is here to help answer any questions you have along the way.
Document Your Journey
A great way to encourage you during your orthodontic treatment is to document your journey. Grab your camera and take a selfie every time you start a new set of aligners. When you reach the later stages of treatment, you’ll find satisfaction in comparing the pictures from when you started to where you are now.
Good oral hygiene is an important part of Invisalign treatment. You should rinse your aligners regularly, brush your teeth after every meal and brush your aligners before bed. Use a dedicated toothbrush for your Invisalign trays and brush them thoroughly every night to remove debris and help prevent cavities.
To help keep your aligners free from hard deposits, place them in a small bowl filled with water every time you remove them to eat or drink. Make sure you wash your hands before taking your trays out or putting them back in to ensure germs from your hands don’t enter your mouth. To further encourage regular teeth and tray cleaning throughout the day, keep a set of oral hygiene products (floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, cup) in your main floor bathroom. Pack a travel cleaning set in your purse or car as well so you have what you need when you’re out and about.
Floss, Floss, Floss
Practicing good oral health habits is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. Some people falsely assume that Invisalign will protect their teeth from bacteria when in fact the opposite is true. Your aligners hold bacteria against your teeth and may increase the chance of cavities if you’re not diligent about flossing every day. Put floss canisters in several places in your home where you can see them regularly as reminders to floss daily.
Don’t cut corners with Invisalign by not cleaning your teeth and aligners after every meal and snack. If you’re a heavy snacker, now’s the time to set a goal to eliminate constant snacking. If you need to eat between meals, strive for one mid-morning snack and one afternoon snack so you eliminate the number of times you must clean your teeth and aligners throughout the day.
Use a Timer
You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to put your aligners back in after eating. To help you not lose vital daily time in your aligners, set a timer when you remove the trays so you don’t forget to brush and get those trays back in your mouth. The goal is to wear your trays for at least 22 hours a day.
Plan for Success When Switching to New Trays
According to the National Institute of Health, 83 percent of people using Invisalign adjust to each new set of aligners within one week. To further help you find success transitioning between trays, implement the following tips:
- Switch your trays at night. Pop some painkillers and put in your trays right before bed to help you through the first hours of tray tightness.
- Wait a few minutes to eat. Tender gums and teeth from new aligners can make eating a little uncomfortable during the first 48 hours of wearing new aligners. Wait a few minutes after removing them before you eat to allow your mouth to relax.
- Remove tight trays with a tartar pick. Initially, new trays fit very snugly around your teeth, sometimes making it difficult to remove your trays. If you need, help try loosening the trays with a tartar pick.
- Follow the 48-hour rule. The first 48 hours of new trays are when your teeth move the most. Leave them in as much as possible during this time so they can do their job. You may experience some discomfort as your teeth shift and move, but this is a sign you’re progressing toward your end goal–a beautiful, healthy smile! Pain relievers can help with the discomfort. If you feel you’re experiencing too much pain, please call us at (720) 513-3743 to schedule an appointment at our convenient Denver office.
Sand Away Rough Edges
You may find that some aligners have rough edges that irritate your tongue and gums. Don’t ignore this! Smooth away rough areas with a nail file or fine sandpaper to avoid sores and discomfort in your mouth. You can also ask a member of our Speaks Orthodontics team to smooth them out for you. If you aren’t able to eliminate rough edges early enough and develop a sore, apply orthodontic wax on your aligner by the sore to help your mouth recover.
Get a Few Cases
Losing a set of aligners can really delay your progress, so keep a few cases in strategic places such as you purse, backpack or glove compartment to help prevent unintentionally losing them when you travel. Wrapping your trays in a napkin makes it easy for them to get thrown away. Travel cases also ensure you have a clean place to deposit your aligners while eating or drinking to prevent germs and bacteria from ending up in your mouth. Ask a member of our Speaks Orthodontics team if you need more cases.
To complete your Invisalign treatment on time, you need to wear your trays upwards of 22 hours a day. When you’re not eating, drinking, brushing or flossing, you should be wearing your Invisalign trays. Keep track of when to start your next set of aligners on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone to help keep your treatment progress on track.