How to Get the Most Out of Invisalign

Woman holding invisible braces aligners - Invisalign

With Invisalign, you don’t have to wear metal braces with brackets and wires. Instead, you’ll get a set of transparent trays crafted specifically for your teeth. Each tray fits snugly over your teeth and applies pressure to shift your teeth into place. The trays in the sequence gradually shift to apply more pressure to the right areas. As the treatment goes on, you’ll switch out the trays until you have straight teeth.

Invisalign is affordable, comfortable, and barely noticeable. No one will know that you’re wearing braces—in fact, you’ll forget about it half the time. You can take out the trays whenever you want, then pop them back into place in seconds. If you follow the treatment plan, you’ll have straight teeth in less than two years or as soon as 6 months. This is much faster than traditional braces.

What to Do When You Wear Invisalign

Invisalign is more comfortable and convenient than metal braces, but you still need to stick to the treatment plan. Otherwise, you might have to go back to an earlier step or start over entirely.

Follow the Instructions

Never assume that you can take a break or skip ahead. Straightening your teeth is a slow, delicate process that requires minute attention to detail. If you skip a tray, jump ahead to the end or stop wearing them early, your teeth will slide out of alignment again.

Follow every step of the instructions, and stick to the schedule. You’ll know when it’s time to swap out your tray for the next aligner. Most trays take 2 or 3 weeks to push your teeth into place before you start the next phase.

Adjust to the Sensation

When you start wearing Invisalign, you might feel some discomfort, pressure, or irritation. This is normal as the aligners are gradually moving your teeth into place. Removing the trays might be your first instinct, but give yourself time to adjust to the sensation. Eventually, you’ll forget that you’re wearing the trays.

While you adjust, take pain medication and apply cold compresses to the side of your face. Eat soft foods so you don’t irritate your teeth and gums. Everyone experiences discomfort, but if the pain becomes extreme, get in touch with our office. We may recommend a different course of action.

Clean Your Invisalign Trays

Your Invisalign trays might look clean, but bacteria and particles lurk on the surface. If you don’t clean the trays regularly, bacteria on the trays could cause cavities and tooth decay. Discoloration makes the trays visible and creates the appearance of dirty teeth.

Brush your trays with warm water at least once a day. Rinse them before you put them back on after meals—you need a clean surface so the trays don’t trap bacteria against your teeth. Talk to us before you use cleaning products, as some products damage Invisalign trays. Scrub the trays gently so you don’t scratch or damage the surface.

Brush Your Teeth Often

Whenever you eat, food particles get trapped between your teeth, causing tooth decay. Normally, a drink of water would wash away the particles, but aligners clamp over your teeth and lock the particles inside. This increases your risk of developing cavities. Similarly, food particles and hot liquids could stain your teeth while they’re trapped underneath the tray.

Lightly brush your teeth after you eat, then pop the retainers back in place. Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste whenever you leave the house—even if you don’t plan on eating, your schedule could always change. Floss your teeth to eliminate particles that the brush missed. Keep to the routine of using mouthwash once a day to freshen your breath and eliminate bacteria.

Take Out the Trays When You Eat

If you eat with the trays in your mouth, you could crack, damage, or warp the trays, forcing you to pause treatment while we make replacements. Hot drinks stain the trays, making them visible in your mouth—which defeats the purpose of wearing Invisalign in the first place. Gum sticks to the trays and damages the surface if you can’t scrape it off.

Always take out the trays before you eat even if it’s just a snack. You’ll save yourself time because you won’t have to clean the stains and particles off your trays when you’re done. Additionally, take the case everywhere you go so you can safely store the trays.

Wear Your Retainer

Treatment doesn’t end when you take out the last Invisalign tray. Your teeth are straightened, but you need a retainer to keep them in place. Otherwise, your teeth will slide out of alignment and ruin the progress that you made. Like aligners, retainers are removable, but you need to wear them according to the dentist’s instructions.

We’ll give you a retainer after you complete your Invisalign treatments. Most patients wear retainers for 12 months while new bone sets around the teeth. However, they typically wear them while they’re asleep and only a few times a week. Clean your retainer on a regular basis, and store it in the case to prevent damage.

What Not to Do When You Wear Invisalign

Invisalign Aligners and case on black backgroundIf you slip up during treatment, you could compromise the entire schedule. Here’s what you should never do when wearing Invisalign:

  • Eat or drink while wearing your trays. Chewing could crack or damage your trays, and you’ll have to clean them out afterward. Hot tea and coffee warp the trays, rendering them unusable. Always take out your trays even if you’re having a quick snack.
  • Wear the next tray if you lose the current one. If you skip ahead, your teeth won’t align properly. Call our office so we can make a new set of trays for the current phase.
  • Clean your trays with soap or toothpaste. Trays are less durable than your teeth, and the chemicals in toothpaste could scratch or damage the surface. Similarly, soap and chemical cleaners stain the trays. Talk to us about finding the right cleaner for Invisalign.
  • Use your last Invisalign tray as a retainer. Since they’re made for short-term use, Invisalign trays don’t last as long as a retainer. Similarly, don’t assume that you don’t need a retainer–your teeth will become crooked again if you stop your treatment with the last tray.

Reach out to us if you have any questions about your treatment.

Schedule an Appointment with Rinaldi Dental Arts

To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling our office or filling out the form on our website. We’ll evaluate your situation and discuss your options. In addition to teeth straightening, we offer crowns, fillings, bridges, implants, veneers, and other dental services. Reach out to us if you have questions, and get started on your journey toward a mouth of clean, sparkling teeth.