Invisalign is a great way to get a beautiful smile without the heavy hardware of traditional braces. However, you have to make sure you use the trays properly and follow your orthodontist’s instructions. You want the money, time, and energy you put into the process to give you the maximum return on your investment!
Here are seven useful Invisalign tips which will help you derive the utmost benefit from this process.
1. Wear Your Invisalign as Prescribed
Your orthodontist is likely to tell you that you have to wear your trays up to 22 hours a day in order to reap the full benefits.
You may think you can get away with wearing them only at night or when you are at home. However, you will only be impeding your own progress.
If you have a job where public speaking is important, you may get annoyed because you may lisp at first when you start wearing Invisalign. Don’t let that prevent you from getting the full 22 hours in. You will quickly learn how to speak well, even while wearing your trays.
2. Maintain Dental Hygiene
As an adult, you may resist the constant refrains you remember from childhood: Brush your teeth! Don’t forget to floss!
However, no matter what your age, these admonitions still hold true.
You need to maintain a high level of dental hygiene for your Invisalign to work well. Brushing frequently will ensure that you will not have food particles trapped in your trays between meals, causing plaque and staining. Flossing keeps gums healthy.
Rinse your mouth out thoroughly with an antibacterial mouthwash after eating and before you replace your tray into your mouth.
What good is having straight teeth if you have cavities and other dental problems caused by neglect?
3. Clean Your Invisalign Trays as Directed
Invisalign gives specific instructions on keeping your trays clean. They recommend using warm, not hot, water because hot water could melt the aligners.
Invisalign also creates special cleaning crystals, which are the optimal products to use. Some dentists approve of using a dental cleaner like Polident. Toothpaste is generally considered too abrasive for these items.
Keep your trays clear and clean to make sure you don’t pick up any bacteria which can cause decay and other aesthetic issues.
4. Maintain Regular Check-Ups
When you use Invisalign, you are fitted for a set of gradually changing trays that will train your teeth to fall into perfect alignment. You need to be checked regularly by your orthodontist to make sure everything is progressing as expected.
Sometimes your orthodontist may adjust the expected treatment. Sometimes the entire process may take longer than predicted. Sometimes you may need to get “buttons” attached to your teeth to better adhere the devices to your teeth and redirect their growth.
By checking regularly, your orthodontist can adjust the aligners as needed, plus keep an eye on any issues that may arise. He or she can also watch for any decay that may be occurring or staining of the teeth.
Your doctor can then make recommendations like using whitening toothpaste, or other methods to make sure your entire process is performed efficiently for maximum benefit.
5. Follow All Dietary Restrictions
If you had traditional “railroad track” braces, you were probably given strict dietary restrictions to make sure you did not bend or break your apparatus. You were instructed to avoid foods like caramel or taffy which can pull hooks right off your teeth.
Wearing Invisalign is not very different in this regard. If you have buttons put on your teeth, these too can be pulled off by especially sticky or chewy foods.
Invisalign also recommends that you refrain from drinks that stain your teeth, especially coffee and carbonated sodas. As these can cause other dental issues — in addition to other health problems — giving up these substances will make you feel good in many ways, not just your smile.
6. Keep Wearing Retainers After Treatment Ends
Invisalign delivers great results, assuming you stick with the program. You will come out of your months or years of invisible braces with a sparking straight smile.
However, teeth can shift and move. That’s often why people turn to Invisalign in the first place — the results they derived from their previous orthodonture have slipped and they want that smile back again!
If your teeth slipped back after wearing braces as a child because you did not wear your retainer, understand that can also happen after wearing Invisalign. Once you complete your process, you will be given a retainer which you will likely be instructed to wear at night.
Continue to wear your retainer whenever possible in order to keep that smile in place and to prevent your pearly whites from moving back to their former state. Every year or so, return to your orthodontist to make sure everything is holding fast.
7. Replace Your Retainers Every 2 Years
Your orthodontist will likely create several retainer trays that will keep you “retained” for the subsequent several years. That way, if one of them gets broken or lost, you have a replacement all ready to go.
After a year or two, the original retainer will lose some of its tightness and probably look a little scratched up. Exchange it for one of the extras your dentist keeps for you.
This is also a good time to check how things are progressing and if you need any tweaks or added treatments to maintain your glamorous smile.
Invisalign Tips for Getting a Great Smile: It’s Easy!
Invisalign is great for patients of all ages who wish to straighten their teeth without too much hardware and too much pain. Although it may not be appropriate for all dental conditions, it can help many alignment issues in a relatively short amount of time.
Just follow the doctor’s orders when it comes how long you wear your Invisalign every day, how often you clean, and how you otherwise maintain your oral health. With a little effort and patience, you can soon have the smile you have always dreamed of.
For more Invisalign tips and other orthodontic options, check out our blog.