If you’ve made the decision to straighten your teeth using Invisalign® clear aligner therapy, you want to ensure you are making the most of your treatment. You know you’ve been waiting for that perfect smile for a while and sticking to a strict regime to follow the rules will help you maximize results. There are many factors that can interfere with your treatment from forgetting to add new aligners on time to taking them out too often. You want to avoid bad habits that will slow down the process. Here are our top tips to help you have Invisalign success!
Mark Your Schedule
Invisalign® treatment depends on a strict schedule if you want to stick to your estimated end date for perfect teeth. Your aligners are usually changed every one to two weeks. To make sure you see the results you want in as little time as possible, following this schedule is very important. Any delays can have an impact on how long it takes to complete your therapy. The best way to do this is to choose a specific day of the week that coincides with your scheduled weekly or biweekly switch and set an alarm on your phone or mark your aligner changes on a calendar hung in your bathroom on that day. There’s even an official Invisalign® app you can download for reminders.
Check in with Your Dentist
Your dentist will tell you how often you should check in to make sure things are going to plan. The good thing about your Invisalign® schedule is that your dental visits are not as frequent as those required for traditional braces. By making sure you attend your appointments, we can make sure everything is progressing as expected to avoid any delays or issues with your treatment.
Switch Aligners at Night
For some people changing to a new set of aligners can cause discomfort. This is normal and is also a sign Invisalign® is doing its job! Each new aligner will switch the pressure required to ease your teeth into place. This shifting can cause minimal pain which can be discouraging to some. You can minimize that pain by switching to your new aligners at night. You can take an over the counter painkiller to make it easier to sleep and ease into the new fit by morning. You might still have slight pain, but the worst of it will have happened while you slept.
Only Remove Aligners for Oral Care & Meals
We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the only way your Invisalign® aligners will give you that perfect smile is to make sure you are wearing them properly. Invisalign® recommends you wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours a day. The convenience of the aligners is that you can remove them when you eat. You can also avoid further dental issues by removing them to perform your twice daily oral hygiene regime. However, because they are removable it can be tempting to take them out for other reasons.
Every time you remove your aligners, you are interfering with the treatment. Common issues patients complain about include embarrassment over a slight lisp or even the barely noticeable appearance of the aligners. We understand when it comes to a special social occasion such as a date, a job interview or your wedding you might want to remove them. But choose wisely or else it will become a habit. The bottom line is you should only remove them as specified by your treatment plan which is eating and oral care.
Hang in There
The first two days of your treatment will be the hardest as you adapt to the look and feel of your aligners. As mentioned, Invisalign® recommends keeping your aligners in for 20 to 22 hours a day, and this is even more important when you first get them. When you eat, look at your phone to note the time you take them out, eat and put them back in. The same goes for brushing and flossing. You want to do this the first two days to make sure you are sticking to the 22 hours as tightly as possible You can even set a stopwatch for each meal, so you know your time is up! The longer they are in, the better your results.
Snacking & Meals
One of the possible unrelated benefits of Invisalign® is it can have a positive effect on your diet. This is because snacking can become a hassle when you have to take out your aligner, eat, brush and then put them back in. In fact, many patients jokingly refer to it as the Invisalign® diet. That said, for those who are underweight or at a healthy weight, this could be dangerous so you might want to keep an eye on your weight and speak to your doctor if you are losing weight unintentionally. Remember, there is such a thing as being too skinny!
It is not uncommon to have excessive salivation when wearing your aligners. You should make sure to drink plenty of water as the more you salivate, the more water you are losing. Water will help keep you hydrated. As well remember you should not be drinking anything other than water when wearing your aligners.
Use your Retainer Case
Always keep a retainer case with you when you go out so you can safely store your aligners when you eat. It might seem easier to just wrap them in a napkin or put them on your desk if you are eating at the office, but this just makes it easier to lose them. Some people find it best to have two: one for home and one for when they are out.
Don’t Throw Away Old Aligners
Keep track of the last set of aligners you wore so you have them as back up. Should your aligners break or get lost you can pop them in while you wait for your replacements to arrive. If not, you could have your teeth start to shift ruining all the effort you’ve already put in for treatment.
Keep Your Aligners Clean
Always follow care instruction provided with your Invisalign® clear aligners or else they can discolour and become foggy. Improper care can affect the look and feel of your aligners making them become more noticeable and uncomfortable. The Invisalign® Aligner Cleaning System will keep them looking their best. Also never smoke when wearing them! Since you can’t smoke, and you can’t take them out to smoke it’s the perfect time to quit.
Following these tips will help you see the beautiful smile you have always wanted.
If you would like more information on Invisalign® clear aligners, call our team at (888) 250-8819.