Invisalign® treatment is the most popular orthodontic treatment available today. It is the perfect alternative to traditional braces as it is a more flexible treatment that is also practically invisible.
The treatment uses a series of customized, clear teeth aligners that slowly move your teeth into the right position for straight teeth and a perfect smile. They do the same job as traditional braces by gently easing teeth into the optimized position for a healthier bite and aesthetically straighter teeth.
The aligners can be removed so you can eat and brush your teeth easily; however, because they are removable, it can interfere with the progress of treatment. If you forget to wear your aligners too often, it can lead to problems that will negatively impact their effectiveness.
While you might not think that taking them out for a few hours —- or even intermittently — will make a difference, there are noticeable consequences to forgetting to wear your Invisalign aligners.
The longer you leave your Invisalign trays out, the more damage it creates. Your teeth will start to shift, moving back to their original position. And guess what? That’s the position you hated and the reason you decided to use Invisalign in the first place.
Remember that you are supposed to wear your aligners 22 hours a day, leaving just enough time for meals and brushing. When you take them out for too long, you reduce the pressure the aligners place on your teeth to ease them into the optimal position.
When the pressure is reduced, you reverse the pressure, so to speak, because the small ligaments around your teeth are relaxed. As a result, the progress you have made in repositioning your teeth and reshaping the bone is lost because the treatment depends on constant pressure.
As we have explained above, it just takes a few hours for the repositioning of your teeth to begin to shift. Within a few hours, you might find your aligners no longer feel right, as shifting has already begun.
In some cases, you might find an older set of aligners will fit better, but that means you have to repeat the same progression using your old aligners to get back on track. The fit is still not guaranteed, which means you might do more harm than good.
Treatment is Prolonged
It seems silly to risk reversing the progress of your treatment when every day brings you closer to your perfect smile. Every time you forget to wear your Invisalign trays — or purposefully take them out — you are risking the chance your treatment time will take longer.
The more persistent you are in wearing your aligners, the less time it will take for you to see the desired effect. Remember, one of the benefits of Invisalign is you can see results faster than traditional braces, as significant improvements can be seen in just a couple of months.
It would be a shame to end up having to wear them just as long as traditional braces because you keep forgetting to wear them!
You’ll Mess Up Your Routine
Getting into the groove of your Invisalign schedule is the best way to achieve your desired results. When you get into the habit of taking out your aligners to eat and brush your teeth and remembering to replace them, you help set a routine that keeps your treatment consistent. If you start to get into the habit of leaving them out more often, this has the opposite effect; you form a bad habit that can be hard to break.
Keep telling yourself you should save taking out your aligners for special occasions such as your graduation, prom, or even a first date so that you don’t waste treatment time sitting at home binge-watching your favourite show. This way, you stick with your regime and improve the results of your treatment.
Risk of Losing Aligners
Although Invisalign is a pretty affordable way to straighten your teeth, it is still an investment for you or your parents. The more often you remove your aligners, the more chance there is for you to lose track of where you left them. Lost aligners are a pain as they interfere with progress when you have to put in your previous set until a replacement set arrives. Also, it can get expensive as you will have to pay to make a new set.
How to Stick to Your Routine
As you can see, missed time for your aligners can lead to a lot more issues than you probably thought. In order to get the best results, it is a good idea to get a routine going from the day you put in your first aligners and stick to it. Here are some tips to help:
1. Use a timer
Commit to wearing your aligners for the recommended 22 hours. If you are finding it difficult, consider setting an alarm during meals, so you know when it’s time to put the aligners back in.
2. Plan for special occasions
No matter how tempted you are to take out your aligners, only allow yourself to break the rules on special occasions. This way, you can stick to your routine while also looking forward to the day you can remove them for a few hours.
3. Use your aligners case
Make sure you carry a case with you for your aligners so you can keep them safe when you are eating. It’s easier to lose your aligners if you put them in a napkin and toss them in your bookbag, pocket, or purse. As mentioned, lost aligners lead to interruptions in your progress.
While dental checkups aren’t as frequent with Invisalign as compared to traditional braces, you still need to see us once in a while so we can check your progress. We can tell when things aren’t progressing — or worse, regressing — so avoid the embarrassment of being called out and stick to your routine!