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Best Practices When Using Invisalign®

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Are you thinking about Invisalign treatment for yourself, your teen or your child? Have you been told you do not qualify for Invisalign? These are common questions, so we have put together some of the best practices to follow when deciding to invest in Invisalign treatment.

What is Invisalign?

Before we get into our recommended best practices when using Invisalign, we will unpack what Invisalign is and how it can be a positive orthodontic experience.

Once your orthodontist recommends orthodontic treatment with Invisalign (note, a significant number of orthodontic issues can be addressed with Invisalign), she/he will create a personalized treatment plan that maps out the exact movements of your teeth. This ‘movie’ of your teeth and their movements is designed by your orthodontist and designed especially for your teeth and your goals. Invisalign provides the software and the manufacturing, but your orthodontist provides the design. Your aligners are then precisely designed to apply gentle force on the teeth that produce the desired tooth movements. Remember, your orthodontist understands bone biology and how to safely move teeth while considering other things such as your bone and gums and how orthodontics can affect the esthetics of facial beauty.

Invisalign aligners themselves are removable and are made from flexible plastic. This plastic is actually a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® and was created exclusively for Invisalign. Of course, Invisalign aligners are FDA-approved and are free from BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. They are thin and clear and fit securely over your teeth, while appearing invisible – hence the company’s name, Invisalign.

invisalign clear aligners in tray with instructions

And now our guidelines for best practices when using Invisalign:

Best Practices To Maximize Your Treatment With Invisalign

In order for you to get the most out of your Invisalign treatment, it is important to follow a few best practices. Although there is an initial period of adjustment to the product, the routine becomes second nature within a week or two. Ultimately, Invisalign will optimize your treatment and make the investment worthwhile.

1. Best Practices To Maximize Your Treatment With Invisalign

Your Invisalign treatment will work only if you commit to wearing the aligners as prescribed. The beauty of treatment with Invisalign is that your wear schedule can be adjusted to reflect your goals and your lifestyle while also considering the optimal wear time to achieve an orthodontic result specific to your goals. Talk openly with your orthodontist. Have that conversation. Let her/him know what schedule you or your child can realistically implement.

2. Protect Your Mouth

As you can imagine, it takes a little time for your mouth to adjust to the aligners. They may have a few rough edges that can irritate or cause sores on your mouth, gums, and tongue. Not to worry, you can buff the rough edges or simply ask your orthodontist to request a redo of the aligner manufacturing.

3. Create A Portable Invisalign Kit

Your Invisalign treatment can last anywhere from six months to two years, so creating a small travel kit is a great idea. Your kit can include the case for your aligners given to you by your orthodontist, a toothbrush and floss. If home is close by, simply brush and floss when you get home and insert your aligners before bed.

4. Ditch The Lipstick

Sadly, wearing lipstick or colored lip gloss can discolor the aligners. The good news is that aligners are changed weekly in case you forget and impart irreversible damage. Some clear lip gloss and lip moisturizers will not stain your aligners, but you will need to experiment with what works.

5. Keep Them Clean

Keeping your aligners clean is absolutely crucial. If not cleaned correctly your aligners can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Brush the aligners in the morning and at night and do not use toothpaste as some ingredients can be abrasive and, therefore, damaging to your aligners. Soaking them in clean water or using an ultrasonic cleaner with aligner tablets while not in your mouth is also a good way to keep them fresh.

6. Keep Your Teeth Extra Clean, Too

Food that leads to plaque can adhere to your teeth, and then become trapped by your aligners. If this happens frequently enough, the constant plaque can lead to acid produced by bacteria that normally live in your mouth. This acid can lead to breakdown of your enamel, which can result in an irreversible white spot called ‘decalcification’ or true dental decay. If plaque collects along the gum line, it can also lead to inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. Long term gingivitis can lead to breakdown of bone and gum tissues which may require intervention by a periodontist. The best medicine is preventative medicine so dedicate sufficient time to keeping your teeth clean both before and during aligner wear.

7. Diet And Its Effects

Eating foods and consuming drinks with heavy staining potential (think turmeric, red wine, coffee, soy), can lead to discoloration of your aligners. Be sure to remove your aligners before consuming.

8. Good Behavioral Habits With Aligners

Any new orthodontic appliance makes the tongue and the fingers curious. While it is tempting to play with the aligners, please avoid this, especially as we understand how bacteria and viruses can be transmitted from hands to the mouth. Taking out the aligners frequently can weaken them by causing aligner fatigue, which can distort and weaken their form. Frequently removing the aligners can, in some cases, lead to mobility, or looseness, of the affected teeth.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of how to be successful with Invisalign. Your orthodontist will be able to best guide you on how to optimize your treatment. Ask questions, become informed and get excited! With so many options and so many advances in technology, it is a terrific time to become an orthodontic patient!

Contact Days to Smile Today!

For more about treatment with Invisalign, to schedule an appointment for a consultation, or to learn more about how Invisalign can improve your smile, contact Days to Smile today.

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