Invisalign aligners are a set of custom fabricated, clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth. Every week throughout your treatment, you change to a new tray digitally designed to safely align your teeth. Each tray provides slight tooth movements to achieve a perfect smile. Invisalign is an investment, and taking proper care of your Invisalign aligners is imperative in order to achieve optimal results. It might take some time to get used to wearing aligners and incorporate them into your everyday life, but once you do, it becomes like second nature!
3 Ways Take Care of Invisalign Aligners:
Always maintain proper aligner and oral hygiene
Brush your teeth before putting your aligners on, or at the very least rinse your mouth with water, especially after eating or drinking anything sweet. Try to brush your aligners with low-abrasive toothpaste and make sure to wash them with tap water at least once a day. We also recommend using Listerine Total Care Zero (the purple mouthwash) 2 times a day to strengthen your enamel.
When you wear the same aligner for a longer period of time a white biofilm layer may form on it. For extra cleaning, you can soak your aligner in Polident retainer antibacterial plaque cleaning system, following manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging. It can be found at the drugstore in the dental care section.
Always keep your aligners in the case
At Walt Orthodontics, we like to say that your aligners are either – “in your face or in your case.” When you take your aligners out to eat or drink anything aside from water, you should place them in the case. When you come for your first Invisalign appointment, we provide you with two aligner cases. If you lose your cases, let us know!
4 Examples of Improper Invisalign Care:
When choosing the non-traditional method of aligners to straighten your teeth, it is crucial to be monitored throughout treatment by an orthodontist in person. Cheap alternative aligner treatments with a company that doesn’t provide proper monitoring by professionals will place you at risk of many different complications, including irreversible damage which may lead to loss of teeth. At Walt Orthodontics, we see many Invisalign patients every day. Our main goal is to help our patients avoid the most common mistakes when providing Invisalign wear and care instructions. Here are the 4 most common bad habits you should avoid:
Eating or drinking anything other than water while wearing your aligners
Food, spices, sweets, and acidic drinks can all stain your aligners and teeth. In addition to that, it can also lead to a bad smell. Eating/drinking on a regular basis with your aligners in your mouth also increases your chances of getting cavities. It is best to take off your aligners and brush.
Using abrasive toothpaste
Using abrasive toothpaste to brush your teeth on a daily basis is not recommended by your dental care professional as it can slowly remove the enamel on your teeth. When brushing your aligners you want to avoid using aggressive materials such as a toothbrush with hard bristles or abrasive toothpaste. Doing so can possibly damage the thin plastic that your aligners are made of.
Keeping your aligners on the counter, in a napkin, or in your pocket
One of the benefits of Invisalign aligners is the ability to take them off at your own will. They are clear and can very easily be misplaced or chewed up by your pet. If aligners are lost or damaged it can lead to additional costs to replace them. “If they’re not in your face, they’re in the case!”
Ignoring the signs of improper aligner fit
Sometimes, if you don’t insert the aligner properly, a space can form between the edge of your tooth and the aligner, creating an improper fit. It is important to use your ‘chewies’ (which are small foam cylinders designed close air gaps between your Invisalign aligner and teeth), or let us know if you feel an aligner is not fitting properly. Aligner fit also significantly depends on the number of hours you wear it in a day. We recommend wearing your Invisalign aligners 22 hours a day. If your aligner does not fit properly, it can prevent the intended tooth movements from occurring which can increase your treatment time.
Travelling with Invisalign
What’s so amazing about Invisalign is that travelling with your aligners is so easy. Though sometimes challenging to wear your aligners when travelling, you should be sure to at least wear the same aligner every night (12 hours) to avoid your teeth from shifting if you can’t manage full-time wear. Always make sure to bring extra aligners with you for back-up, along with your mouthwash and a case.
In our office we offer Dental Monitoring, an app that you can download on your smartphone, enabling you to scan your teeth once a week. Our orthodontic team is able to see your scans digitally and monitor your teeth more closely. Dental Monitoring increases efficiency and reduces the amount of in-office visits. It is very convenient especially if you are a jet-setter!
Walt Orthodontics is a leading Invisalign treatment provider. If you have any questions on proper care for your aligners, or you are interested in the Invisalign process, book a FREE consultation for you or your children! Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you!