A successful Invisalign® result is a two way street – it requires an experienced Invisalign® orthodontist as well as a compliant and well-supported patient. We know many questions come up along the way so we have developed this webpage to help provide our current patients with as many resources as possible.
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- Invisalign® Glossary
- Top 10 Invisalign® Rules
- Changing your Aligners
- Routine Invisalign® Appointments
- Additional Aligners/Refinement
A system made of a series of clear plastic removable consecutive trays that are tailor-made specifically to fit your teeth.
These are the “bumps” cemented on your teeth that enable Dr. Walt to manipulate complicated movements of your teeth into the place he wants them.
Not everyone has buttons—but they are required for elastic wear. They are little silver circles (that look like buttons!) so elastics can hook on to them.
Simply, rubber bands. They are attached to hooks on your Invisalign® trays, and buttons cemented on your teeth.
A highly accurate digital impression that we send to Invisalign® to make your aligners.
Top 10 Invisalign® Rules
Follow these rules and you will be successful with your Invisalign® treatment:
1. Wear Your Aligners
24/7 except when eating and brushing your teeth.
2. Chewies and Massage
Use your chewies and massage your attachments daily from bottom and top.
3. Contact Us If You Can’t Wear Them
If you can’t wear your aligners for any reason, please contact the office.
4. Ensure Proper Fit
If you see a gap between your tooth and aligner and can’t get it to fit, go back to the previous aligner that fits and contact the office.
5. Use Your Case
Aligners are always “in your face or in your case!”
6. Appointments Don’t Always “Align”
Your appointments may not always correspond exactly with your aligner schedule. This is okay—do not stop wearing your aligners at any point!
7. Save Your Previous Set
Always save your previous aligners unless instructed otherwise. Please come to your appointments with your aligners in your mouth, and bring all your aligners to every appointment in your bag.
8. May Feel Sharp
Initially, a new set of aligners may feel a little sharp on your tongue, lips, and gums. This is normal.
9. Use Fluoride Mouthrinse
Be sure to use a daily fluoride mouth rinse. We recommend Listerine® Total Care Zero.
10. Clean Aligners Daily
Clean your aligners daily using mouthwash and/or toothpaste.
Changing your Aligners
We instruct most of our patients to change their aligners on a weekly basis. Our system is that you do a scan using our dental monitoring app after 7 days of aligner wear so we can evaluate to see if you are ready to change into your next one.
Sometimes, for several reasons, you are not ready to change so we instruct you to remain in your aligner for a few extra days and re-scan.
For example, certain tooth movements are more challenging and require more time to execute. Moving upper lateral incisors and large canine teeth require more effort. Dense bone also creates obstacles to tooth movement. The easiest way to avoid delays in your treatment is to wear your aligners full time.
Routine Invisalign® Appointments
During your Invisalign® treatment you will have routine appointments where we check the fit of your aligners and your bite. It is important you prepare for these appointments by utilizing the following checklist:
I am bringing all my Invisalign® boxes with me to my appointment.
I am coming to my appointment with good fitting aligners in my mouth.
I have been changing my aligners every 7 days (unless otherwise instructed).
I have been wearing my aligners approximately 22 hours a day.
I have been spending time massaging my attachments and using chewies.
It is completely normal that during your treatment we will re-scan you once or twice to get more aligners. This is completely normal and has been factored into your treatment time. It normally takes approximately 4 weeks for your new aligners to arrive. The reason for this is that it’s impossible to perfectly predict how teeth will move—sometimes one tooth is stubborn or some teeth respond better than others. Therefore, we rescan your mouth during your treatment and our doctors evaluate the tooth movement before ordering more aligners to ensure the perfect tooth position.
During this time, we ask that you continue wearing your aligners full time and change your aligners weekly. If you get to your last aligner and after a week you still haven’t seen us for your next appointment, you can wear it 10 – 12 hours a day temporarily. Once we see you and give you your new aligners so you can resume full-time wear.
In the rare instance where you should lose or break your aligner during this “holding” period, please wear the next aligner (if you have one) or go back to the previous aligner which you should have saved. If you have nothing else to wear you must contact the office ASAP.
What should I do if:
My aligner isn’t fitting properly?
Use your chew sticks!! Chew and massage those aligners/attachments as best you can! You can try going into your next aligner. If you do not have your next aligner, go into your previous aligner and let us know. That is why it is so important to keep your previous aligner.
My aligner is bouncing in the back?
Sometimes one of your aligners may not fit snug over your back molars. In this circumstance the aligners may feel “bouncy”. Not to worry, there is an easy solution. Remove the affected aligner and gently bend the plastic down/up towards the teeth. While it is rare for aligners to bounce it can, and does happen from time to time. If the aligners are still not fitting well, please call the office.
There is space in my aligner?
Use your chew sticks! Chew and massage those aligners/attachments as best you can! You can try going into your next aligner. If you do not have your next aligner, go into your previous aligner and let us know. That is why it is so important to keep your previous aligner.
My teeth are hurting and I have some sores in my mouth?
This is completely normal! Your teeth are beginning to shift, and your mouth has to get used to the Invisalign® aligners. You should rinse with warm salt water to prevent any infection. If your aligners are too sharp you can file the sharp spot with the Walt Orthodontics file we provided at your first appointment—but we do suggest trying to tough it out!
I lost my aligner?
If you lose your aligner, you can try going into your next aligner. If it does not fit, you should go back into your previous aligner for an extra few days, and then try your next aligner again. If the aligner you lost is your last aligner you can go back into the last aligner you wore.
My aligner is too loose and keeps falling out?
If your aligner is too loose, you should try going into your next aligner. If it does not fit, you can try going into the next one after that. If you can’t find an aligner that fits, go back into the last aligner that does fit and give our office a call to let us know.
My aligner is too tight and I can’t put it on?
If your aligner is too tight you should go back into your previous aligner and wear it for an extra couple of days. Try again and use your chew sticks!
My aligner is cracked?
If your aligner is cracked you should try going into your next aligner. If the aligner that is cracked is your last aligner and you do not have your next aligner, go into your previous aligner and let us know.
My aligner says “hold” on it?
Continue wearing that aligner full time for a minimum of 7 days. After wearing this aligner, you may reduce wear to nights only (10 – 12 hours/day) until you see us for an appointment.
Do not move forward onto any further aligners until you have had your next appointment. If, for any reason, you lose or break this aligner, please go back to your previous aligner.
My attachment broke?
You can continue wearing your aligners like usual if an attachment breaks/falls off. Please contact us as soon as you realize an attachment is broken and you will have to let us know two important details:
- What number aligner are you in?
- If it is an upper attachment or a lower attachment.
We will have to order a new template from Invisalign, which takes roughly one week to arrive. Depending on when your next visit with Dr. Walt is, we will determine whether we will put the attachment back on at your next visit or if we need to have you come in sooner. We do not need you to bring the piece that has broken off.
My button came off?
If you are wearing elastics on both sides, and a button comes off on one side please continue to wear your elastic on the other side until you are seen to re-cement the broken button. This is not an emergency but is something that should be fixed.
I can’t come to my appointment. Can someone pick up my next aligners?
Unfortunately, Dr. Walt needs to see you at your regular scheduled appointments, so you have to be the one to pick up your aligners. If you cannot make your appointment, stay in your last aligner and we will do our best to get you in as soon as possible. We cannot guarantee after school/evening appointments, but we will do our best to accommodate a time that is convenient for you.
My child plays sports. Should s/he wear their aligner during this activity?
Aligners should be worn for 22 hours per day! There is no reason to take aligners out for sports. The only time aligners should be taken out is during eating and toothbrushing! And don’t forget—if the aligners are not in your face, they are in the case!
I am getting dental work done?
If you are having dental work done please let us know!
The following are some common procedures and what you should do:
Once your fillings are complete, your aligners may not fit. Try your Invisalign® aligners once the filling is complete. If your aligners do not fit, let us know ASAP! We will have to rescan you to order new aligners.
After having extractions, your aligners should still fit. For wisdom teeth extractions, you can cut off the “last tooth” on the tray where your wisdom teeth used to fit in. Call us and let us know about any extractions. As long as your aligners are fitting, we can scan you at your next appointment (if necessary) to order new aligners.
When considering orthodontic treatment, we want you to make an informed decision. Dr. Walt and our treatment coordinator will discuss the entire orthodontic process during your complimentary consultation, but feel free to peruse some educational content we have put together.