See these 12 tips provided by our Halifax dentists on how you and your smile can have the best possible outcomes from your clear aligners treatment.
How You Can Get the Most From Your Invisalign Clear Aligners
If you are a patient that wants to get a straighter more, aligned smile without having to use traditional metal braces, clear aligners may be an option for your that comes with a handful of benefits. Clear aligners can straighten your teeth discreetly and be removed to eat, drink, and brush your teeth.
If you and your dentist agree that clear aligners are the right treatment option for you, you most likely still have some questions on how they can fit your lifestyle and provide you with the best possible results. In this blog, our dentists are providing you with some tips and advice on how you could have an excellent experience with clear aligners.
1. Ensure Your Aligners Stay Clean
Because Invisalign aligners are clear and transparent, they show discolouration and food particles quite easily. That's why it's important to clean both your teeth and the trays thoroughly every day. At night, bacteria builds up on the trays while you sleep and by the end of the day, it will need another cleaning.
Rinse the aligners well each time you remove them from the mouth. We recommend using clear, anti-bacterial soap to wash them, and soaking them in either denture cleaner or the cleaning solution they arrive with.
Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before placing the trays back in your mouth, and you're good to go.
2. Track Your Schedule for Switching Times
You will have to switch to a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks. It is critical to do this at the prescribed times so your teeth can shift as planned and so your treatment can stay on schedule.
To keep this at the top of your mind you can set a reminder on your phone or add it to your calendar, some brands of clear aligners have an app that can help you stay on track with your treatment.
3. Safley StoreYour Clear Aligners
You will have to keep your aligners in a safe place safe such as a plastic storage case you can slip in your pocket, every time you take them out to brush, floss, play sports, or eat. This will prevent them, from becoming dirty, getting damaged, and help your teeth stay clean when it's time to put them back on. If you keep your aligners out, you will need to thoroughly clean and soak them prior to putting them back on your teeth.
4. Allow Time for Your Teeth to Adjust
Your teeth will move in tiny increments with every set of clear aligners. Though the adjustment is not as difficult as with braces, which have brackets and wires to contend with, your teeth may still need a period of adjustment for the first few days you wear a new set. Some soreness is normal, but once your mouth adjusts you should be back to normal. Talk with your dentist about how to make the adjustment easier, and keep dental wax around in case you need to apply it.
5. Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Did you know your Invisalign aligners can help you whiten your teeth? Because they are good at holding substances right up against teeth, you can use this to your advantage to keep remnants of the whitening agent and fluoride from washing away after teeth brushing.
6. Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene
It's important for everyone to practice good oral hygiene, however, it's even more essential for those who are undergoing clear aligners treatment. Because clear aligners fit snugly on your teeth in order to realign them into their corrected positions, you are handling a double-edged sword; anything that's on teeth will be kept there by your clear aligners.
Where saliva usually rinses away some plaque, food, and bacteria, this can't happen when you are wearing your clear aligners. To ensure your teeth stay as clean as possible and to lower your risk of cavities and decay, you'll need to brush and floss every time you take your aligners out to eat or drink anything that's not water.
7. Change to New Aligners at Night
If you find you're feeling some discomfort when you first switch sets of aligners, a good hack may be to switch them at night, so you can sleep through those first few hours. Taking an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen before bed may also work well.
8. Get 22 Hours of Wear Time in Everyday
A key part of treatment is making sure your aligners get enough daily wear time so your teeth move into their proper positions. You will need to wear your aligners for about 22 hours every day, and that means minimizing the time they're off your teeth for eating, drinking, and socializing.
As you get used to your clear aligners being on your teeth, any insecurity you may feel will likely disappear – and other people likely won't even be able to tell you're straightening your teeth. If you do happen to speak with a slight lisp during those first few days of treatment, practice talking to give yourself and your mouth a chance to adjust to your aligners.
9. Watch Your Diet & Eating Times
As you are only able to have your aligners out for two hours a day to clean your teeth and eat you will probably have to cut out most of your snacking.
If your goal is to keep weight on, you might need to talk to your doctor or nutritionist about ways you can safely include more protein or calories into your meals. We also recommend drinking extra water, to help you stay hydrated and replenish any water you might lose from excessive salivating, which could happen with clear aligners.
10. Bring Backup Aligners With You
Some clear aligner plans will come with backup aligners in case you lose your first set, but if not, hang on to your previous set of aligners to use as a backup in case your current set gets lost or damaged.
This is because it usually takes about a week for new aligners to come in, and in that time, you could lose valuable progress if you are not wearing them.
If you have been using your previous set while waiting for your replacement set to come in, you would restart the set you would have worn on your regular schedule and revise your reminders for when to switch to new aligners in the future. Though this momentary mishap may set your treatment back a week, you could experience an even greater setback if you do not have a backup or previous set around to use.
11. Change Your Aligners Privately
Especially during those early days as you get used to treatment, you'll also be getting accustomed to removing and placing your aligners back in your mouth. You may want to do this in the privacy of a restroom instead of in public. Since the clear aligners will be a snug fit for your teeth, you may find it a bit challenging to remove them and put them back in properly without a mirror.
12. We Can Answer Any Questions You Have
If you ever have any questions about your clear aligners, your treatment plan or how you can make wearing them easier, our Halifax dentists are here to help and can address questions or concerns you may have. Feel free to request an appointment with us.