8 Dental Tips for Invisalign Patients

Invisible braces

Invisalign is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligner trays to effectively straighten teeth. You won’t have to deal with metal brackets or wiring that would otherwise get in the way of you taking care of your teeth or feeling confident about yourself. Invisalign is most suitable for teens and adults who are able to commit to treatment. Invisalign often takes anywhere from six months to about two years from the start of treatment until it is finished. You’ll then need to maintain your Invisalign results with the help of a retainer.

By following these few simple tips, you’ll find that you have more success with your Invisalign treatment with minimal problems.

1. Follow Your Orthodontist’s Care Instructions

Orthodontist showing patient model of teeth

Your orthodontist knows what’s best for you and is the one in charge of your orthodontic treatment. They can tell you how and when to use the aligner trays and what you need to know in order for treatment to be a success. While you can find many tips and information concerning Invisalign wear on the internet, it is always best for you to take the advice of your orthodontist over any other person. Your orthodontist knows what is right for your smile and what needs to be done in order to correct alignment issues that are specific to your situation.

2. Keep Up with Your Appointments

patient talking to orthodontist

In order for Invisalign treatment to be effective, you’ll need to have new aligner trays made for you every few weeks. If you fail to keep up with your orthodontic appointments, you’ll find that treatment will take longer than expected. This can be a problem for you if you were planning on being out of your braces in a year and are now having to wear them for a year and a half or longer. By pre-scheduling the appointments in advance and working the appointments around your schedule, you’ll find that it is much easier for you to finish treatment as needed in a timely manner.

3. Only Remove the Trays to Eat or Brush

Woman brushing her teeth

You should remove your Invisalign trays every time you brush, floss and eat. Avoid wearing the trays while you’re eating to prevent them from cracking and breaking. Brushing and flossing should be done according to your normal routine to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Unlike metal braces, it’s much easier to keep your teeth clean by simply removing your Invisalign trays and brushing as you normally would.

4. Commit to Wearing the Trays for as Long as Possible Every Day

Woman putting on invisible braces

Professionals typically recommend that their patients wear their Invisalign trays for at least 22 hours every day. If possible, try to keep them in for the majority of the day and night. This helps to effectively straighten the teeth and prevents the need for extended treatment or additional appointments. Any discomfort that you feel during Invisalign treatment is short-lived and temporary, with over-the-counter pain relievers and home remedies being quite helpful.

5. Stick to Dietary Restrictions

Woman looking into fridge

Although there aren’t as many dietary restrictions with Invisalign as with other types of braces, you should always listen to your orthodontist’s recommendations. You may be asked to avoid hard foods or food that may cause staining. You may find that softer foods help in reducing any pain or tenderness that you’re feeling as a result of tighter trays. Also, foods like cold yogurt, ice cream and smoothies can help in reducing inflammation and swelling.

6. Brush and Floss Regularly

Woman flossing her teeth

Keeping your mouth and teeth clean is crucial, especially when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. After your Invisalign trays are removed, you want a smile that is radiant and healthy. Fortunately, Invisalign makes it easy to remove the trays so that you can fully and properly clean your teeth. Most dental professionals recommend using a power toothbrush to quickly and effectively brush away any plaque and food debris from the teeth. It’s also important to floss between the teeth since these areas can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

7. Keep Your Trays Clean and Rinse Them Before Replacing

Invisible braces in water

Your Invisalign trays are worn for long periods of time, so it’s normal for them to periodically collect saliva and build up. This is why it’s crucial that you rinse your trays before putting them into your mouth and clean them properly to remove bacteria. The best way to clean your Invisalign trays is to brush them with a soft toothbrush and a mild non-abrasive toothpaste. You may also find that soaking your trays in mouthwash helps to remove bacteria and odors. However, try not to leave your Invisalign trays soaking for hours at a time, since they should be worn as much as possible during the day and night.

8. Keep Your Old Trays on Hand

Invisible braces in case

The Invisalign system relies on brand new trays being made for you every few weeks. In the event that you have problems with your new trays or if they break, crack or become lost, you’ll have your previous set of trays to wear until a new set can be made. This helps to keep treatment going according to plan and prevents the need for emergency appointments.

Invisalign is an effective option for those looking to achieve a straighter and more aligned smile. Thankfully, Invisalign maintenance is easy and helps contribute to successful results. It is important to keep up with each of your orthodontic appointments and to reach out for help if you experience any issues. Along with receiving orthodontic care, it is vital that you continue with your routine dental exams and teeth cleanings. With the combination of orthodontic treatment and routine preventative care, you’re sure to have a healthy, straight smile in no time.

About the Author

Dr. Scott Futch

Dr. Scott F. Futch, DDS

Dr. Scott Futch has been a clinical director for Absolute Dental since April 2017. Dr. Futch graduated from University of Michigan School of Dentistry and completed his training at the Dawson Academy; a postgraduate multi-disciplinary education clinical research facility dedicated to the advancement of dentistry. Dr. Futch has had over 25 years of experience as a skilled clinician, mentor and coach.

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