With advancements in dental technology, more and more people find it easy to get orthodontic treatment. Invisalign is one of the most preferred teeth-aligning methods due to its appearance and ease of use. Unlike metal braces, invisible aligners are suited for self-conscious teenagers as well as adults who do not want to wear fixed braces but want to correct teeth misalignments. Like all medical treatments, the correct method always brings the best results. So, here’s our professional Invisalign wear and care advice.
Wearing the aligners for 20-22 hours per day
One of the most flexible benefits of Invisalign is that you can take the aligner off whenever you want. However, you need to wear them 20-22 hours a day to get the desired results. The average adult only requires about 2 hours per day to eat, drink, and brush teeth, for which you need to remove the aligners. Lack of full-time wear causes each set of aligners to fit poorly. By completing the 22-hour requirement every day, you will be on track to finish your treatment plan on time.
Remove aligners while eating
Cool water is all you are allowed to drink while wearing Invisalign. Anything else, you need to take your aligners off to eat and drink. It also doubles itself as an advantage, because unlike traditional wires and brackets, there are no foods you cannot enjoy to avoid damage or getting stuck in your braces. Heat can warp the aligners and make them less effective. Sugary, caffeinated, and carbonated drinks will stain your aligners over time. Plan your meals and keep tabs on how long Invisalign trays stay out of your mouth.
Cleaning teeth prior to placing the aligners back
Before you wear your aligners again after eating and drinking, make sure to brush your teeth. Doing this ensures food residue does not get trapped in the trays and your teeth, leading to tooth decay. It also helps keep your aligners clean and clear as they should be. Drinks too cause the same problem as fluids can settle inside the aligner and drench teeth in acids causing the enamel to wear away.
Usually, saliva would neutralise acids from drinks and buffer them before washing them away. However, an aligner prevents saliva from doing this job. So, you have to manually clean your teeth before wearing the aligner again. It means you will have to get used to carrying a toothbrush and toothpaste in a carrying case at all times. As a last resort, you can choose not to wear the aligners until you brush and floss. Always place them in the protective case when they are not being used. Leaving them out in the open will expose them to bacteria.
Follow proper instructions when cleaning aligners
Just as much as it is important to clean your teeth before re-inserting your Invisalign aligners after every meal, the trays should be rinsed in lukewarm water before being worn again. It prevents plaque and dried saliva from accumulating in the aligners and makes it more comfortable to wear them. Apart from this, Invisalign aligners should be cleaned twice a day. It should be done when you brush your teeth in the morning and at night.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush (not the one you use for your teeth) and mild, unscented, anti-bacterial liquid soap to clean the trays. Use lukewarm water to rinse them clean. Do not use toothpaste, mouth wash, denture cleaner, dishwasher, or hot water to clean your aligners. Use Invisalign cleaning crystals or other cleaning tablets to soak the aligners once a day. It is vital to care for your aligners gently but thoroughly so bacteria do not grow on them and they remain undamaged until each set is phased out.
Thoroughly washing hands with soap prior when handling aligners
It is not only good oral hygiene but also Invisalign good practice to have clean hands handle the aligners. Wash your hands with soap and water before taking the aligners off and putting them back on. Pay extra attention to your fingernails and fingertips, which come into the closest contact with the mouth and aligners. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitiser with 60% alcohol.
When removing the aligners, dry your hands first after cleaning them. Dry hands do a better job than wet ones. Use fingertips on the inside of your back molar to slowly lift the aligners off on each side before walking them out to the front. Using a paper towel or surgical gloves increases the grip. Attachment can make it a bit more difficult. Start lifting the aligner from the non-attachment areas and tackle the attachment areas later. In those areas, use hooked fingernails under the edge of the aligner to carefully lift it off the attachments. Do not pull with excessive force, or the attachments can break.
Aligner hooks that make it easy to remove Invisalign are also available, if you think you need help. You may find it less easy to remove the aligners when your mouth is cold. So, if you just drank some water, wait till your mouth warms up.
When inserting the aligner, start from the front teeth and work your way to the back. Place your fingertips on both ends of the aligner, positioning them over your molars. Apply the same amount of pressure gently until the aligner snaps securely into place. Push the tray gently to cover all teeth fully. Push more firmly to make sure it is 100% seated. You can use the chew sticks to ensure a snug aligner fit. Never bite the aligners into place, as this can cause damage to the tray.
The upper aligner is marked “U,” and the lower has an “L.”
Don’t miss any scheduled appointments with your dentist
Once the period for each clear aligner has passed, your teeth need the next set to continue the progress. You have to move on to a new set of aligners every week or two weeks, depending on your Invisalign treatment plan. You can start wearing the next set of trays at home. However, regular appointments with your orthodontist are essential during the treatment period to check if your teeth are shifting into place as planned. When your current Invisalign tray does not fit anymore, it means your teeth have shifted, and you need to move on to the next set in the series. Each aligner only moves specific teeth.
Always hold on to your previous aligner. If you lose the new trays or break one of them, there’s always a chance the old one can keep your teeth in place until you get a new one. When you are inserting a new set of aligners, do it at nighttime, so your teeth will have time to shift into place during sleep, and it will be easier to remove in the morning.
Straight, well-aligned teeth are a feature everyone wants. And, what holds some back from achieving this is the pesky wires and metal braces that attract attention. It is where Invisalign comes to save the day. This transparent, non-invasive, and flexible aligner can transform your smile without being obvious. Mouth Dental offers specialist full Invisalign treatment in London for advanced teeth-straightening.