Whether you want to fix minor or major tooth alignment issues, Invisalign® is an option. Because they're virtually invisible, Invisalign® clear aligners are a much more appealing option than traditional braces. Invisalign® braces are also much easier to care for than braces that are semi-permanently attached to your teeth, but that doesn't mean you don't have to take care of Invisalign® at all. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about Invisalign® care and more.
What Is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is an alternative to braces that uses a set of removable clear aligner trays instead of traditional brackets, hooks, and elastics. These clear aligners are custom-made to fit your teeth. Over a period of approximately 9-15 months, you use progressively tighter aligner trays to gradually shift and realign your teeth to improve your smile. Invisalign® aligners are preferable to braces for many people because they are more convenient and aesthetically pleasing. They can be removed at meal times, for photos, and during other short periods as needed. Even when you have the trays in, they are completely clear, so they are significantly less noticeable than standard braces.
How to get Invisalign®
If you want to get Invisalign® , the first step is to schedule a consultation with a certified Invisalign dentist. You should always get Invisalign through a dentist that is certified to ensure the best results. During this consultation, the dentist will look at your mouth, take x-rays, and make impressions of your teeth to determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign. If so, a treatment plan is created and the impressions of your teeth are sent off to a lab to create your 100% custom Invisalign aligner trays. The number of trays you need to finish aligning your teeth depends on how much realignment needs to be done. For mild cases, you may only need as few as 5-10 aligner trays. For more complex cases, the number can be 20-30. To use the clear aligner trays, you start by wearing the initial tray and replace each one every week or two, working down to the final, until you complete your treatment plan.
Invisalign® Care Tips:
Only take your aligners out for eating, drinking, and cleaning
You need to wear your Invisalign for about 20-22 hours a day to get results. Plus, the more you take them out, the more chances they have to get damaged or dirty, which can mess up your treatment plan. In addition to this, the longer you go without wearing them, the more time you are allowing your teeth to revert back to their initial state. This leaves you about 2-4 hours during which you can have your aligners out each day. In order to stick to this, only take them out when you're eating meals, drinking, cleaning your teeth, and cleaning the aligners themselves.
Always take your Invisalign® aligners out when you eat and drink
Eating and drinking while wearing Invisalign would be very uncomfortable, not to mention it could damage and stain the clear aligners. So, make sure to remove the trays whenever you eat and drink. Although a sip of water or two while wearing your Invisalign is probably fine, it's still good to get in the habit of removing them every time you drink something. That way, you won't accidentally leave them in when you take a sip of a beverage that could stain them.
Stick to drinking water as much as possible
Beverages like coffee, tea, and soda can stain your Invisalign® aligners. Even if you remove them while you drink such things, the residue on your teeth can transfer to the aligners. Whenever you do drink something other than water, try to brush your teeth before you put the Invisalign trays back in your mouth.
Store your aligners in the provided case when not wearing them
Any time you remove your Invisalign aligners, be sure to place them in the hard protective case that they come with. This prevents you from accidentally dropping them on the floor where they can get covered in dirt or damaged. Keeping Invisalign aligners in their case also makes it harder to lose them, which could set you back a few weeks in your treatment plan.
Clean Invisalign® aligners daily
It's essential to keep your Invisalign aligners clean to prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria. You can do this by soaking them daily in an Invisalign cleaning solution and brushing them gently with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. It's also a good practice to rinse your Invisalign trays throughout the day, such as whenever you brush your teeth or pop them out to eat or drink.
Brush and floss your teeth as normal
Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is just as — if not more — important when you have Invisalign. There's no special way to brush or floss with Invisalign®, just make sure to keep up your regular routine. It's also ideal if you can brush and floss after every meal to remove food particles and drink residues before putting your Invisalign back in. If you can't do this, a thorough rinse with water is a good alternative.
Continue to attend regular dental checkups
As with maintaining your brushing and flossing routine, you should also keep going to your regular dental checkups and dental cleanings when you have Invisalign. These more thorough cleanings will remove buildups of plaque and bacteria that could transfer to your Invisalign trays.
Save your previous trays
In the unfortunate event that you lose your current Invisalign trays or that they get damaged, you can go back to wearing your most recent previous trays until you can get new ones. This is better than nothing and will ensure that your treatment plan doesn't get too disrupted.
Get Invisalign® with Kneib Dentistry
At Kneib Dentistry we have a certified Invisalign® dentist who can answer all your questions about Invisalign® and determine if you and your teeth are good candidates for the treatment. Our priority is always patient comfort and we will do everything possible to help you achieve the smile you want using Invisalign and/or other state-of-the-art cosmetic dental procedures.