Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Invisalign Treatment

You’ve decided to straighten your smile with Invisalign clear aligners. This modern approach to orthodontics uses a series of barely visible aligners to gradually shift your teeth into place over time. Compared to old-school braces, Invisalign offers more comfort, convenience and aesthetics. However, in order to achieve the best possible results, you need to take proper care of your aligners and teeth during treatment. Check out these tips for getting the most out of your Invisalign South Loop journey.

Wear Your Aligners As Directed

One of the keys to Invisalign’s success is wearing your aligners as much as possible. Your orthodontist will provide you with a recommended wear schedule, which usually involves wearing aligners 20 to 22 hours per day. Removing them just for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. The more diligent you are about sticking to the recommended wear time, the sooner you’ll complete treatment and see that fabulous new smile. Don’t cut corners by taking aligners out longer than directed.

Keep Them Clean

Since you’ll have aligners in your mouth most hours of the day, keeping them fresh and clean is a must. Each time you remove them, give them a thorough but gentle brushing with toothpaste and cool water. A weekly deep cleaning session with retainer cleaner helps banish bacteria and prevent stains. Never soak or store aligners in harsh chemicals or boiling water, as high heat can warp the plastic. Proper cleaning keeps them comfortable and sanitary.

Practice Proper Oral Hygiene

With plastic trays covering your teeth throughout treatment, your oral hygiene routine becomes even more essential. Brush your teeth thoroughly after each meal before reinserting aligners. If unable to brush, at least swish vigorously with water. In addition, floss daily and use an antiseptic mouthwash to eliminate leftover food particles. Schedule regular teeth cleanings with your dentist during treatment as well. Keeping your real teeth clean allows the aligners to fit properly for shifting them into the correct alignment.

Avoid Tooth-Staining Foods and Drinks

Clear aligners are transparent, meaning any stains on your actual teeth show through. As you undergo treatment, you’ll want to avoid consuming foods and drinks that can discolor teeth, like coffee, red wine, dark sodas, curry and tomato sauce. When you do indulge in staining items, brush immediately after to get rid of residue. Also, don’t smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco during Invisalign therapy. The nicotine will bond to aligners, leaving ugly yellow stains you can’t remove.

Inspect Aligners Before Inserting

Take a few seconds before inserting aligners to check that they fit properly and show no damage. Look to see no cracks have developed in the plastic, which can cause discomfort and orthodontic issues. Make sure aligners slide smoothly onto teeth. If edges feel rough or aligners have become warped due to improper storage, contact your orthodontist for a replacement set before proceeding. Getting into these good inspection habits ensures aligners function as intended.

Care For Soreness

As your teeth begin shifting position, some soreness may develop. This is normal and indicates changes are taking place. Over-the-counter pain relievers can alleviate discomfort. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water soothes irritated gums as well. Sore spots from aligners rubbing can be covered with orthodontic wax for relief, but check with your orthodontist first. Temporary sensitivity is worth the boost in confidence you’ll feel when treatment finishes.

By sticking to these self-care best practices during your Invisalign treatment, you’ll stay comfortable while shortening treatment time. Maintaining diligence with aligner wear, oral hygiene and inspecting for damage brings the spectacular smile you want closer to reality. Before you know it, your aligners will have worked their magic, transforming your teeth – and boosting your confidence.

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