How to Get the Most Out of Invisalign

Sometimes referred to as “invisible braces,” the clear Invisalign teeth straightening system has helped countless patients improve their smiles without the use of traditional metal braces. These innovative braces are custom designed for each patient, allowing for steady improvement in teeth alignment over time. There are several steps you can take to help ensure you get the greatest possible results from your aligners.

4 Tips for Getting the Most from Invisalign

1. Wear Aligners a Minimum of 22 Hours a Day

Yes, it is a commitment, but remember that you would never get to take them off if you were wearing traditional braces. Removing the aligners only for drinking, eating, and brushing your teeth helps ensure a better fit and may reduce the length of time they are needed.

2. Follow All Recommendations

During the course of wearing your aligners, your orthodontist may recommend using attachments called “buttons.” Buttons help anchor the aligners and provide a better fit. They can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your straightening system.

If your orthodontist recommends Interproximal Reduction (IPR), agree to the treatments. IPR is sometimes needed when teeth are too crowded, and there’s not enough space inside your mouth for them to move. Your dentist can remove thin layers of enamel from targeted teeth throughout the realignment process to make room and assist the aligners in doing their job.

Use your “chewies.” They may sound like treats for dogs, but chewies are small sponge-like cushions that help close the gaps between your teeth and the aligners. Biting down on chewies for 5 to 10 minutes a few times each day will help aligners fit more securely. The added pressure may help speed the straightening process.

Change your aligners only as often as recommended. Rushing to change trays before your orthodontist has given the okay will only delay your progress in the long run.

3. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Keep your teeth and the aligners clean. Brush and floss after every meal, and be sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid sticky or hard foods during your treatment, especially if you are using attachments. Take care to clean your trays as recommended, whether with the Invisalign Aligner Cleaning System or with anti-bacterial soap and water. If aligners begin to look cloudy, it means they are not being cleaned properly.

4. Don’t Skip the Retainer

Just as with traditional braces, using a retainer after your Invisalign treatments are over will help prevent teeth from shifting back into their previous positions. Teeth are stubborn, and they will naturally want to return to their pre-treatment alignment. Wearing a custom-made retainer as recommended by your dentist gives teeth time to settle into place.

Is Invisalign Right for You?

Invisalign may not be recommended for teeth that are extremely crooked or when severe bite issues are present. However, the “invisible” straightening system can be effective for patients with minor alignment issues. Contact Gruelle Dempsey Orthodontics today to learn more about the options available for giving you the beautiful straight smile you’ve always wanted.