Rules of Invisalign

Invisalign is a freeing orthodontic treatment. You aren’t married to metal wires and brackets on your teeth, you don’t have to be meticulous about cleaning between all the hardware that’s covering your enamel, and you don’t have any food restrictions. But just because Invisalign is user-friendly, that doesn’t mean this treatment comes without rules. The key to making Invisalign truly work for you is to wear the nearly invisible aligners exactly as indicated by your dentist.

1. Wear Your Aligners the Majority of Every Day

It is absolutely wonderful to know that, if you have a major photo opportunity coming up or a special event, you can remove your Invisalign aligners for a brief period of time. However, the beauty of Invisalign is that it is hardly visible to others, so you don’t have to remove the aligners. But it’s understandable if you want to be completely unencumbered for certain occasions. This being said, wearing your Invisalign aligners 20 to 22 hours a day is absolutely integral to making this treatment work well for you.

Whenever your orthodontic treatment of choice begins, your teeth are shifted into new positions, which means they are loosened ever so slightly. Abandoning your treatment in the middle of it, even for just a day, can compromise the work that your Invisalign aligners have already done and may result in you having to wear one set of aligners longer than anticipated. Skip your Invisalign treatment for several days and you may find your dentist telling you that you have to go back a step and do another portion of the treatment over again. Invisalign is designed to move certain teeth at certain times – it’s your job as the responsible Invisalign-wearer to follow the plan your dentist has laid out for you in order to get the straight results you want. The logistics of Invisalign treatment >>

2. Clean Your Aligners

Caring for your Invisalign aligners isn’t complicated, but it does take a little effort. The point of Invisalign is to stay unnoticeable, and if you aren’t cleaning your aligners properly they will begin to stain, develop an odor, and be completely noticeable. Plus, they’ll just be gross to have in your mouth and, when teeming with bacteria, can infect your gums and enamel putting you at risk for tooth decay or other oral health problems.

Your dentist will give you instructions for properly cleaning your Invisalign aligners, which can include brushing them gently (though not with toothpaste!) using a dedicated Invisalign toothbrush, soaking them, and rinsing them after removal and before putting them back in your mouth, especially after meals.

3. Don’t Wear and Eat

Maintaining the clear nature of your aligners also depends on your efforts to stop snacking or drinking liquids other than water while wearing the aligners. Any foods that you put in your mouth while wearing Invisalign can become trapped in the aligners or stain and damage the aligners. Your Invisalign aligners have been customized to fit your mouth and your mouth alone. Care for each set of aligners carefully and diligently – just because you’ll be changing them in a few weeks anyway is no reason to slack off and nosh on some sweets while wearing the aligners or sip on your soda.

Only drink water while Invisalign is in your mouth. And go ahead and enjoy the freedom of wearing Invisalign! One of the biggest benefits of this type of orthodontia is that you can eat whatever you want to because the aligners are removable, a luxury that traditional braces wearers do not have. 6 celebs who have worn Invisalign >>

4. Clean Your Teeth

Maybe you don’t regularly floss your teeth, and perhaps you’ve been known to skimp on the twice-daily brushing. Now is the best time to start developing new habits. You want your Invisalign aligners – which live snugly against your teeth for the majority of every day – to be resting against clean teeth. Keep up with a diligent preventive care routine at home, which includes brushing in the morning and at night, and flossing at least once a day. Take extra care if you eat something particularly sticky, gooey, chewy, or stinky. You want your teeth to be a fresh surface for the aligners to rest upon, and you don’t want to compromise the health of your smile by being lazy about brushing up. Preventive care includes bi-annual visits to the dentist for a professional teeth cleaning and dental exam too, so don’t miss these important appointments. Boost your career success with a smile makeover >>

5. Wear Your Retainers

Any type of orthodontic treatment is a big job – bone is being shifted to new positions and, after all the effort it took to get them where you want them, you better make sure they stay there. Retainers continue to do the work of Invisalign long after your treatment is complete. This doesn’t mean that you now need to walk around with clunky, noticeable retainers in your mouth. Often your treatment will include wearing the retainer full-time for a little while – but retainers have come a long way and can often be cloaked behind your teeth so that they’re unnoticeable. After a little while, your dentist will likely let you know that it’s only necessary to wear your retainers at night.

Only your dentist can tell you for certain whether you’re a better candidate for Invisalign or traditional metal braces. Make your appointment with Dr. Shaista Najmi at Ivory Dental in Jacksonville, Florida, to learn more about your orthodontic options.

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