The advent of Invisalign has significantly transformed the orthodontics industry by miles. For the uninitiated, Invisalign is an increasingly popular and effective dental treatment that aligns and straightens teeth with the use of clear aligners, as opposed to the conventional metal braces that teens usually dread wearing. This invisible dental fix is essentially a transparent, plastic version of its metal counterpart.
The most common conditions that Invisalign treats are teeth gaps, crooked teeth, overbites, crowded teeth, and underbites. One similarity that both these dental treatments have besides their purpose is their need for diligent care to maximize the result. So, what are the best ways to ensure that you get the best results from your Invisalign treatment? Let us dive into a list of Invisalign Dos and Don’ts.
The Don’ts of Wearing Invisalign
Do not leave your aligners in a hot place
Invisalign is made of a plastic polymer that could melt and become misshapen with excessive heat. These aligners are customized to fit their wearers’ teeth, and any alterations to their composition could result in them not fitting anymore. So, ensure that you keep them out of direct sunlight or in unusually hot places. Dentists and orthodontists recommend keeping them in their cases in a cool and clean, location.
Do not use mouthwash containing alcohol
The alcohol in some forms of mouthwash has been noted to cause damage to these aligners. One – the constituent chemicals could corrode the Invisalign. Two – Mouthwash that contains artificial color could stain the tray. With that said, a healthy mouth that is free of bacteria is a happy mouth. That is why experts recommend that you do use mouthwash after you brush your teeth and floss, but this must be done only after removing your Invisalign. Remember to put your aligners back in after you are done.
Do not smoke or drink alcohol with your aligners on
Experts recommend drinking only water when your Invisalign aligners are in! Consuming alcohol will corrode and stain the aligners. So what about tobacco? Can you smoke with Invisalign? The clear nature of the transparent plastic used to make the Invisalign is likely to gain an unpleasant shade if it is subject to alcohol and tobacco. Remember that any dark or highly pigmented food has the potential to stain your aligners, making them visible due to residue. Do your best to thoroughly brush and floss after eating to avoid staining the aligners.
Do not drink anything hot with your aligners in
As mentioned above, these aligners are custom-made to fit their wearers’ teeth. Drinking any hot beverages are likely to have two adverse effects on your aligners viz. First – beverages such as tea and coffee are infamous for their stains on most surfaces, including teeth; Second – hot drinks would warp the fit of the aligners and they are likely not to fit as well anymore, defeating the purpose of the aligners fully. So what about just water? Can you drink hot water with Invisalign? Experts give a resounding no. Although it is recommended that the wearer drinks only water while their Invisalign aligners are in, hot food and liquids (including water) could alter the shape and form of your aligners.
Do not eat hard food and candies
Munching on particularly hard food could cause severe damage to your Invisalign. The material that the aligners are made of could chip or crack when subject to undue pressure, and this could drastically affect the way the aligners fit in your mouth. So, what can you eat with Invisalign on? Well, anything you want! Just ensure that you remove your Invisalign and place them in their container if your dental expert warns that it might damage the material.
Do’s Of Wearing Invisalign
Wear your aligners for the prescribed amount of time
Studies show that Invisalign is as effective as other traditional methods like dental braces and brackets, provided it is worn and taken care of as instructed by the supervising orthodontist. Human teeth move at a slow yet steady pace, and wearing your aligners for the advised number of hours per day is imperative to correct the issues that you are aiming to get rid of. Although it sounds arduous, the wearer must keep these aligners on for a minimum of 22- 23 hours a day and remove them only when consuming food.
Clean your aligners and your teeth daily
It is imperative to remember that your Invisalign aligners need to be cleaned daily, just like your teeth. Oral hygiene methods such as brushing your teeth thoroughly and ensuring that your aligners have no debris or food particles accumulated from your day are necessary to prevent bacteria from breeding.
Remove your Invisalign trays before brushing to avoid breakage
Before brushing your teeth, take a few seconds to remove the aligners and place them in their container. That’s right, although it is important to keep your teeth and the aligners clean, you must clean them separately. Simply put, avoid adverse chipping or accidental breakage by keeping the toothbrush you use to brush your teeth separate from a gentler bristled brush for your Invisalign.
Wear your retainer every night!
As mentioned above, one of the only cons of this aligner tray is the commitment to keeping them in. The wearer must keep these aligners on for a minimum of 22 – 23 hours. These trays gently guide your teeth into better alignment with micro-movements and these shifts are spread out over several months. This is why you must keep your Invisalign aligner in your mouth for the prescribed number of hours and through the night, as they are most effective when they are in physical contact with your teeth. If not followed, the treatment may not work.
Can you stop wearing your retainer after a while?
The question about throwing away your retainers is a common one, and understandably so. The mild discomfort of the aligners in your mouth for a majority of the day is something anyone would want to be rid of! With that said, ensure that you consult your dentist or orthodontist before you decide to stop wearing your Invisalign. You must get their input as not having your aligners as your teeth will gradually move back to their original position. You could say that teeth remember their original position. Rest assured that the process becomes slower with time and that after an expert gives you a thumbs up on your progress, it won’t be necessary to wear your Invisalign as often.
To optimize your experience with Invisalign and make sure that you take the best care of your Invisalign, ensure that you follow the Invisalign Rules and Dos and Don’ts above, and you’ll be good to go. Your best smile is not far off!