Wearing Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth without the embarrassment of metal braces. However, these aligners can take some time to get used to. During your first few weeks with Invisalign, these simple tips are sure to come in handy.
1. Put your aligners back in immediately after eating and brushing.
It's perfectly okay (actually, it's required) that you remove your Invisalign when eating and brushing. However, many patients slide into the habit of removing the aligners to eat and brush, and then forgetting to put them back in for hours on end. If you get into the habit now of putting the aligners back in immediately after eating or brushing, that habit will stick with you throughout your Invisalign wear period. And the more time you spend with the aligners in, the sooner you'll have the straight teeth you desire.
2. Brush, floss, and rinse after every meal.
Brushing and flossing twice a day may be sufficient for people who don't wear Invisalign. But if you don't brush and floss after each meal, you'll be trapping food particles and bacteria between your aligners and your teeth. This can lead to bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, and worst of all, tooth decay. Carry your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you so you can brush and floss after meals while you're at work or out on the town.
3. Keep your old set of aligners on hand.
If you break your aligners or misplace them, it may take you a few days to get into your dentist's office and get a new set. Not wearing any aligners at all for a few days can allow your teeth to slowly drift back into their old positions. So, keep an old set of aligners on hand so that if you lose your current set, you can wear that old set for a few days. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.
4. Clean your aligners daily.
You should rinse your aligners each time you remove them, before putting them back into your mouth. Once a day, soak them in denture cleaner or a retainer rinse for a few minutes; this kills any bacteria on their surface. If you're in a rush and don't have time to soak your aligners, you can clean them by gently scrubbing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Keeping them clean halts the growth of bacteria, so you don't end up with cavities as a result of wearing Invisalign.