At Hawley Orthodontics, we’re not just a Papillion Invisalign provider, we’re also one of the leading providers in the Omaha area. In fact, Dr. Hawley has earned the distinction of being a Platinum Invisalign provider, which means he’s treated a whole lot of patients with clear aligners. It’s true that much of the success of Invisalign relies on the expertise of your orthodontist, which highlights the importance of seeing an experienced provider like Dr. Hawley. However, there are also things you can do as a patient to get the best possible results and have an awesome experience. To help, we’re sharing some of our best Invisalign tips and tricks.
Use Your Invisalign Case When You Take Your Aligners Out
You’ll remove your Invisalign aligners to eat and drink anything aside from plain water, and to brush and floss your teeth. Whenever you take them out, make it a habit to store them in their Invisalign case. It can be super tempting to just place your aligners on a napkin while you eat, but that’s how they get accidentally thrown away. We say this about retainers too but with the aligners being clear, they’ll really blend in with whatever you set them on. Also, if you have a dog, consider using your case even when brushing and flossing, so your pooch doesn’t get a hold of your aligners and damage them.
Speaking of Your Invisalign Case, Make it Highly Visible
Now, what if you’re someone who has a hard time keeping track of things and you constantly misplace your Invisalign case? One of the best Invisalign tips and tricks is to make sure your case is highly visible. Decorate it with some washi tape or stickers. Or, store it in a larger case, like a cosmetics or toiletry case, so that it’s harder to overlook.
Brush Your Teeth After Meals and Snacks
Since Invisalign aligners are removable, your brushing and flossing technique will remain the same, however, you will want to brush your teeth more frequently. While it’s not necessarily one of the Invisalign tricks, brushing after eating and rinsing your mouth out after drinking beverages will help keep your smile healthy. Your aligners fit snug against your teeth and that means food or liquid can get trapped between your aligners and your teeth if you put your aligners back in when your teeth aren’t clean. This increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the sugars and starches in the food or drink and could eventually lead to tooth decay. So, brush those teeth after meals and brush or rinse your mouth with water after sipping on a beverage.
Stick With Soft Foods and Cold Drinks if Your Teeth Feel Sensitive
There are no food restrictions with Invisalign. That being said, when you start treatment and sometimes after putting in new aligners, your teeth can feel a little sensitive. That just means your aligners are working! If that’s the case, eat soft foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce and anything that doesn’t require much chewing until the discomfort subsides. Cold drinks have the added benefit of numbing your mouth a bit, so have a glass of ice water, a smoothie or a milkshake.
Switch to Your Next Set of Aligners at Bedtime
If you do find that your teeth feel sensitive whenever you pop in a new set of aligners, switch trays at night before you go to sleep. This way, you can sleep through some of the sensitivity and wake up that much closer to being acclimated to your latest Invisalign aligners.
Get the Scoop on How to Clean Invisalign Trays
We always fill our Papillion Invisalign and Invisalign Teen patients in on how to clean Invisalign trays when they start treatment. While a lot of lists of Invisalign tips and tricks mention special Invisalign cleaners, we have to say they’re not always necessary. The easiest and most cost-effective way to clean Invisalign trays is with your toothbrush. Whenever you brush your teeth, gently brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and then rinse them with lukewarm water. We don’t recommend using toothpaste since it can be abrasive and scratch the plastic. Brushing your aligners will remove plaque build-up and keep the aligners clear and odor-free.
While products like Invisalign cleaning crystals promise a deeper cleaner, since you change to a new set of aligners every week or two, by the time your aligners get a little gross, you’re on to the next set anyway. If you do feel like they need some extra cleaning, you can clean Invisalign with a DIY solution. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide and two parts water in a container, using enough to completely cover your aligners. Drop your aligners in the container and let them soak for about 10 minutes and, voila, good as new.
Use an App to Keep Tabs on Your Wear Time
For the best results, you should wear your Invisalign or Invisalign Teen aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day. To make keeping track of your wear time a cinch, download the My Invisalign app. You can use it to monitor your wear time and get notifications when it’s times to change aligners. It also has other features like the ability to share your own Invisalign before and after photos with friends and family and a calendar where you can add your orthodontist appointments.
Practice Makes Perfect
It can seem like putting in and taking out your Invisalign aligners is incredibly simple but they do fit very snug in order to shift the teeth into place. Since you take them out to eat and drink, you probably want to be able to do it gracefully, at least when you’re in public. That’s why another of the most helpful Invisalign tips and tricks is to practice putting in and taking out your Invisalign aligners as much as possible when you first start treatment. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro and getting the aligners in and out will be seamless.
Occasionally, Invisalign can also make you feel like you have a bit of lisp for the first week or so of treatment. Your speech will return to normal once you get used to having aligners in your mouth. This is another area where practice makes perfect. Talk as much as you can so you can get acclimated to the aligners more quickly. Read aloud to yourself, sing along to your favorite songs, or call friends and family and talk on the phone to speed up the process.
Following our Invisalign tips and tricks will help you make the most out of your clear aligner treatment. If you haven’t started treatment yet and you’re interested in finding out if you’re a candidate, schedule a complimentary in-person or virtual consultation with our Omaha Invisalign provider, Dr. Hawley, today!