Do you want to straighten your teeth invisibly while reducing treatment time? Invisalign by VanLaecken Orthodontics may be an option for you. These aligners are designed to move your teeth to their ideal locations so that you can have a great smile, improve your appearance and self-esteem and clean your teeth easier. To maximize the process, here are our 14 Invisalign hacks from our Sioux Falls orthodontists.
1. Track Your Time
While Invisalign aligner trays by VanLaecken Orthodontics are removable, you’ll still need to wear them at least 22 hours a day. This means that you should only remove them while you eat and brush and floss your teeth. Of course, there are only 24 hours in a day. This gives you two hours to eat and clean your aligners, which means you may have to eat slightly faster than you would without your aligners, and you will have to wear your aligners while you sleep. Our experience is that patients that try to cheat and wear slightly less tend to not get as precise movements as we need for the next try to fit properly. This leads to longer treatment times. Also many patients remark that after about 3 days the tray may feel less tight and are concerned that they “aren’t doing anything”. Even though they feel less tight after three days it usually takes a full two weeks for the roots of the teeth to fully express the desired movement.
2. Switch to New Aligners at Bed Time
You’ll change your aligners every one to three weeks, depending on how fast your teeth move to their new positions. To maximize your treatment time, our Sioux Falls Invisalign orthodontists recommend switching to new aligner trays before you go to bed, instead of throwing away your old aligners or switching to new aligners in the morning. This gives you 8 hours of continuous wear the first time you put that new aligner in which can be very helpful in getting successful movements from that aligner. It also allows you to sleep through that initial tightness of the new aligner.
3. Brush Your Teeth After Meals Before You Reinsert Aligner
Make sure you brush and floss your teeth thoroughly after every meal before you reinsert your aligners. Since you’ll only have about 40 minutes or less for every meal, you may have to eat faster or eat smaller meals in order to give yourself enough time to eat and clean your teeth. If you do not brush your teeth after every meal, you’ll end up bathing your teeth in food particles and bacteria, which could lead to cavities and gum disease. This can be tricky for our adolescent patients who wear Invisalign aligners to school. If your school does not give you adequate time to brush and floss after school lunch then rinse with water after eating and then be sure to brush and floss when you get home from school.
4. Clean Your Aligners While You Eat
To reduce the time it takes to clean your aligners, consider multitasking by cleaning your aligners while you eat. This could mean soaking them in water to loosen any plaque and reduce the likelihood of staining before you brush your aligners along with your teeth, or it could mean soaking them in an aligner cleaner while you enjoy your meal. VanLaecken Orthodontics recommends using cleaning solution by Invisalign, however, there are lots of options out there— denture cleaner, retainer cleaner, white vinegar, clear mouthwash, or even antibacterial soap. For any of these dilute with water and 5 minutes is all that is needed for a good cleaning.
5. 2 or 3 Times a Week Soak Your Aligners in a Mouthwash/Water Solution to Get ‘Em Clean
Pick two to three days a week to deep clean your aligning trays. You’ll generally perform this task before bed. We recommend soaking them in a solution of one part water and two parts mouthwash or aligner cleaner. However, you must always use a mouthwash that is free of dyes. This is because the dye can stain your aligners, and no one wants to walk around with blue or pink-stained aligning trays. You can also brush your aligners with your toothbrush and a small amount of clear antibacterial soap. Just make sure you rinse your aligning trays thoroughly so that you do not end up with soap in your mouth.
6. Put Together a Travel Dental Care Kit
Once you have your aligners, you should consider putting together a travel kit to keep on your person at all times. Your Invisalign aligner travel kit should contain dental chewies, which are firm foam tubes that you bite down on to make sure your aligning trays are properly seated in your mouth when you insert them. You’ll also want to keep your retainer case, travel toothbrush, toothpaste, travel mouthwash, floss or floss picks, Orajel and denture cleaning tablets or cleaning crystals in your case. Never wrap your Invisalign aligners in a napkin while eating. This is the number one way aligners get lost as napkins often find their way into the trash. If you even need a new aligner case just ask, we are happy to help keep your aligners safe.
7. Avoid Coffee and Tea and Other Stain-Causing Drinks
When you have your aligning trays in your mouth, you should avoid stain-causing drinks. This includes coffee, tea, dyed drinks and even cola. This is because these drinks can stain your aligners, turning them a different color or simply making them look dingy. Our orthodontist recommends only drinking water while your aligners are in your mouth. Of course, you can still consume these drinks with your meals. Just remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth thoroughly.
8. Hang Onto Your Previous Aligner Tray Just In-Case Something Is Wrong with Your New One
When you switch trays, in the rare circumstance, you may notice a problem with your new Invisalign aligner. It may not fit properly or you may find that it has edges that aren’t very comfortable. Our Sioux Falls Invisalign orthodontists recommends hanging onto your tray that is previous to the one you are currently wearing. If your new aligning tray doesn’t fit properly or has another problem, contact us!
9. Practice Talking With Your Aligners In Your Mouth
When you first get your aligning trays, you may have difficulty speaking. This is because your lips, cheeks and tongue aren’t acclimated to the new orthodontic appliances. You can speed up the process of speaking clearly with your aligning trays by practicing talking with them in your mouth. You can accomplish this task by talking to your family members and/or talking to your pets. With a few hours of practice, you’ll find that you can speak clearly while wearing your aligning trays.
10. Clean, Clean, Clean
The importance of cleaning your aligning trays and your teeth cannot be stated enough. This is because your mouth is full of bacteria, and you don’t want to trap that bacteria against your teeth or inside your aligning trays due to the increased risk of developing cavities and gum disease. This means that while the tools you use to clean your teeth and aligners won’t dramatically change, the frequency you brush, floss and rinse your teeth will change. You’ll need to clean your teeth and your trays in the morning and at night as well as after every meal or drink that isn’t water, which could be five or more times a day.
11. Soak While Eating. Keeps Them From Hardening and Makes Them Easier to Clean
To decrease the time it takes to clean your aligners, we recommend soaking them while you eat. Plaque and other particles can build-up on your trays and make them extremely difficult to clean thoroughly. Instead of letting your aligning trays dry while you eat, especially if you are just grabbing a quick bite and don’t have time to soak them in an aligner cleaner or denture cleaner, consider soaking them in water or a mixture of mouthwash and water. If you soak your aligners, you will have an easier time brushing them with either toothpaste of clear antibacterial soap after you eat.
12. Keep Some Ice and Orajel on Hand When You Size Down. Both Will Help With Gum Soreness
When you first get your aligning trays and every time you switch trays, you may have some gum soreness and/or inflammation. To make the process less painful, we recommend keeping lots of ice on hand as well as Orajel. Applying ice to your face can help alleviate any inflammation, and Orajel can help reduce temporary gum soreness until your mouth adjusts to your new trays.
13. Grab a Free Consultation with our Sioux Falls Orthodontists
VanLaecken Orthodontics offers free consultations for Invisalign treatment in Sioux Falls. During your consultation, our orthodontists will examine your mouth and answer all your teeth straightening questions. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 605-789-7000.
14. Save Time and Hassle with Our Invisalign Experts
Our Sioux Falls Invisalign orthodontists offer brand name aligners by Invisalign. Plus, our doctors are distinguished as Sioux Falls Invisalign Diamond+ Providers, and we’ve treated the most smiles in South Dakota with Invisalign!
Each patient’s treatment plan is different, just like every smile. Every aligner is custom-fitted to your mouth for maximum comfort by an expert Invisalign orthodontist in Sioux Falls.
Source: “14 of the Best Invisalign Aligner Hacks,” Laster Orthodontics