What are the time-tested tips and tricks for a successful Invisalign® experience, you may wonder. More than 7 million people have been treated with these clear, plastic aligners so far, so there are millions of individual treatment experiences from which dentists and patients have learned. Allow us to share some of the main pointers for living with Invisalign® and completing this orthodontic treatment successfully.
General Tips to Keep in Mind
The trays are removable. You press them over your teeth to place them and gently pull on the edges to remove them. While their removability is one of the reasons people love Invisalign®, it's also the reason you must be disciplined about your treatment. You'll need to make sure you are wearing them virtually all of the time, except for when you're eating or brushing. Wearing them constantly is how the treatment works.
Here are a few more tips:
- Plan to wear them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While we know that's impossible, if you are aiming for 24/7 wear, then you'll get as close to it as possible, removing the aligners only when necessary and replacing them right after (you will need to make sure it's at least 22 hours per day).
- Practice speaking once you start wearing them. Most new Invisalign® patients find it a little difficult to speak without lisping, at least at first. Your speech should feel natural again once you get used to having the trays on your teeth.
- Don't forget a storage case when you leave the house. We'll provide you with a carrying case or two so that you have somewhere safe to place your aligners when you eat or brush your teeth. Setting them aside in a napkin while out at a restaurant is one of the easiest ways to lose your aligners! Have a carrying case at hand.
Tips for Eating During Invisalign® Treatment
Another benefit of Invisalign® is that you don't have to change your diet or avoid crunchy, crispy or chewy foods. You'll need to remove the teeth trays to eat anything, no matter what it is. Eat your meal or snack as normal, and then brush your teeth before replacing the aligners. Many people find it more convenient to eat 3 meals a day, and to cut out snacking when they are wearing Invisalign® - it reduces how often you have to brush.
If you don't have time to brush or feel like you've already brushed several times, just be sure to rinse your mouth out really well. You want to rinse away all the food debris so it doesn't get stuck between your teeth and the inside of the aligners. Stuck there for hours, the food debris may lead to tooth decay.
Aligner stains are another thing to be aware of when it comes to eating. If you can't brush after eating, certain foods will more readily stain the trays than other foods. Examples include turmeric, curry, coffee, wine, sports drinks, berries, tomato sauce and berries. Try to brush after eating anything you feel may have high potential for staining.
Frequently Asked Invisalign® Questions
What beverages are okay to drink with Invisalign® on my teeth? Plain water. It's the only beverage that won't get stuck to the aligners or damage them. Hot water, such as for tea, can warp the plastic. Soda, alcoholic drinks, sports drinks and all other beverages can stain your Invisalign® trays and get stuck where they'll cause cavities.
How long does it take to get used to wearing Invisalign® trays? When you first place the aligners, it may feel strange or different. It's a whole new sensation to the teeth and gums. You should adjust to the feeling of Invisalign® in your mouth within 1-2 weeks, at which point the trays feel almost natural to most patients.
Can you kiss someone with Invisalign trays on your teeth? Sure you can! One reason adults choose Invisalign® is they are a little wary of how metal braces will affect their social lives, including dating. The plastic trays are designed to fit closely against your teeth, so most people have no issue with this situation while undergoing their orthodontic treatment.
Get Clear Answers to Your Invisalign® Questions
Ready to take the next step and find out if you're a good Invisalign® candidate? Our experienced dentists offer several orthodontic options. We'll help you decide which one meets the needs of your bite and your expectations of treatment. We are proud to create beautiful smiles for people from across Northern Virginia. To arrange a consultation at our Arlington office, please call 703-527-1020, or our South Riding office at 703-327-7705.