Invisalign has become the go-to solution for teens and adults who want straighter teeth for many reasons. It’s convenient, nearly invisible, and doesn’t involve any food or activity restrictions. With that said, patients can’t just sit back and expect straighter teeth in six months without putting in any effort.
Daily maintenance for Invisalign is pretty simple, but patients need to take on the responsibility for consistent use if they want to get the best results. For quick results and clean teeth, here’s what you should be doing every day if you use Invisalign.
Clean Your Aligners and Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily
When you get out of bed, your first task should be to take out your Invisalign trays and clean them with your toothbrush. Don’t use toothpaste or soap, though—just brush your aligners, rinse them, and pop them back in.
You should also brush your teeth thoroughly before putting the trays back in. Overnight, bacteria build up and need to be removed before you start your day. Repeat these steps in the evening, before you go to bed. This will help to keep your aligners in good shape and reduce bacteria buildup.
Floss As Directed
Your aligners might reduce damage from grinding your teeth, but they won’t protect your gums from bacteria buildup. It’s important to follow a dentist-approved oral hygiene routine daily to ensure that you don’t develop tooth decay or gum disease.
Flossing is an important part of that routine and should be done at least once a day, preferably in the morning and evening throughout your treatment. Ideally, you would also floss after each meal before replacing your trays to remove any food particles that could get trapped between your teeth.
Take Out the Trays When Eating (and Drinking)
Invisalign trays aren’t designed to be worn while eating or drinking anything other than water. Food particles could get trapped in between the trays and your teeth or you could cause damage to your Invisalign aligners.
Even if you just want to have some coffee or a small snack, you need to remove your aligners. When you’re done, clean your teeth and replace them. It might seem like a huge hassle, but it’s very important for proper oral hygiene and good results. As a bonus, though, you’ll probably cut down on your snacking during your treatment!
Rinse Trays When Removing Them
Rinsing your aligners should be an automatic step whenever you take them out. If you just pop them out without rinsing, saliva will dry on the aligners and it will be easier for bacteria to build up. Help keep your trays clean by remembering to rinse them!
Store Trays in Their Case
Just as forgetting to rinse your trays can lead to bacteria buildup, so can leaving them in the open air after you’ve taken them out. It’s a good idea to put them in their case after you’ve rinsed them, even if you’re only removing the aligners for a few minutes. Plus, you’ll be less likely to lose them (after all, they blend in with almost any background!).
Brush Your Teeth Before Putting Your Trays Back In!
In addition to brushing and flossing when you get up and before you go to bed, it’s crucial to repeat these steps after eating or drinking. If you put your trays back in immediately after finishing a meal and without brushing, you’re almost certain to get some food particles trapped in between the trays and your teeth. That can lead to all kinds of oral health problems, so be diligent about brushing and flossing throughout the day!
Wear the Trays for 20-22 Hours a Day
Good results from Invisalign don’t happen by magic. You have to actually wear the trays to get good results. While you’ll take your trays out for eating, drinking, and cleaning, you should be wearing them constantly otherwise.
Failing to wear your trays will slow down the treatment process considerably. Do yourself a favor and really commit to wearing your trays. For teens, there are Invisalign trays with blue “compliance indicators” that show how often they’re wearing their aligners.
Soak Your Aligners
In addition to brushing your aligners twice a day, you should also be soaking them in a solution of water and Invisalign soaking crystals daily. Soaking the aligners only takes about 15 minutes and helps to remove plaque for clean and bacteria-free trays. Soaking your trays while you enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee is a great way to work this step into your daily Invisalign routine.
Switch to New Trays as Directed
In addition to wearing your trays for 20-22 hours a day, you should also be diligent about using your new trays as directed. The first couple of days using your new trays might be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s important not to put off switching. You’ll get results more quickly if you stick to the schedule!
Invisalign allows you to live your life with very few restrictions. These simple steps on your to-do list might seem a little daunting at first, but you’ll soon get used to them and find that they don’t take up that much time or require much effort. By taking on this responsibility, you’ll get a great reward at the end: a beautiful, straight smile.To learn more about Invisalign in Miami, contact Gallardo at 305-547-8687 to schedule an appointment. Dr. John Paul Gallardo is a periodontist and implant specialist with over 25 years of experience. He is a leading provider of Invisalign and will help you decide on the best treatment options for your needs.