11 of The Best Kept Secrets: Rules to live by For Invisalign

1. Use your Munchie

At the beginning of treatment, you will be given a device to ensure your aligner is seated all the way down. When inserting your aligner use the device to bite into the aligner. You will want to use the device for 5 minutes a day including for one minute when inserting the tray after brushing your teeth in the morning, after your meals, and before bedtime after brushing your teeth. Please contact the office if you break or need a replacement for your munchie.

2. Discomfort

Invisalign moves your teeth into a healthier position. The process of moving teeth can cause discomfort,especially initially in your first set of aligners and even after changing to a new aligner tray. But the discomfort should go away in a few days. If experiencing severe discomfort, contact our office and we can have you seen right away. Plan to switch trays out before bed so you can sleep through the worst of the adjustment. And stock up on plenty of soft foods to help your initial adjustment and discomfort period. If the pain feels severe at any point, please call or text our office at 813-377-1822.

3. Clean Your Aligners Frequently

While your Invisalign aligners allow you to get a near invisible treatment you must maintain the aligners constantly to prevent buildup over time. The aligners can stain if they are not cleaned regularly. When that happens, you may start to notice the color of the aligners changing. Using a gentle anti-bacterial soap and warm water to remove any buildup and bacteria from the trays. Doing this at least twice a day will keep the trays clean, clear and in good form.

4. Wear Them for 22 Hours

The aligners only work when you wear them long enough to create movement. For most individuals, this requires dedicating 22 hours each day to wearing the aligners. You’ll need to take out the trays to eat or drink anything other than clear liquids. But beyond that, leaving them in for as long as possible each day to maintain that 22-hour threshold. If for some reason you don’t, inevitably the timeframe for your treatment will be extended and ultimately you may not get the Invisalign results you desire.

5. Follow Your Schedule

With traditional braces, you generally need to see your orthodontist for frequent adjustment visits. But with Invisalign, you’re given a series of trays that you need to change out yourself. Each tray makes small adjustments to the alignment of the tooth, and each subsequent tray will take over from the previous one and continue to make those alignment changes. It’s crucial that the schedule is followed as accurately as possible. If you forget to switch out a tray, you’ll delay your treatment’s progress. If you’re concerned about staying on schedule, you may need to think about using metal braces instead.

6. Floss and Brush Your Teeth

Invisalign trays entirely cover your teeth. This allows them to work effectively. However, that also means bacteria and germs from your mouth can get trapped against your teeth and gum line. Without your aligners, your saliva would be able to reach your teeth throughout the day, however trays block that so you may need to periodically rinse them off. This requires you to brush and floss your teeth after each meal and before you put your aligners back in. Failure to do so will increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

7. Keep Your Old Aligners

Accidents do happen. Sometimes those new aligner trays break, get lost or eaten by your pets (usually the most common reason someone loses their aligners). If this happens, you’ll need a way to maintain progress until we can get you a new aligner. Your old aligners will work as a placeholder until we can get you a new set. Try to keep your old trays throughout the duration of your treatment. This will allow you to use them as a temporary retainer. If you lose a tray, call us right away so we can assist you in the next steps.

8. Never Eat with the Aligners In

Certain foods and liquids will lead to stains on the aligners. That’s why it’s important to always take your aligners out before you eat or drink anything other than water. The aligners will not be damaged by eating or drinking, they won’t stay clean for very long.


9. Store the Aligners Properly

Invisalign aligners make it easy to receive subtle orthodontic treatment. But they’re also incredibly easy to misplace because they are clear. Place your aligners in a retainer case anytime you’re eating, drinking, or not wearing them.

10. Don’t Feel Discouraged

It’s normal to feel self-conscious about your aligners initially. But that should not discourage you from your treatment!

Know that every patient feels initially exactly as you do. They may feel the trays are affecting their speech, they may feel they appear weird, and they may feel uncomfortable.  This is very normal. It always takes time to get used to wearing the aligners. Almost everyone finds it difficult to talk at first, but the more you use them, the easier it will get. The most important thing is to maintain wearing your aligners and speak with our office if they don’t feel like they’re fitting your teeth correctly. Just give yourself a few weeks to get used to Invisalign. It’s still easier than adjusting to traditional metal braces.

11. Go to Your Checkups

With Invisalign, you don’t need to have your braces adjusted. Instead, you change them at your own pace and your own schedule. But you’ll still need the occasional checkup with us to make sure your treatment is going according to plan.

If anything comes up or you can’t make it, please call as soon as possible. Remember, these appointments can help you and the dentist.

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