Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligners to gradually realign and straighten teeth. They provide a discrete, easy, and effective alternative to traditional metal braces. However, they still require that specific guidelines are followed.
Care Protocols for Invisalign:
What can I expect during Invisalign treatment?
During Invisalign treatment, you will be given a series of different clear aligners about every 4-6 weeks at your dental appointment. Each aligner is generally worn for about two weeks. You may also have small, tooth-colored attachments placed on the surface of your teeth to assist with movement. These attachments will remain on your teeth for the duration of treatment and will need to be replaced if they fall off. Your aligners, on the other hand, are able to be removed during meals, or when brushing or flossing. However, they must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours a day to be effective.
When putting on your aligners, make sure you are wearing the correct aligner. Each aligner is labeled with a “U” for upper and “L” for lower, as well as an aligner number. Once you have the correct aligner, gently placed it into your mouth and use your fingers to press the aligner in place, starting with your front teeth and working back. You should never “bite” your aligner in place. To make sure your aligner is fully seated, check to make sure there is no space between your teeth and the aligner.
When removing your aligners, start by gently lifting the aligners from back to front. After removing your aligners, you should always rinse and store them in their container to avoid damage or loss. Although your aligners may feel tight at times, never use sharp objects to remove them.
When beginning treatment or when switching aligners, you may feel some soreness. This will fade within a few days, once your teeth have adjusted to the pressure. When you first begin treatment, you may also notice changes in your speech. This will usually resolve itself once your tongue has adjusted to the new aligners.
How can I manage my pain?
During Invisalign treatment, you may experience periods of discomfort when switching to a new aligners. If needed, you can use Tylenol to alleviate this pain. Because Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory and teeth require a certain amount of inflammation for proper movement, we advise against using Ibuprofen because it can extend your treatment.
How do I take care of my teeth and aligners during Invisalign treatment?
With Invisalign, you can continue your usual brushing and flossing routine. However, you must also brush your aligners to keep them clean. You will also need to brush your teeth after every meal before replacing your aligners. When rinsing your aligners, never use hot water because this can warp their shape. Additionally, never use denture cleaner, alcohol, or bleach to clean your aligners.
In addition to keeping your aligners clean, you will also need to keep them safe from becoming damaged or lost. To accomplish this, always keep them in their protective case when they are not in your mouth. Never wrap your aligners in a napkin, keep them around pets that may chew on them, or place them in a pocket that may be sat upon.
Once you are finished with your aligners, do not discard them and instead place them in their original pouch. Past aligners can be used as a backup in case you damage or lose your current aligners. If you have been wearing your current aligners for less than a week and they become lost or damaged, you can go back a set of aligners. Conversely, if you have been wearing your current aligners for over a week, you may be able to move up to the next aligner. However, call our office so that we can check the fit and ensure your treatment can continue correctly.
What happens after Invisalign treatment?
After your Invisalign treatment, the small attachments will be removed from your teeth. Then a dental impression or oral scan will be taken of your mouth to fabricate a retainer. You have the choice of a traditional Hawley retainer or the Vivera clear plastic retainer. Your retainer will be worn for 22 hours a day for the first four months and then will switch to being only worn at night.