Thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, getting a beautiful, straight set of teeth is easier than ever. One of the most significant recent innovations in orthodontics is the introduction of the Invisalign Clear Aligner System. While this system is designed to get rid of many of the drawbacks of traditional braces, there are some common mistakes you should avoid if you want the best and quickest results.
1. Forgetting About Your Aligners
Invisalign aligners are completely clear, giving you a clean-looking smile during your treatment. They are also removable for meals and physical activities. While this convenience has yet to be beaten in the world of orthodontics, the fact that you can remove your aligners can make them prone to being lost or forgotten to place back in your mouth. Be sure to keep them with you in a distinct case when you remove them for meals, or to store them in a safe place if you are doing any physical activity. You also need to make sure to brush your teeth and put your aligners back in once you are done. You should have your aligners in your mouth for no less than 22 hours a day for best results.
2. Eating or Drinking without Removing Your Aligners
The opposite problem you can run into with your aligners is leaving them in when you should have them out. You can safely drink cold water with your aligners in without any issues, but you should remove your aligners for any other food or drink. Many types of food and drink can easily stain your aligners and trap sugar or food debris, defeating the purpose of the clear design. Plus, hot drinks or especially crunchy foods can end up damaging or warping your aligners. If you have a hard time remembering to remove them for meals, try setting reminders on your phone when you normally eat meals. It shouldn’t take too long for you to get used to removing them when you need to.
3. Subjecting Your Aligners to Heat
It can be easy to see your car as a default place to store something if you have no other option, but cars can get hot pretty quickly, even when it feels relatively comfortable outside. Hot temperatures can warp your aligners, causing them to fit improperly, become uncomfortable, or even start moving your teeth in the wrong direction. When you store your aligners, make sure the place is safe and cool. Your car during our hot Charleston summers is not one of these places.
4. Failing to Clean Your Aligners
While the cleaning process for your Invisalign aligners may seem tedious, it is very similar to what you would need to do with traditional braces. The main difference is you need to remove the aligners before you brush your teeth and clean them separately. This should be done after each meal to avoid trapping food particles under the aligners, which leads to tooth decay. Bacteria can also start to build up in your aligners on their own, so it’s best to soak them occasionally and to brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a little liquid hand soap or mild dish soap before putting them back in.