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Tips For Successful Invisalign Treatment

Woman wearing orthodontic silicone trainer

“I have my aligners, now what?”

Invisalign® is an excellent way to improve the appearance of your smile discreetly and conveniently. Our patients love the flexibility they have with the Invisalign system, due to the lack of dietary restrictions required of this treatment. Best of all, no stainless steel will mar your smile as you slowly improve the alignment of your teeth over a period of 12-18 months. At Winchester Dental, Dr. Cathy Hong has learned a few tips that may help new Invisalign patients get the most from their treatment, and avoid any possible complications.

Tip 1: Make a Travel Pack

Making a travel pack that has a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a container to hold your aligners while you eat. This can make all the difference in keeping your teeth healthy during your Invisalign treatment. Unless you never leave your house, ever, always keep an oral hygiene pack in your bag, backpack or car.

A lot of patients don’t realize how important saliva is in neutralizing bacteria and rinsing food residue off your teeth after you eat. Since the aligners take your teeth out of contact with your saliva, you’ll need to make sure the environment inside your aligners is as clean as possible. Never replace your aligners after eating until you have brushed and flossed your teeth. A dedicated travel pack will make this easier to accomplish.

Among some of the bad habits we’ve seen with Invisalign, leaving aligners on the counter or table while you enjoy your meals is one of the worst. This can lead to bacterial contamination in the aligners, which can wreak havoc on your enamel and lead to cavities during treatment. Having a dedicated, clean container to hold your aligners is an important component of good Invisalign hygiene.

Tip 2: Wear Your Aligners All the Time for the First Few Months

One of the really nice benefits of Invisalign is the fact that you can remove the aligners for special events, such as graduation photographs, weddings, first dates, important business meetings, and more. However, we recommend patients only take the aligners out at meal times, at least for the first one or two months. Why? Getting used to your new routines with Invisalign can take a while, and if you take the aligners out too often you may not realize it when you aren’t getting your full 20-22 hours of wear time each day. If this happens, it can upset your treatment plan and make your Invisalign progress go slower.

At the very least, wait until after your first six-week check in with Dr. Hong to decide whether you are on track or not with logging your hours every day.

Tip 3: No Cheating on the Water-Only Rule

Whether you are thinking about Invisalign or you’ve already started your treatment, the water-only rule is a critical part of keeping your teeth healthy and beautiful during treatment. The only thing you are allowed to consume when wearing your aligners is plain water. No carbonated water, no diet sodas, no water with lemon—just water. This may seem a bit strict, but it’s entirely necessary.
There are several bad things that can happen if you drink other beverages. For example, some drinks can interact chemically with the aligners and lead to softening or cracking of the acrylic. This will make them less effective at shifting your teeth.

Any drinks that contain calories can lead to bacterial growth in the aligners when you are wearing them. Without saliva, there to rinse the teeth, bacterial growth from just a little tiny bit of sugar in that environment can quickly lead to cavities.

Lastly, think about the staining that might affect your enamel if small amounts of coffee, tea, or soda get trapped in your aligners. It’s like whitening in reverse!

Tip 4: Stick to the Recommended Nightly Cleaning Routine

When you get your aligners, you will receive an Invisalign cleaning kit and specific instructions from Dr. Hong. Stick to the guidelines as closely as possible. Small deviations can have big consequences. For example, if you think using toothpaste to clean your aligners is a good idea, think again! Abrasive toothpastes are great for removing plaque and bacteria from your enamel, but they can damage the fine details that make your aligners effective.

Also, beware of coloured liquid soaps. Many gentle liquid hand soaps are great for cleaning your aligners, but only if they contain no colouring. That yellow, lemon-scented soap may rinse cleanly off your hands, leaving no stains, but the acrylic of the aligners is a different story. Regularly washing aligners with coloured soaps can stain them and show up when you smile.

These are just a few of the tips we have learned over the years to help you get the most out of your Invisalign treatment. Contact our Brooklin, ON dental office to learn more about Invisalign or ask specific questions about your treatment. Call us at 905-425-4205 or visit us online today!

Your New Dentist!

Winchester Dental
Family Dental Care in Brooklin ON

16 Winchester Rd E #5
Brooklin, ON
L1M 1B3, Canada

Hours:
Mon-Thu: 8:00am - 8:00pm
Fri: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Sun: By Appointment only

Phone: (905) 425-4205

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