How to Make the Most of Invisalign

If you want straighter teeth, but you don’t necessarily want the world to know that you’re straightening your teeth, the Invisalign® system might be the perfect orthodontic choice for you.

Instead of using metal brackets and wires to move your teeth into a straighter position, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear, flexible plastic trays to move your teeth. Invisalign is a great way to solve alignment problems, but it only works if you follow the protocol your orthodontist lays out for you.

At Millennium Park Orthodontics in Chicago, Howard Spector, DDS, and our team have treated thousands of patients with the Invisalign system. Here are a few of our recommendations for how to make the most of Invisalign.

Stay on schedule

Invisalign trays are designed to be switched out for a new set every week or two. Your orthodontist will give you your exact plan based on your particular case. Each new set of trays moves your teeth closer to their ideal positions, so if you forget to switch out your trays when scheduled, it will take you longer to reach your goal.

You should change out your trays on the same day. So if your schedule says to change them every two weeks, if you switch them out on a Wednesday, make sure the next time you switch them out is also on a Wednesday.

You also need to see your orthodontist for your regular appointments to make sure you’re progressing as planned.

Wear your aligners 22 hours a day

Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated: Your Invisalign trays won’t work if you don’t wear them. Invisalign recommends wearing them at least 20-22 hours per day, and we advise our patients to get closer to the 22-hour mark. That leaves two hours a day to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. 

You can remove your trays for special occasions — such as a wedding — but try to limit these times since they can add up quickly and keep you from reaching your goal.

Keep an aligner case with you

You should always keep an aligner case with you for when you take out your aligners. If you just wrap them up in a paper towel, they may get thrown away. You should consider keeping a case at home, at work, and even in your purse or briefcase, so you can lessen the chances of losing your trays.

Keep your aligners clean

Clean aligners are happy aligners. If you don’t clean them correctly, or if you eat and drink while wearing them, they can become cloudy, develop an odor, and feel bad in your mouth. If this happens, you won’t want to wear them.

You can clean them with a special Invisalign cleaning system for about 15 minutes or use warm, soapy water. You can also use toothpaste, but be careful not to scratch the aligners. And make sure to brush your teeth regularly, too.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your Invisalign experience. To find out more about Invisalign or to set up an evaluation for your teeth, book an appointment over the phone with Millennium Park Orthodontics today.

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