Helpful Tips for Using Invisalign®

Tips for Using Invisalign

Invisalign® is a wonderful alternative to traditional braces. Most people won’t be able to tell when you are wearing your Invisalign® trays, so you don’t have to be self-conscious about your smile. The first few sets of trays you wear might take some getting used to, but after that, they will become part of your routine. In an effort to make your transition to this process a little easier, our team at Fort Collins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies has come up with these helpful tips for using Invisalign®.

Commit to the Treatment

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign® trays are removable allowing you quite a bit of freedom when it comes to this orthodontic process. Orthodontic treatment works to correct crooked teeth and bite problems that can dim your beautiful smile and affect your overall health. According to the American Dental Association, not correcting an abnormal bite could result in further oral health problems including:

  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • tooth loss
  • affected speech and/or chewing
  • abnormal wear to tooth enamel
  • jaw problems

Commit to your orthodontic treatment so you can have a healthier, more confident you.  Decide even before you are given your Invisalign® trays that regardless of any discomfort or inconvenience they may cause at times, you are going to dedicate the time necessary to succeed with the treatment.  This means you will commit to wearing the aligners as you are shown, caring for them, and following the instructions of your Fort Collins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies dental team–we want you to succeed!


Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene

An important part of committing to Invisalign® is committing to good oral hygiene.  Don’t dim that beautiful smile you are creating by allowing unnecessary bacteria to creep in from neglect. Taking good care of your teeth during your orthodontic treatment will speed up your overall treatment time and set you up for beautiful results. Take advantage of how much easier it is to clean your teeth with Invisalign® aligners rather than braces. With braces, food gets trapped in the brackets and wires leading to plaque buildup and decay.  Invisalign® aligners are removable and don’t come with that added challenge, but don’t let that lessen your efforts! You still have a job to do.

Some of the most important components of an effective oral hygiene routine with Invisalign® include:

  • Floss and Brush Daily. Hopefully this is a habit you have already learned, but if not, it is never too late to start! This is one you don’t want to skip over.  It is NOT enough to just brush everyday.  Invisalign® aligners can trap leftover food particles between your teeth preventing saliva from doing its proper job. Normally, even if you forget to brush once or twice, your saliva will help to remove food and bacteria from your mouth. However, if you reinsert your aligner without thorough hygiene, these particles will be trapped in close contact with your teeth for hours on end. To protect your healthy smile, you should brush and floss your teeth every time you eat.  If you know you can feel food stuck between your teeth, get it out! You don’t want it to sit there and create bacterial acid that can erode the beautiful enamel of your teeth. Make it a habit of always having floss with you.
  • Clean Your Aligners Before Putting Them Back In. It is important to clean your aligners and brush your teeth before you put your trays back in. Skipping over this step allows food and bacteria to build up in the plastic trays and you will face a greater risk for cavities and tooth discoloration.  Don’t jeopardize the health and cosmetic benefits of your Invisalign® treatment.
  • Use Mouthwash. Mouthwash isn’t just for warding off bad breath (halitosis). While most dentists agree that mouthwash alone won’t reduce the amount of plaque you currently have, there is evidence to suggest that rinsing with mouthwash can prevent plaque from building up in the first place.
  • Be Prepared. There will be times when you eat out and you won’t be able to brush your teeth. When these occasions arise, make sure and thoroughly rinse your mouth with water and chew a piece of sugarless piece of gum before putting your tray back in. Alternatively, keep a spare toothbrush and tube of toothpaste in your purse, briefcase, or glove compartment.

Follow the Instructions

When you receive your first set of Invisalign® aligners, a member of our Fort Collins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry team will educate you on the proper way to wear and care for your aligners. For the first two days of each aligner tray, wear it as much as possible during the first forty-eight hours. Most dentists recommend only taking out your aligners to brush/floss your teeth, and then they should go right back in. Of course, you should always wear your aligners as much as possible, but this goes double for the first two days. It may feel a little uncomfortable those first 48 hours as your teeth shift around–this is normal! This means that the trays are working for you! You may be tempted to take them out because of the temporary soreness you feel, but this will slow down your treatment. Following the first 48 hours, you need to commit to wearing them at least 22 hours every day. They won’t work if you don’t wear them. Follow the instructions given to you by Drs. Willey and Murri regarding the amount of time you are to wear a certain aligner. Your treatment will not go faster if you try to advance to other aligners before you are ready. Stick the game plan and you will get faster results.

Keep Your Eye on the Goal

When you start to run into obstacles with your treatment, keep your eye on your goal. Your goal is a healthy, beautiful smile. Remember that the minor inconveniences that come with orthodontic treatment yield massively positive results.  Dwell on how lucky you are to be able to have treatment to straighten your teeth–so many in this world are unable to have that opportunity.  Get excited about the process!  It really is an amazing thing to see the results of Invisalign® orthodontic treatment. Your smile will, literally, evolve right before your eyes. Take pictures of each stage so you can see the small changes that are occurring!  If you practice these helpful tips, before you know it, you will be done with your treatment and flashing your straight, pearly whites for everyone to see!

Is Invisalign® Right For Me?

Thousands of patients looking for discreet, effective orthodontics have found positive results with Invisalign® treatment. To learn more about these invisible braces and whether they could be a good fit for your teeth and your life, call our Fort Collins office today at (970) 223-8425, and our patient liaison will be happy to answer your questions or make an appointment at your request. You can also send a contact request or place an appointment online using the form below.