If you're an adult considering braces, you might be thinking about choosing Invisalign. With these clear, removable aligners, you can effectively straighten your teeth without being self-conscious about your appearance during the process. In fact, according to Sesamecommunications, more than 96% of patients who have had their teeth straightened with Invisalign were satisfied with the experience. Clear aligners are fantastic options for adult orthodontic patients who are willing to commit to wearing the appliances as required by their treatment plan. Read on for tips to get the most out of your clear aligners.
1. Wear your aligner
For clear aligners to work, you need to wear them for at least 20 hours per day — every day. Most orthodontists identify the sweet spot as anywhere from 20 to 22 hours. Wearing your aligners for less time than recommended can delay treatment and increase the overall costs associated with treatment.
2. Remove your aligner when eating
Eating or drinking with your aligner in your mouth encourages tooth decay and other types of damage to your bite. In addition, many patients find that it's particularly difficult to eat with the aligners, so it's probably best to plan on not eating while wearing the product.
3. Stick with water
The major benefit of Invisalign retainers is that they're hard for others to see when you're wearing them. When you drink staining beverages such as coffee, tea, or red wine while wearing your aligner, the trays become discolored — not a terribly attractive look. Most patients find that wearing the aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours gives them plenty of time to consume food and beverages without the aligner.
4. Keep up to date with adjustments
Most patients need a new aligner every two weeks or so. Your orthodontist will develop a treatment plan designed to meet your needs, so make sure to follow their instructions. Not changing to a new aligner as scheduled by your orthodontist can extend the amount of time you need to complete treatment.
5. Brush your teeth and aligners regularly
Brush your teeth after eating or snacking to ensure your long-term dental health. Many patients find their dental hygiene greatly improves as a result of the frequent brushing required to keep their teeth healthy during orthodontic treatment with clear aligners. And don't forget to regularly clean your aligner — give it a brush every time you put it in or take it out of your mouth. Denture cleanser works well to resolve unsightly, tough-to-remove stains.
If you follow these simple tips, you'll see yourself having straighter teeth in no time thanks to clear aligners!