Invisalign are revolutionary, teeth-straightening aligners that can be custom-built for teenagers, and adults. They are virtually invisible and offer a discreet method of straightening your teeth for a gorgeous smile.
These aligners are switched in almost two weeks, and generally have to be worn for 6 to 18 months for the best results. The amount of time required usually varies, as it also depends on the condition of the teeth.
Invisalign is similar to a retainer, and is specially created to keep your teeth from moving out of place. It requires the application of top-notch technology to create impressions of the patient’s teeth, so as to build a unique mold.
Once you’ve decided to opt for Invisalign aligners, there are certain special measures you will need to take to ensure optimal oral hygiene.
Since the plastic aligners are prone to collecting bacteria which can cause tooth decay, care will need to be taken to keep them cleaned.
Also, be sure to wear them for the number of hours that your orthodontist has recommended (usually 22 hours), as failure to do so can extend treatment time unnecessarily.
How Invisalign Is Different From Traditional Braces
Invisalign brings a whole new dimension of convenience and ease to teeth correction and alignment.
Unlike conventional methods, this doesn’t require patients to make major changes to their diet, or lifestyle.
People can easily take out their aligners when flossing, brushing, or even eating – a serious advantage over other braces that come with complicated oral care, and are also prone to damage by chewy, or hard foods.
Invisalign is also more aesthetically pleasing than typical wires and metal brackets around your teeth. The plastic material is gentle on your gums and cheeks, thus saving you from getting scrapes and cuts inside your mouth.
Maintaining Your Oral Hygiene
Daily dental hygiene with Invisalign does not require a lot of special care – it is just like the normal routine that you already follow.
For example, you will need to properly floss after every meal, and brush your teeth twice (for a minimum of two minutes) every day.
Ensure that your toothbrush is at a 45-degree angle at the gum line, and your gums are properly stimulated with the strokes. Remember, dentists generally recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months, or so.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well, going as far back as possible.
While you will be regularly visiting your orthodontist throughout the Invisalign treatment, it is still important to visit a dentist in the same office.
A good dentist can guide you on how to maintain proper oral hygiene, and is also qualified to carry out professional cleanings to ensure that there is no plague build-up, or tooth decay.
Cleaning Your Aligners
Before you start cleaning your aligners, you need to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to prevent environmental microorganisms from contaminating the dental trays.
It is extremely important to clean your aligners before you put the tray back in after eating, and repeat this step at least twice a day. If this practice isn’t followed religiously, it can lead to bacteria and food build-up in the plastic tray – which further increases the risk of tooth discoloration, and even cavity formation.
While cleaning them with a fluoride toothpaste, or even mild soap works just fine, for optimal results, you should invest in a special cleaning kit available for Invisalign.
It is important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, cotton swab, or even a piece of cloth while cleaning. This is because brushes with hard bristles can scratch the plastic, and reduce the transparency of the trays.
Another tip is to only use warm water when rinsing off the trays, as cold or hot water can cause the aligners to change shape – meaning that they will no longer fit well in your mouth.
Also, it is a good idea to restrict the use of denture cleaners and mouthwash after putting on the trays.
Taking Care Of Your Teeth During Treatment
While it is always recommended to brush, floss, and rinse your teeth with mouthwash, this practice becomes increasingly important when undergoing Invisalign treatment.
Normally, your saliva works well to remove food particles and bacteria. So, even if you forget to brush once or twice, it isn’t a big deal – as long as you brush and floss the minute you remember.
However, if the aligner is reinserted without properly cleaning your teeth, it will trap these particles in close contact with your teeth for long periods. This can prove to be disastrous for your overall oral hygiene.
In case you’re unable to brush your teeth, rinse your mouth thoroughly, and chew on sugarless gum before putting in the tray.
Also, remember to drink lots of water with meals, as it helps flush out the food and other particles.
Things To Avoid
Here are some things to avoid during your treatment:
Frequent Snacking or Sipping
This will cause you to remove your aligner quite often, as foods and drinks shouldn’t be taken in with them on – and it’s generally not a good idea to remove your aligners too often.
Additionally, this habit also causes increased acid attacks on your enamel – ultimately causing it to wear down.
Coffee doesn’t only cause teeth stains; it also helps the bacteria in your mouth produce acids. These acids make the teeth brittle, and thin out the enamel.
Avid coffee drinkers should have a little to eat, and use toothbrushes and tongue scrapers before reinserting the Invisalign trays.
Also, residue from food and drink like coffee can cause the aligners to stain, thereby disrupting their ‘invisible’ effect.
The Invisalign treatment is currently the most advanced form of teeth restructuring technique. When continued properly, it can make oral hygiene easier for patients, especially compared to traditional braces.
The best part is that the trays are cheap, so there is no need to fret over regular replacements.
Do you want to opt for Invisalign trays over metal braces? Contact us now for a consultation, and start your journey towards a perfect smile.