We understand orthodontic treatment can be daunting, and deciding to get clear aligners can be a big decision. Here are some survival tips and tricks for your treatment that you can follow in the beginning, middle, and end.
Switch Aligners at Night
An easy and effective way to make the treatment process easier on you is to switch to your next set of aligners right before you go to bed. Many patients swear by this as you’ll endure that initial discomfort while you’re sleeping, and you’ll be partially adjusted to your new set by the morning. This can especially help you be comfortable during the first few weeks when Invisalign is capable of causing the most discomfort. Remember to always switch your aligners as directed, and never too soon or too late. You’ll usually be switching every two weeks, or as otherwise recommended by your orthodontist.
Choose Your Orthodontist Carefully
While choosing a treatment method that works for you is a very important part of your journey, so is choosing the right orthodontist. Much like you’d research any other service, you should research the orthodontists in your area to make sure you’re getting the highest standard of care.
Make sure you’re taking into account things like credentials, Google reviews from past and current patients, and any before and after reference photos that they have. Most certified specialists will have successful cases readily available for you to view. If you’re interested in taking the next step and scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced orthodontists, please reach out to us here.
Wear Them For The Full 22 Hours
It sounds like a long time, but the recommended daily wear time for Invisalign is a minimum of 22 hours per day to ensure the best and fastest results. You should only remove your Invisalign to eat, drink, and do your oral hygiene routine in the morning and at night.
Some patients feel tempted to take their aligners out more often than they should due to insecurity or discomfort. It’s very unlikely anyone around you notices your clear aligners as they have a tight, custom and discreet fit to help them look as natural as possible. You’ll eventually get used to both the aesthetic appearance and the minor discomfort – both worries go away as you progress throughout your treatment.
Successful patients track their hours so they can make sure they don’t go over the allowed two hours. You can set timers and alarms for yourself to remember to put them back in or make a note of the time you took them out, to be on the safe side. In order for your aligners to work, they have to be worn!
Monitor Your Progress and Wear Time
It can be motivating to see how far you’ve come in your treatment. By logging your hours you’ll be able to both keep yourself accountable and watch your progress as it happens in real-time. This can help inspire you to push through even if you have a lot of time left in your treatment plan, and keep what’s important in your sights – finally achieving your dream smile, of course!
Things like keeping photographs and detailed notes can help you feel more confident in your investment, and allow you to watch your progress. Before and after photos are great to have so you can see how far you’ve come.
Expect To Be In It For The Long Haul
While we always try to achieve our patient’s goals in the most timely way possible, make sure you’re keeping your expectations in check. We’ll try to quote you with the most accurate treatment timeline possible, but things don’t always go according to plan, and on some occasions, adjustments will have to be made. You should prepare to wear your clear aligners for a minimum of six months to a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of your case, and if your aligners are doing what they’re supposed to do. We’ll be evaluating you closely throughout your treatment so we can easily catch any issues if they arise, and make sure everything is going according to plan.
Clean Your Aligners and Teeth Well And Often
It’s important to maintain your oral health during treatment. It’s easy to brush and floss your teeth well while having Invisalign treatment due to the ability to remove them, so you should be able to keep up with your usual hygiene routine.
Your aligners can lose some of their clarity if they become stained, aren’t cleaned properly, or come in contact with beverages like coffee or soda – remember, you should never drink anything aside from water while wearing your aligners.
They can also develop an odour if you aren’t maintaining your oral hygiene, and aren’t cleaning them every day. Make sure you gently brush your aligners with a soft toothbrush and a small amount of antibacterial soap and rinse with lukewarm water, never hot. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes for best results.