Just having Invisalign trays on your teeth is not a guarantee that your treatment will be a success. The patients who have the best luck with teeth alignment are those who follow the rules of this treatment and stay committed to the work that must be done to help them achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. Invisalign is easy to wear and the instructions are easy to follow – here are just some of the most important steps to help you achieve Invisalign success.
1. Wear the trays 20 to 22 hours a day.
Sufficient wear time is the most important and basic rule of Invisalign. The trays must be in your mouth and fit snugly against your teeth for at least 20 to 22 hours a day. That gives you about three or four hours when Invisalign is out of your mouth (and safely in its case) for having meals and cleaning your teeth and trays.
Sound like way too much time? Think about wearers of conventional braces who never have a chance to remove their brackets or wires. They’re beholden to their orthodontics 24/7. You’re lucky to have the option to remove your braces for a little while and enjoy some freedom.
2. Change your trays as instructed.
Your Lawrenceville orthodontist creates a complete Invisalign plan from the start. You know how long each set of trays must be worn, which ones they’re switched out for, and what your treatment will look as a whole.
Most trays are worn for about two weeks at a time to move both tooth roots and crowns simultaneously. The action happens gently and consistently and only moves a few teeth with each aligner. When your instructions say to change to the next trays, make it happen. You could potentially wear a few dozen trays over the entire course of your treatment until your smile is in alignment.
3. See your orthodontist every six to eight weeks.
Plenty of people sometimes skip their biannual dental visits for cleanings and checkups. This is never recommended. What you definitely can’t skip are your visits to your orthodontist. These visits are important for many reasons but especially because you’ll collect your next sets of aligners at each visit and your orthodontist will check the progress of the movement of your teeth to make sure everything is going where it’s supposed to.
4. Clean your teeth and trays properly.
When you are good about removing your trays for meals, it’s easy to assume that you don’t need to worry about extra cleanings. But your teeth are still covered in food particles and plaque – and the last thing you want is for any of that to get stuck between your teeth and Invisalign trays and risk developing tooth decay.
Always brush and floss your teeth after each meal or snack and before putting Invisalign back in your mouth. You want to maintain the integrity of the aligners so they don’t become stained, discolored, or smelly, and you want to protect the health of your teeth too.