Ideally, your teeth should line up as neatly as the keys on a piano. But alas, there are some who aren’t so lucky and face issues caused by misaligned teeth and jaw, from crooked and overcrowded smiles to underbites and overbites.
While they typically bother people because of how they appear, these problems can also raise other issues beyond cosmetic concerns. Overlapping or crowded teeth, for example, might make oral hygiene more challenging and, thereby, increase the risk of gum disease or tooth decay. Misaligned bites can lead to difficulties in chewing or swallowing, while poor alignment of the teeth may cause issues with one’s speech.
If you suffer from one or more of these situations, having clear dental braces installed may just be what you need.
But before you go ahead and ask your dentist to have your clear braces fitted, there are a couple of things you should know first. From proper usage and good oral hygiene, you need to learn the different facts about these orthodontic devices to achieve optimal results and avoid any premature aligner replacement.
To do so, here are the eight essential tips adult dental brace wearers must understand when using and caring for invisible aligners:
Unlike traditional metal bracket braces, clear aligners like Invisalign can be removed when you eat or brush your teeth. But with this fact comes the temptation not to wear the device for extended periods of time, which is strongly discouraged with invisible braces.
No matter the age, dentists recommended clear brace users to wear them for 20 to 22 hours every day to achieve optimal results. This means you can only remove your braces before sleeping or eating. Of course, this can be adjusted according to what’s applicable to your specific lifestyle.
Before going ahead with your decision, make sure that you’re ready to commit to this. Otherwise, you’re only wasting your money on these orthodontic appliances.
Saliva that has dried up may serve as a breeding ground for bacteria that cause foul smells. This alone is reason enough to regularly clean your aligners upon removal to ensure proper care and its optimal function.
Fortunately, the fact that they are removable means that you can clean these appliances more thoroughly compared to traditional metal braces.
When doing so, try to avoid brushing the Invisalign vigorously. Otherwise, you’ll risk scratching them and leaving visible etchings on their surface. After this, rinse your aligners well to make sure that all the food particles, as well as the soap, have been removed.
Regular brushing and rinsing comprise only a portion of what you need to learn to care for your Invisalign properly. You must also know what specific tools and products are okay to use and which ones to avoid.
When brushing the invisible braces, make sure you use a clear antibacterial soap. Avoid using colored ones as these can cause staining or discoloration on your aligners.
Also, never use the same toothpaste you brush your teeth with when cleaning your Invisalign. Remember that certain types of toothpaste, particularly those that contain active whitening ingredients, can be too abrasive for your invisible braces. Some can even make these look dull.
If you don’t heed this advice, there’s a high probability that you’ll create small traps that may serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and infect the Invisalign tray as well.
Soaking is also an important part of Invisalign maintenance. When doing so, you can choose between official Invisalign cleaning crystals and denture cleaners to keep the trays sanitized and clear.
While Invisalign promises that you can keep eating what you love while wearing the invisible braces, it is still better to stay on the safe side by picking your beverages wisely.
Since this orthodontic appliance is made of clear plastic, it can get stained when frequently exposed to dark-colored liquids. This includes red wine, coffee, dark-hued tea, juices, and other colored drinks.
Generally, drinks that can stain your natural teeth can also leave your Invisalign discolored. You should also think twice about drinking acidic beverages as they may compromise the integrity of the aligners.
Some people damage their Invisalign due to incorrect handling and installation. To avoid making this mistake, be gentle when removing and placing them on your mouth.
Never use sharp instruments or excessive force when pushing them in place. It is also crucial that you apply equal pressure to both sides of the molars using your fingertips when putting them on.
During removal, tug at them gently from the back teeth. Then, gradually work your way forward to prevent them from breaking.
Leaving your Invisalign unprotected or exposed while you eat is another big no-no. Aside from increasing the risk of losing them, they might also get exposed to bacteria and other harmful germs.
The ideal habit is to rinse them before soaking when eating or sleeping and again before putting them back into your mouth.
Another important thing you must commit to when wearing Invisalign is the fact that you’ll need to have them replaced regularly. This should be done roughly one to two weeks from when you first got them, depending on your dentist’s recommended treatment plan. You also need to have your teeth checked every six or eight weeks to see the progress of the treatment.
Remember that a new set of aligner trays can leave you feeling different from before. This is because the new aligners are made to apply a little added pressure during the first few days after installation. This is totally normal and means that the Invisalign is working its magic.
Wearing clear aligners has countless advantages over traditional braces. Make sure that you get the most out of your orthodontic devices by knowing how to use and care for them properly.
When in doubt, consult with experts at Noa Dental Clinic. We’re always happy to help.