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How to Care for Invisalign®

Invisalign Dentists Grand Rapids, MI

Invisalign Dentists Grand Rapids, MIInvisalign® consists of nearly invisible aligners that gradually straighten teeth for teen and adult patients in as little as 12 to 18 months. If you’ve ever felt self-conscious of crooked teeth but aren’t a fan of metal braces, our Grand Rapids Invisalign dentists can help you get started.

During your initial consultation, we’ll be able to discuss whether Invisalign is the right choice for your smile. Our dentists can also answer any additional questions or concerns you might have about Invisalign clear aligners.

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to caring for your clear aligners.

Invisalign Take-Home Instructions

If possible, our dentists recommend using the Invisalign cleaning system to clean your aligners, which uses crystals to remove plaque in about 15 minutes. You may also gently brush your aligners with a non-abrasive toothpaste under lukewarm water.

Be sure to also:

  • Brush and floss after meals.
  • Avoid staining drinks.
  • Store clear aligners in their case.
  • Wear your aligners at least 20 to 22 hours a day, only taking them out to eat, brush, or floss.

Brush and Floss After Meals

Brush and floss your teeth after eating to avoid staining your clear aligners. While this may seem like an inconvenience, it’s better than allowing your aligners to get yellow and smelly.

Food particles left behind in your Invisalign aligners will not only give you bad breath, but can also attract bacteria that then become stuck underneath your aligners. This can put you on the fast track to cavities if you’re wearing your aligners the recommended amount. Proper oral hygiene is key to keeping your teeth and your aligner trays in top condition.

Avoid Staining Drinks

Certain drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine will stain clear aligners, not to mention your teeth. If you can’t survive without your morning cup of coffee, we recommend removing your aligners before drinking. Once you’re done drinking coffee, brush your teeth to avoid staining your aligners. While this may seem extreme, it’s important that you keep your aligners clean and free of bacteria.

Many of our patients appreciate that Invisalign is subtle enough to go unnoticed by family members, friends, and co-workers. However, your Invisalign will be very noticeable if you let them get yellow over time. If needed, our Invisalign dentists can give you more tips for how to adopt a healthy oral hygiene routine during clear aligner treatment.

Store Clear Aligners in Their Case

When your aligner trays aren’t in your mouth, they should be resting in the protective case our dentists gave you. When you take out your aligners to eat, make sure that you place the aligners back into their special case and not in a napkin.

Too many patients have accidentally thrown out their aligners because they were wrapped in napkins or sitting on lunch trays. Don’t let this be you. No one wants to dig through a public trash can because they threw out their Invisalign aligner set.

Clear aligners are custom-made to fit the contours of your teeth and gums. However, you could risk crushing or bending your aligners out of shape if you store them in your pocket, purse, or anywhere else besides their case.

Wear Your Aligners

One of the safest places for your aligners is in your mouth. In order for Invisalign to work, you need to wear your clear aligners at least 20 to 22 hours per day. You should only remove your clear aligners when you need to eat or brush your teeth. Otherwise, your teeth won’t move according to schedule.

Our Invisalign dentists understand that life happens. There may be times, such as before a presentation or speech, that you might want to remove your Invisalign trays. The system allows some flexibility for this, but as a rule if you don’t wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours per day, you won’t see the results you need and the Invisalign process will take much longer. If you want to remove your aligners for an event or special occasion, be sure to put them back in as soon as possible.

When you get a new set of aligners from our dentists, you’ll feel pressure on your teeth for the first few days. This pressure is a sign that the aligners are moving your teeth into optimal alignment. For the pain, we recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Motrin as needed.

Choose Invisalign For Your Smile

Our cosmetic dentists offer Invisalign braces to help you straighten teeth and achieve your dream smile. To request an appointment with one of our Invisalign dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, call Contemporary Family Dental at (616) 209-3969.

This blog post has been updated.