Orthodontic treatment is an investment of your time and money, and we want to help you make the most of it at Central Massachusetts Orthodontics. There are several options available in our Worcester, Auburn, and Spencer offices, and one that’s been gaining popularity is Invisalign clear aligners. If you’ve decided to explore clear aligner therapy for yourself or your child, it’s important to be fully prepared. Let’s take a closer look at the Invisalign system, how it works to straighten smiles, and how you can get the most out of your Invisalign treatment!
What are Invisalign clear aligners?
To better understand what Invisalign is and how it works, it helps to know more about the differences between fixed and removable orthodontic appliances.
Traditional braces are an example of a fixed appliance. That means the brackets are attached directly to the teeth, and only a trained orthodontic professional can remove them.
While the underlying function is the same, Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth over time. The aligners are made of a special thermoplastic resin molded to fit snugly and comfortably over your teeth.
Because they’re removable and nearly invisible, Invisalign aligners give you more freedom and flexibility than traditional braces, making them an excellent alternative if you want a more discreet treatment option that won’t interfere with your daily life.
Now that you know what Invisalign is and how it works, here are some helpful tips to make the most of your Invisalign treatment!
Keep your aligners clean.
It’s important to regularly clean your Invisalign trays to maintain their clear appearance and avoid bacteria buildup. The aligners can also stain, so you shouldn’t skip cleaning them, even for a night! To keep your trays in good shape, follow these guidelines.
- Rinse your aligners when you remove them since dry saliva and plaque can breed bacteria.
- Soak your aligners using denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaning crystals to keep your trays clear and sanitized.
- Brush and floss your teeth before you put your aligner back in to keep harmful particles from getting trapped.
- Clean your aligners with a clear antibacterial soap to keep them fresh and free from bacteria.
- Brush your aligners gently and carefully. Brushing too hard can scratch your aligners and leave visible marks.
- Eat or drink anything but water while you’re wearing your aligners. Many foods and drinks can stain or discolor your aligners, and some may even cause odors.
- Use toothpaste to clean your aligners. The abrasive agents that can make your teeth sparkle will have the opposite effect on your aligner and can also create small traps for bacteria.
- Leave your aligners protected when they’re not in your mouth, as this can expose them to harmful germs and bacteria. Rinse them, soak them, and then rinse them again before returning them to your mouth.
- Soak your aligners in any sort of mouthwash.
- Put them in a heated liquid of any kind!
Follow the guidelines from your orthodontist.
When you schedule a consultation in our Worcester, Auburn, or Spencer office, Dr. Livanos or Dr. Giarrusso will determine if Invisalign is right for your smile. When worn as directed by your orthodontist, Invisalign is as effective as braces at correcting mild to moderate cases of most orthodontic issues.
Your treatment plan will vary depending on your unique case, but some general expectations exist. For example, you’ll wear the aligners for 20-22 hours daily throughout the treatment and replace them with a new set every few weeks.
The total treatment time will vary from case to case, but the average patient usually wears aligners for 9-15 months, depending on compliance. If you don’t follow the guidelines from your orthodontist, you could deal with longer treatment times and subpar results.
Maintain your oral hygiene.
The most important step in your oral hygiene routine is brushing your teeth. Stick to the following guidelines for healthy teeth, a bright smile, and fresh breath.
- Brush three times a day, ideally after each meal and once before bed. If you’re in braces, brush around every part of them.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoridated toothpaste.
- Brush gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line, moving the toothbrush across every surface of every tooth to effectively remove bacteria and any trapped food particles.
- Floss every night before bed to remove bacteria and any food accumulated throughout the day. Use tools like floss threaders and Waterpiks to clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if you have a cold or other illness.
- Use antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes to help further improve your oral health.
Never skip a check-up.
With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about getting your braces adjusted and tightened every few weeks. Instead, you get to do that on your own by changing out your trays. But you’ll still need to attend the occasional check-up with us to ensure your treatment is going according to plan.
It’s important to go to every check-up appointment. If anything comes up or you can’t make it, contact our office to reschedule as soon as possible. Remember, these appointments help keep your treatment on track.
Transform your smile with Invisalign and Central Mass Orthodontics
Are you ready to learn more about how Invisalign can transform your smile? Our team at Central Massachusetts Orthodontics is here to help! Contact our Worcester, Auburn, or Spencer office to schedule your consultation and get started today!