If you've been putting off having your teeth straightened because you don't want to deal with the metal brackets and wires, you need to talk to your dentist about Invisalign braces. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign braces use plastic aligners to gently move your teeth back into their proper position. Invisalign treatment is particularly beneficial for adults who worry about how braces will affect their appearance while they're at work. Once you've decided to start treatment with Invisalign, you'll need to know how to continue caring for your teeth during the process. Here are some simple instructions that will help you care for your teeth and your aligners during treatment.
Limit the Time You're Without Them
Because the Invisalign aligners are removable, many people wrongly believe that they can do without them for a good portion of the day. Unfortunately, that's not the case, at all. In fact, for Invisalign to work properly, they should be left in for at least 22 hours a day. The other two hours can be used for eating, brushing and flossing, and social activities. Other than that, you should have your Invisalign aligners on your teeth.
Floss Your Teeth After Each Meal
If you're not in the habit of flossing your teeth after each meal, you need to change your habits. Failing to floss after each meal allows remnants of your food to remain between your teeth. Once you put your aligners back in your mouth, those particles of food get held in place, right up against your teeth. As your mouth warms up, the bacteria begin to grow, which can cause serious damage to your teeth and gums. In fact, it can lead to gum disease. You can prevent those problems by flossing your teeth after each meal while you're going through orthodontic treatment with Invisalign aligners.
Don't Try to Rush the Process
Once you begin treatment, your orthodontist will provide you with a complete sequence of aligners. During your treatment, you'll change aligners as your teeth begin to shift into their proper position. You may be tempted to change your aligners more frequently as a way to speed up the process. Unfortunately, that won't speed up the process. In fact, it could slow things down. To make sure that your treatment proceeds at the right pace, be sure to follow the schedule that your orthodontist provides you with.
Keep Your Aligners Clean
While you're going through treatment, it's important that you keep your aligners clean. Bacteria and odors can build up in them if they're not kept clean. To keep them clean and sanitary, simply place them in a bowl of clean water and wash them with some mild soap. Once they're clean, rinse them thoroughly, and place them back on your teeth.