Starting an orthodontic treatment in St. Louis might feel daunting at first, but once you get over the first month or two, it’s a breeze. If you’re starting Invisalign treatment soon, you might have dozens of questions about what your treatment will look like. To help jumpstart your journey to a straighter smile on an easier note, we’ve compiled a list of tips to follow throughout your journey. These tips will make your treatment and maintaining good oral health as simple as possible.

closeup of a woman preparing to put her Invisalign clear braces in her mouth

1. Only Take Your Aligners Out for Eating, Drinking, and Cleaning

Just because your aligners are removable doesn’t mean you should remove them whenever you want. To stay on track with your treatment, you need to wear your aligners at least 20 to 22 hours per day. That leaves two to four hours free for eating all your meals, brushing and flossing your teeth, and drinking things outside of water. This might sound like a lot of time, but once you start a timer every time you sit down to eat, drink or brush your teeth, you will soon realize how quickly you use that small window up.

If you fail to wear your aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours per day, your treatment might take longer than your original plan. The longer you keep your aligners out, the longer it will take for your teeth to move. Listen to our dentists at Smile On Dental Studio in Richmond Heights, MO and wear your aligners for the recommended time.

2. Store Your Aligners Properly

We’re sure you’ve heard horror stories about teens who lost their retainers because their dogs ate them. Well, the same is true with Invisalign aligners. Dogs will eat them if you leave them out, or you might lose them. Every time you need to remove your aligners, whether to eat, drink, or brush your teeth, it’s important that you store your aligners in the provided case. This will prevent you from losing them or from a dog finding their new favorite chew toy.

If you do happen to lose or damage an aligner, this will put a pause on your treatment while you wait for a replacement aligner to arrive. Therefore, it can cause your treatment to take even longer than planned.

3. Clean Your Aligners Daily

Even though you will only wear your aligners for an average of two weeks, you still need to keep them clean. Otherwise, plaque and bacteria will build up and cause them to look stained and give you bad breath. To prevent this from occurring, you need to clean your aligners daily by soaking them in cleaning crystals and gently brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can do this every night before going to bed and every morning when you brush and floss your teeth. This will help you prevent cavities and maintain fresh breath throughout your treatment.

Without regularly cleaning your aligners, it’s very likely you will experience bad breath, plaque buildup, and even potentially gum disease and cavities. If you can’t commit to regularly cleaning your aligners, we don’t recommend Invisalign treatment for you.

4. Brush and Floss Regularly

With Invisalign, you have no excuse not to brush and floss your teeth since your aligners are removable. Thankfully, brushing and flossing with Invisalign is as easy as brushing and flossing without Invisalign. Keep up your regular brushing and flossing routine during your treatment to keep your aligners fresh and to prevent oral health problems. We also suggest brushing after every meal if possible to remove debris from your teeth and to prevent it from getting on your aligners. If you can’t brush after a meal or drink, rinsing your mouth with water or quickly chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum can help.

5. Don’t Skip Dental Cleanings

There’s also no excuse to skip your dental cleanings. With removable aligners, all you have to do to visit the dentist is simply take them out for your cleaning. You don’t have to deal with the hassle of having your wire removed. Continue your same oral hygiene routine including dental cleanings to ensure your oral health doesn’t decline and to address oral health problems in their tracks.

6. Change Your Aligners in the Correct Order During the Right Time Frame

When you receive your Invisalign aligners, we will tell you how often to wear each set. Typically, patients wear each set for about two weeks before moving onto the next set. It’s important that you follow our recommended schedule and move onto the correct set. If you try to pop in an aligner that’s for two months from now, it’s not going to fit in your mouth. Sticking with our schedule and in the correct order will ensure your treatment moves along in the correct time frame.

Get Invisalign in St. Louis Today

If you’re ready to straighten your teeth with a nearly invisible braces alternative, what are you waiting for? Contact Smile On Dental Studio at (314) 678-7876 to book a consultation to learn more about Invisalign and to start your treatment. In as little as six months, you can have a brand new smile!