When it comes to using Invisalign to straighten your teeth, there’s little simpler: just place the molded-to-your-mouth “aligners” into your mouth and change them up every two weeks (so that your crooked teeth slowly turn themselves un-crooked).
But there are some rules when it comes to properly using Invisalign. Take a look below for what we like to think of as the “Ten Commandments of Using Invisalign.”
1. Thou Shalt Be of a Responsible Age and Mindset.
People using Invisalign need to be responsible enough to swap one mouth tray for another. That’s why most users tend to be at least 18 years of age or older. This doesn’t mean older teens (16 years of age and up) can’t use Invisalign, but whoever uses this teeth-straightening method needs to understand that swapping the trays must take place on schedule.
2. Thou Shalt Not Eat with the Trays in Thy Mouth.
You must remember to remove the trays when eating anything. And remember to put them back in when finished
3. Thou Shalt Remove the Trays When Drinking Anything But Water.
In other words, remove the trays when eating or drinking anything. Except when drinking plain water.
4. Thou Shalt Never Eat Very Hot Foods or Drinks With Invisalign.
Of course, we understand that some people (it will never be you, of course), eat food or drink a beverage other than water while wearing the trays. But if you do, make sure the food/drink isn’t hot. Hot foods or drinks could “melt” the plastic aligner a bit, making it fit less well to your mouth and decreasing the efficacy of the tray’s work to straighten your teeth.
5. Thou Shalt Never Drink Coffee, Tea, Colas, or Wine.
You know you’re supposed to remove the trays when drinking any beverage but water and the reason is thus: coffee, tea, wine, and colas can stain your teeth. So they also can stain the plastic trays, leaving them less than invisible.
6. Though Shalt Wear the Invisalign Trays Whilst Sleeping.
The only time you should remove the trays is to brush your teeth, eat and drink. You should wear the aligners a minimum of 22 to 23 hours a day, every day.
7. Thou Shalt Not Chew Gum Whilst Using Invisalign.
You probably can figure out why – the gum could become stuck to the aligners.
8. Thou Shalt Not Smoke Whilst Using Invisalign.
Like coffee, colas, tea, and wine, tobacco can stain the aligners, rendering them visible, and possibly even damaging them from the heat of the cigarette. You also shouldn’t chew tobacco while using the aligners. If you haven’t done so already, quit smoking before starting your Invisalign regimen.
9. Thou Shalt Clean the Aligners as Instructed by Thy Dentist.
Your dentist will give you clear and complete instructions on how to care properly for the trays. If in a pinch – and only in a pinch – clean the aligners by brushing them and rinsing with lukewarm water.
10. Thou Shalt Visit Thy Dentist Regularly as He Recommends.
You will need to visit your dentist every four to six weeks. This is much more frequently than the “every six months” timetable you may be familiar with when it comes to seeing a dentist, so be prepared for this frequent dental-visit schedule.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Great information on Invisalign. It’s virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you’re straightening your teeth. They are virtually invisible. No one may even notice that you're wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle. Invisalign aligners are removable. For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. However, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.