The Ultimate Guide to Invisalign® Treatment: Dos and Don’ts for a Radiant Smile

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woman brushing teeth and holding Invisalign clear aligner on orange background

In the quest for a perfect smile, many people turn to orthodontic treatments. Invisalign, a system that uses clear aligners to straighten teeth, stands out as a popular choice. These clear aligning trays offer a discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional braces, which many patients find too bulky and noticeable for comfort. 

At Lakewood Dental Group, you can explore this lightweight, virtually invisible treatment with top-rated dentists in Dallas, TX. Getting started couldn’t be easier – just contact Drs. Mihir Patel and Shaun Sigurdson at (214) 827-1885 to schedule your consultation now!

While Invisalign is a relatively simple and straightforward treatment, achieving the best results requires commitment and adherence to certain guidelines. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the dos and don’ts of Invisalign treatment to ensure a successful and radiant smile transformation.

The Dos of Invisalign Treatment

There are plenty of things patients can do to accomplish a straighter smile better and faster. Here is a list of Invisalign dos:

Do Wear Aligners Consistently

One of the key factors in the success of clear aligner treatment is wearing the aligners consistently and for the recommended time daily. There is research suggesting that, for the best results, patients should wear their aligners for no less than 20 to 22 hours per day. This means patients should only remove their aligners for meals and oral hygiene. 

Consistency is crucial for the aligners to exert the necessary pressure on teeth for effective movement. To speed up treatment, patients can also replace their aligners more frequently (e.g. weekly vs. bi-weekly).

Do Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is important at any time, but it is particularly important during clear aligner therapy. Neglecting one’s oral hygiene could lead to unintended issues (like developing cavities or gum disease), thereby delaying Invisalign progress. 

To maintain optimal oral hygiene, our team recommends:

  • Brushing teeth after eating, including after snacks and meals 
  • Flossing daily to remove hard-to-reach debris
  • Rinsing with an alcohol-free, fluoridated mouthwash

Do Clean Aligners Regularly

Invisalign aligners can become a fantastic place for oral bacteria to grow and thrive if not cleaned properly. So, rinse them with lukewarm water after removal, brush them daily, and use a mild denture cleaner for a deeper clean

Please note: using hot water could cause damage to aligners and should be avoided at all costs.

Do Follow the Dentist’s or Orthodontist’s Instructions

An Invisalign doctor will provide specific instructions tailored to each patient’s treatment plan. It is crucial to follow these guidelines diligently. This includes changing aligners at the prescribed intervals, attending scheduled appointments, and adhering to any additional recommendations.

Do Keep Aligners Safe When Not in Use

When removing aligners, always store them in their designated case. Avoid placing them in napkins or tissues, as this increases the risk of accidental disposal. 

Keeping aligners tucked away safely in their case also protects them from damage or loss, which could save patients extra time and money.

Do Address Discomfort Promptly

It’s normal to experience some pressure or slight discomfort while wearing a new set of aligners. However, persistent pain or sharp edges could indicate a potential problem. 

If discomfort persists, contact your Invisalign dentist promptly to address any concerns and ensure treatment stays on track.

Do Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is essential for optimal oral and bodily function, especially during clear aligner therapy. Hydration helps alleviate dry mouth and ensures aligners remain clear and free of stains.

The Don’ts of Invisalign Treatment

Knowing what to avoid is equally important as knowing what to do during Invisalign treatment. Here is a list of Invisalign don’ts:

Don’t Neglect Oral Hygiene

Failing to maintain good dental hygiene (i.e. regular brushing and flossing) can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Once tooth decay sets in, patients may need to stop Invisalign treatment until the issue is resolved. 

Neglecting a dental care routine can undermine the effectiveness of Invisalign treatment and compromise one’s overall oral health. Not only that, but it can delay progress, potentially adding weeks or months to the patient’s expected treatment timeline.

Don’t Eat or Drink with Aligners In

One of the significant advantages of Invisalign is the ability to remove the aligners for snacks and meals. However, some patients may try to save time by eating with their aligners in

Always avoid eating or drinking (except water) while wearing aligners. Wearing them while eating can lead to staining and damage. So, patients should always remove their aligners before enjoying snacks and meals, and they should clean their teeth and aligners before reinserting them.

Don’t Forget to Brush Before Reinserting Aligners

Whether it’s a quick snack or a five-course feast, patients must always brush their teeth after eating and before putting their aligners back in their mouths. Failing to do so can trap food particles against the teeth, increasing the risk of cavities and odorous breath.

Don’t Use Harsh Cleaning Agents

While it’s essential to keep aligners clean, patients should avoid using harsh cleaning agents, which include toothpaste. Many toothpastes contain harsh, abrasive ingredients that can scratch and damage the delicate aligner material. 

Instead, gently cleanse aligners with a mild denture cleaner, warm water, and a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Don’t Skip Appointments

Regular check-ups with an Invisalign dentist are crucial for monitoring progress and making any necessary adjustments. Skipping appointments can result in setbacks or complications that could have been prevented with timely intervention.

Don’t Play with Aligners

Resist the temptation to play with or remove aligners unnecessarily. Constant removal and reinsertion can disrupt the treatment process and slow down progress. Only remove them for meals, snacks, and oral hygiene.

Don’t Ignore Issues with Aligner Fit

Ill-fitting aligners or aligners with sharp edges may require adjustment. Patients should contact their dental providers if they experience discomfort for longer than four days with their new aligners. Otherwise, ignoring these issues could lead to complications and hinder the success of treatment.

Meet Our Invisalign Dentists in Dallas, TX

Invisalign treatment can be a transformative journey towards a straighter and more confident smile. By adhering to the dos and avoiding the don’ts outlined in this guide, you can maximize the effectiveness of your treatment and achieve the best possible results. If you’d like to determine if this treatment is right for you, contact Lakewood Dental Group online or call our team at (214) 827-1885