Aligning your smile doesn't just boost your self-confidence, it can also improve the clarity of your speech and your bite pattern. Invisalign is a nearly invisible aligner system that allows you to avoid the hassles of traditional braces. However, you still need to use the aligners properly and take good care of them to see results. Your Invisalign dentist in Alexandria will teach you the basics of taking good care of your aligners. They may not mention all the things you need to avoid doing too. Use this list of don'ts during your Invisalign treatment to ensure nothing goes wrong and that you don't have to replace damaged aligners along the way.
It's fine to drink plain water with your aligners in. Even mineral or flavored water can pose a problem by leaving residues on the material. You can use a straw to help keep the liquid away from the aligners and your teeth, but it's best to remove the aligners temporarily to drink coffee, red wine, soda, or anything else with a color to it. This eliminates the need to promptly rinse and clean off the Invisalign device as well. If you can't avoid sipping something while it's in, do your best to use a straw and direct the liquid to the back of your mouth so it can't make contact with your teeth.
Many people choose Invisalign and similar programs over braces because of the lack of food restrictions. With traditional braces, you have to avoid many foods that could get stuck in the wires or damage the brackets attached to the teeth. When using the Invisalign system, you still need to remove your aligners before snacking or enjoying a meal. Even chewing gum with the aligners in could damage them. Since you need to keep your aligners in as long as possible during each day, you might need to avoid habits like chewing sunflower seeds or gum until the treatment is over with.
It's rarely an issue with younger patients seeking Invisalign in Alexandria, but adults looking to adjust their smile may find that they need smoking cessation first. Smoking or vaping while wearing the aligners will quickly discolor them and cause the material to grow brittle. This limits how much pressure it can actually apply to the teeth to move them into place. If you can't avoid smoking or vaping entirely, make sure to remove the aligner during the process. Wearing nicotine patches can help at least reduce how often you need to take the aligners out to take a smoke break.
The Invisalign aligners need routine cleaning multiple times a day to stay pristine and healthy for your teeth. Bacteria can grow if you don't clean them often enough. Use a mild, unscented soap that's designed for cleaning dishes for the best results. Your dentist may also have a cleanser that they recommend for the aligners that you can get through their office. Avoid anything colored or scented and don't use toothpaste, which is too abrasive. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to get in all the nooks between tooth shapes so that there are no bits of food or residue left behind. Soak the aligners in a glass with denture cleaning tablets at least once a day for about 30 minutes as well to keep them fresh and flexible.
Leaving the devices out at night is one of the top issues that a pediatric dentist in Alexandria will see with younger patients. It is a little tricky to get used to having something in your mouth at night, especially if you've never used a nightguard before. But wearing the aligners at night is the key to actually retaining the movements of the teeth into their correct positions. Only wearing them during the day will fail to make enough of a change in the alignment.
The material used for manufacturing the Invisalign retainers is sensitive to heat of all kinds. You don't want to place the aligner too close to a hair dryer, a hot stove top, or even drop it in a hot beverage. The material can quickly deform and can't be easily reshaped. You'll need to order a replacement, even if you just leave the device in the car on a hot day. Make sure you have a convenient carrying case for the aligners and always place them safely in it when brushing your teeth or enjoying hot drinks. This will keep you from losing them or accidentally damaging them while you're busy with something else.
Aside from accidental damage, your pediatric dentist has likely heard many stories of how Invisalign aligners were lost over the course of treatment. No matter where the aligner has gone, you can't simply open the next set of aligners and start using them. Your dentist will need to check the alignment of your teeth and determine if it's the right time to switch. If not, they'll have to order a replacement for you of the aligner that was lost. This ensures you can continue the treatment with minimal discomfort and no issues with loss of alignment. Contact your dentist as soon as you can't locate the aligner, even if you think you'll find it. Going more than a few days without regular use of the Invisalign system will cause a major delay in your treatment.
Help your child get the smile of their dreams with Invisalign treatment here at Super Kids Dentistry. We want to be your pediatric dentist in Alexandria.
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