At Beim Orthodontics, we know that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment option for orthodontic patients, which is why we are proud to clear aligners as an alternative to metal braces. Metal braces have earned their reputation of being able to fix even the most complex of issues, but they’re not for everyone. Some patients prefer a more discreet, flexible treatment option, such as our Invisalign or Spark clear aligners.
These removable, practically invisible orthodontic appliances are low-maintenance, but there are still some things to keep in mind if you are considering clear aligners or are already a patient. We have put together our top 5 tips to help you get the most out of your Invisalign or Spark treatment for a beautiful, healthy smile!
1.) You’ve Got to Wear Them Every Day!
Besides their clear aesthetic, one of the reasons clear aligners have grown in popularity is their removability! The trays can be removed for special occasions and eating, which means 0 food restrictions! However, the trays need to be worn for about twenty to twenty-two hours a day, so you must remember to always put them back in whenever you take them out! Clear aligners can, on average, straighten your teeth quicker than braces, but if you neglect or forget to wear them, your treatment time could be extended.
2.) Proper Oral Hygiene is a Must!
Your clear aligners, unfortunately, do not protect your teeth from germs. Brushing and flossing twice a day is just as important as it was before you began treatment! Bacteria and plaque can build up on your teeth and gums and cause tooth decay, infections, gum disease, and even tooth loss! All you need to do is remove your aligners, and then you can perform your oral hygiene routine like normal! Developing good habits can rid your mouth of germs and keep you healthy throughout treatment so that your smile is exactly how you imagined it would be at the end of treatment!
3.) Don’t Forget to Clean Your Aligners!
When you remove your aligners to brush and floss, you should also clean your aligners. Bacteria and plaque can transfer back and forth between the trays and your teeth, undoing all the work you did when you brushed and flossed! The germs can also give your trays a foul smell and taste, which is not encouraging or inviting when you need to wear them for hours a day.
Don’t be discouraged, though! Cleaning your Invisalign trays and Spark aligners is super quick and easy. Here are some tips to make it as easy as possible:
- After removing them from your mouth, run the aligners under lukewarm water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold, as extreme temperatures can warp the trays.
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush separate from the one used to brush your teeth, gently brush the trays using unscented, antibacterial soap.
- Even though you remove the aligners to eat and drink anything other than water, the residue on your teeth can stain your trays. To keep them as invisible as possible, we recommend rinsing the mouth with water to rinse the mouth of any leftover particles or residue that can stain the teeth or trays.
- If you are an Invisalign patient, you might consider using Invisalign Cleaning Crystals for a deeper clean. If you are a Spark patient, they do not recommend using any cleaning solution on your aligners.
- Do not use toothpaste on your trays! They are often too harsh and full of microplastics that can damage the surface of the trays. These scratches can make them uncomfortable and more visible when worn.
Remember!: No matter the brand of your clear aligner, if you want to use any product on your appliances, ask Dr. Beim first!
4.) Protective Carrying Cases Protect Your Investment and Your Treatment Schedule!
The thin, small, and transparent design of the aligners is perfect for their invisible aesthetic, but it also makes them easy to lose and damage! Clear aligners end up in restaurant trashcans, stepped on, chewed up by pets, and suffer through other horrors every day. The easiest way to protect them is to put them in protective carrying cases.
Unfortunately, neither program comes with replacement trays. If you lose or damage your trays, you must wait for a new one to be made. To prepare for this, we advise our patients to hold on to their old trays after they advance to the next one. The old tray might need to be worn if you ever need to wait for replacements to prevent teeth from regressing. It is best to avoid needing a replacement as much as possible because it can prolong treatment.
5.) Change Trays on Time, Not a Day Earlier!
When you go home with your clear aligners, you are sent home with a series of trays. Each pair is worn for one to two weeks before you move on to the next one in the set. We understand it can be tempting to try to speed the process along by switching to the next tray a day or two early or skipping a tray entirely.
We strongly advise against this and discourage any attempts to speed up the teeth-moving process. Dr. Beim has created a customized care plan just for you so that you can have your beautiful and healthy smile as quickly and safely as possible. Any attempt to hurry it along only slow it down.
Changing your aligners too soon could cause unnecessary pain, and trying to force on an aligner that does not fit could break or damage it! Wearing the wrong tray for too long can alter your teeth’s movement path, resulting in an adjustment to your treatment plan. Both scenarios could prolong treatment and risk changing your final result!
More questions? See us at Beim Orthodontics!
Quality care starts with quality treatment. At Beim Orthodontics, we are passionate about orthodontics and do not take our patient’s trust in us to transform their smiles lightly. We always keep it reel so that your orthodontic experience goes as swimmingly as possible. Call or visit us today to schedule a free consultation with our welcoming and skilled team to learn if clear aligners are right for you!