Many people are using Invisalign plastic aligners to straighten their teeth. The aligners are transparent, so they are not very noticeable in the mouth. Additionally, they are removable, so patients can brush their teeth and enjoy a meal without the need to navigate around a bulky orthodontic appliance.
Still, although there are many advantages that Invisalign offers, patients may not maximize their treatment process if they don't know the following.
Invisalign Patients Should Floss Daily
Many dental patients neglect the flossing portion of their dental hygiene regimen. However, if you are being treated with Invisalign aligners, your need to floss is even greater.
Since the aligners fit securely over your teeth, any debris that is left in the interdental spaces and along your gum line may be trapped by the aligners until you finally floss. For people without aligners, their saliva may rinse away some of the debris and help neutralize the decay-causing acids from the plaque. However, your saliva does not access your teeth as freely due to the barrier formed by the aligners. Thus, it is important to floss each day.
Patients Should Fully Adhere to Their Treatment Plan
Multiple aligning trays are provided to realign your teeth. However, the trays must be worn in a specific order and for the prescribed amount of time. Your dentist will advise you of how long you should wear each set of aligners. If you don't wear the aligners for the designated period, you will delay the proper positioning of your teeth. Additionally, skipping aligner sets to try to advance your alignment more quickly is also counterproductive.
Patients Should Expect a Lisp During the First Weeks of Treatment
During the first days and weeks of your treatment, you may speak with a lisp. Some patients may even abandon their treatment because of concerns with how the aligners may affect their speech. However, the lisp improves with time. As you practice speaking with the aligners in place, you quickly become accustomed to the appliance.
Patients Should Wash Their Aligners With Soap and Water
Since the aligners fit in your mouth, you may feel that brushing the appliances with toothpaste is the proper way to clean them. However, toothpaste is too abrasive for the plastic material and can leave your aligners with tiny scratches that can trap plaque and bacteria. Instead of toothpaste, gently wash your aligners with soap and water. Just be sure to rinse them well before wearing them.
To learn more about orthodontic treatments with Invisalign, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.