When your dentist gives you your first set of Invisalign aligners, they’ll tell you about an important rule you need to follow: always wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. Straightening your smile with Invisalign is a very gradual process, and it only works if your aligners stay in contact with your teeth most of the time. Are you worried about your ability to meet the 22-hour requirement? Here are 4 tips that can make things easier for you.
Eating is the main reason you’ll occasionally need to remove your aligners, so it’s important to make sure that each meal doesn’t last longer than it needs to. It’s recommended that you set aside 15 minutes for breakfast, 30 minutes for lunch, and a full hour for dinner. This will leave you with a spare 15 minutes for brushing and flossing as well as an occasional snack. Don’t forget to put your aligners back in once you’re done enjoying your food.
If you’re using Invisalign or another type of clear aligner, you may benefit from downloading the TrayMinder® app. This handy tool helps you keep track of how long your aligners have spent outside of your mouth each day. It can also send notifications whenever it’s time to switch to the next aligner in your treatment plan.
For the sake of oral hygiene, you need to periodically soak your aligners in lukewarm water mixed with cleaning crystals. A good time to do this is during dinner, which is when your aligners will be outside of your mouth for a relatively long time anyway. This kind of multitasking can make it easier to take full advantage of the brief 2 hours each day that your aligners will spend outside of your mouth.
Whenever you switch to a new aligner, you may experience a bit of soreness. This is an unavoidable result of the aligners putting pressure on your teeth to slowly move them toward their new positions. The good news is that putting in a new aligner right before bed can significantly reduce the discomfort you experience. As such, it’s less likely that you’ll be tempted to remove your aligners when you don’t need to.
Invisalign is a reliable teeth-straightening solution that depends heavily on patient compliance. Be proactive about getting into the right habits now so that you can be sure that you’re wearing your aligners as long as you need to.
Dr. John E. Russo was born in Orlando, and he received his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Florida. He enjoys being able to help his patients achieve healthier smiles in a variety of ways, and he’s proud to offer Invisalign to patients bothered by crooked teeth and misaligned bites. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Russo, visit his website or call (407) 470-1224.