Here you'll find tips for adults and teens on living with Invisalign and getting the best results from treatment.
Straightening your teeth with clear aligners can offer more flexibility than traditional braces in many aspects of your life. Use the tips below to navigate your treatment with Invisalign.
- How many hours a day do I have to wear my aligners?
Although there are times when you do have to remove your aligners, including when you eat or clean your teeth, it's important that you wear them for most of the day.
Taking your aligners off for more than just practical necessities could cause you to quickly reduce the hours you need to wear them each day. And, simply put, Invisalign aligners won't work unless you wear them.
Invisalign recommends keeping your aligners in for 20 to 22 hours a day, but we typically recommend at least 22 hours a day.
Speak to your orthodontist for specific directions for your unique treatment.
- Should I put in my new aligners at night or in the morning?
A new set of aligners will put pressure on your teeth that will usually cause some pain or discomfort. The pressure of the trays gradually shifts your teeth, and so this discomfort means Invisalign is working.
One way to minimize the discomfort that comes with a new aligner tray is to start using it at bedtime. This allows you to sleep through those first several hours that are typically the most painful.
When you wake up, your teeth may feel a bit sore, but the worst of it passed while you were dreaming about your new smile.
- How often do I change my Invisalign aligner trays?
Invisalign trays are typically changed out every one to two weeks, and it's important you follow the intervals specified by your treatment plan.
Write it down in your planner or calendar, or set a reminder on your phone. You can also download a mobile app specifically designed to set reminders for following your Invisalign treatment plan.
- Will my speech be different when I'm wearing the Invisalign aligners?
Invisalign clear aligners occupy a small amount of space in your mouth. This may create minor lisps when you’re talking, particularly when speaking quickly.
Most patients adjust within a few hours or days and overcome this minor obstacle.
- Should I keep the previous aligners for any reason?
Yes. We recommend you keep the previous aligners!
You never want to risk being without aligners to wear since your teeth could quickly start to shift back to their previous state. So, if your current set gets lost or damaged somehow, you always have the previous set as a backup.
- What happens if I damage or lose a set of aligners?
It typically takes about a week to get a replacement set of aligners made and sent to you.
With Invisalign, this is too long of a period to go without wearing aligners. If this happens, we recommend you go back to the previous set while you wait for the replacement.
When you get your replacement set of aligners, you’ll need to restart the planned period for that set and adjust your reminders for when to put in future aligners.
For more information, please talk to your orthodontist.
- Should I keep an extra case with me for when I remove my retainers?
During treatment, you will remove your aligners from time to time. And, when you do, you should put them into a case. So, we encourage you to carry one with you at all times.
We recommend you do not wrap up your trays in a napkin or kleenex for a multitude of reasons.
Ask your orthodontist for guidance.
- Can I drink coffee or tea during Invisalign treatment?
The only beverage which should be consumed while your aligners are in your mouth is water... but not super hot water which can affect the material the aligners are made of.
Do not drink coffee or tea with your aligners in place because it can:
- Increase cavity risk
- Cause staining
- Warp the aligner material.
- Can I smoke with my aligners in?
We strongly recommend that you avoid smoking with your Invisalign aligners in since it is likely to stain them.
- How do I clean my aligners?
Invisalign clear aligners can lose some of their clarity if they aren’t cleaned properly or are subjected to foods or beverages that can stain them. Unclean aligners can also develop an odor and feel icky in your mouth.
There are a few options for cleaning your Invisalign aligners:
Use the Invisalign® Aligner Cleaning System. This method takes about 15 minutes to remove plaque from your aligners using special cleaning crystals.
Use antibacterial soap and warm water. Make sure the water is not hot since it could cause your aligners to become soft and to warp.
Use toothpaste. You can also use toothpaste to clean your aligners, but you should be careful with this method since some kinds of toothpaste contain abrasive substances that could scratch your aligners and reduce the clarity of the material.
- How will wearing Invisalign affect my diet?
Wearing Invisalign aligners can affect your diet in a number of ways.
When you only have 2 hours of throughout the day to spend with your aligners removed (ie. on meals and cleaning your teeth), you may find that you start avoid snacking.
Talk to your general health care provider or nutritionist about whether you need to set up an nutritional plan for the duration of your treatment.
Also, your mouth may salivate excessively when your aligners are in, which could lead to some dehydration. So, we recommend increasing your water consumption. Water should be the beverage of choice when you are wearing your aligners.
- Can I chew gum with Invisalign aligners?
The answer is simple... no!
Chewing gum with your aligners in could stick to the plastic and potentially cause problems.