The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Invisalign

Woman holding her Invisalign clear aligners

Straightening your teeth with Invisalign® clear braces can transform your appearance in as little as a year, but only if you wear them as prescribed. Because Invisalign is so innovative, compliance with your dentist’s instructions is much easier and gives optimal results. This guide to the do’s and don’ts of wearing Invisalign will ensure the success of your treatment and give you lasting results.

Dos of Wearing Clear Braces

DO Wear Your Invisalign 22 Hours a Day

Gentle, continual pressure against your teeth is what makes the aligners effective. If you don’t wear them 20-22 hours daily, there isn’t enough sustained pressure for effectiveness. You need to sleep with them in your mouth and while awake. Only take out your aligners to eat, drink, and brush your teeth for optimal results.

DO Brush and Floss Before Putting in Your Aligners

If you pop your aligner in over dirty teeth, food particles, and bacteria get trapped in it. This debris is a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria that can damage teeth. Do not neglect cleaning your aligner before wearing or you are encouraging gingivitis and cavities.

DO Keep Your Aligners Clean

Always brush your Invisalign® aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day, then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Like your teeth, your aligners can accumulate bacteria and plaque that can transfer to your teeth.

DO Limit Snacking and Staining Drinks

Snacking every few hours or drinking coffee or tea throughout the day isn’t a good idea when wearing aligners. Coffee and tea can quickly stain your aligner if you leave it in while drinking. You must remove the aligner every time you have coffee or a snack, which means changing your daily habits. They are less effective if you constantly remove your aligners throughout the day to drink or snack.

DO Wear Invisalign During Sports Activities

Most individuals can wear their Invisalign clear braces during sports such as soccer, swimming, and jogging. The aligners are designed to fit snugly over the teeth and will not fall out. If you are playing a sport that requires a mouthguard, you will have to remove your aligners for your mouthguard to fit correctly. You may also have to get your mouthguard refitted periodically as your teeth shift. If you use a mouthguard, be sure to immediately switch back to your aligners when you are done playing or competing.

DO Store Your Aligners Properly

Although your aligners are strong enough to realign your teeth slowly, they are not indestructible. Always store them in the provided case when they are not in your mouth. This protects them from accidental damage from being stepped on, dropped, or warped. The case also reduces the chances you will lose them and protects them from germs on other surfaces.

DO Stick with Your Aligner Schedule

Your dentist has developed a schedule for changing your aligners based on your specific alignment needs, the current position of your teeth, and your oral health. While it may be tempting to switch aligners sooner, this does not speed up the process and can cause unnecessary pain.

You should also avoid prolonging treatment by wearing an individual aligner for longer than prescribed. If you travel for work or pleasure, pack any aligners you need to switch to so that you have them at the appropriate time.

Don’ts of Wearing Clear Braces

Do NOT Neglect Wearing Them

While leaving your aligner out for photographs or a special event is acceptable, do not do this frequently. If you take them out for “just a few minutes,” you will likely forget about them or put off putting them back in. The longer they are not on your teeth, the less effective your aligner will be. If you tend to take out your aligners and forget to put them back in, consider setting a timer on your phone to remind you.

Do NOT Expose Your Invisalign® Aligners to Potential Damage

Too much light or heat can warp your aligners, damaging the fit. Setting your clear braces on any surface without putting them in their protective case exposes them to bacteria, dust, and germs.

Do NOT Eat or Drink with Invisalign in Place

It may be tempting to drink with your aligners in, but unless you’re drinking water, you will end up with stains on your clear braces, making them more noticeable. Bacteria also accumulates in the crevices of the aligner, which can promote tooth decay. Eating is definitely a bad idea, as clear braces are not designed to withstand the force of biting and chewing. You can easily crack your aligner, making it unusable.

Do NOT Smoke When Wearing Clear Braces

Invisalign aligners are designed to improve your smile. Smoking defeats the purpose in two ways. First, if you have to take smoking breaks throughout the day, you are probably not wearing your aligner enough for it to be effective. On the other hand, if you smoke with your aligner in place, it will end up with tobacco stains, making them more evident to others.

Do NOT Miss Appointments

Invisalign reduces the number of appointments you need with your dentist but does not eliminate them. They need to monitor your progress to ensure Invisalign is working according to your treatment plan and make any necessary changes if warranted. Regular checkups also allow your dentist to check for any issues, such as infection or an aligner that is warped or dirty.

Invisalign® is one of the most comfortable, effective ways to realign your teeth if worn faithfully 20-22 hours a day. If you have any questions about how to care for yours, our office is happy to answer them. If you are interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign clear braces, we can show you before and after results you’ll love. Contact our office at Charlotte Dentist Office Phone Number 704-378-6591 to schedule a consultation.

For more information about The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Invisalign or to schedule a consultation, call our office in Charlotte, NC at Charlotte Dentist Office Phone Number 704-378-6591 or schedule an appointment.