A simple smile goes a long way. It sets the tone for a great first impression when you meet someone new. It helps you communicate the right mood while you speak to others.
If you’re so self-conscious about your teeth that you hold back your smile, it can affect every interaction you have.
Instead of letting their teeth limit them, more and more people are choosing Invisalign braces. To make the most of your alignment, read up on these Invisalign tips.
1. Choose Your Orthodontist Wisely
Many people underestimate the impact their orthodontist has on their Invisalign correction. They assume that because they get all the aligners from the manufacturer, they don’t need help from their orthodontist.
This is far from the truth.
First, your orthodontist needs to asses your smile. Only their expertise will let you know if you’re a candidate for Invisalign.
Second, your orthodontist needs to take accurate impressions to make sure your aligners have a precise fit.
As you go through the alignment process, your orthodontist will also oversee your progress. We’ll make sure everything is working correctly and that your teeth stay healthy.
Finally, when you’ve reached your results, we’ll be able to counsel you about how to maintain them.
For all these reasons, make sure you choose an experienced Invisalign orthodontist.
2. Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect
There’s no way around it: Invisalign will disrupt your speech. Even as low-profile as the aligners are, having anything in your mouth can make you speak differently.
The differences are more clear with some patients than others. For that reason, it’s a good idea to practice speaking with your aligners in.
When you first receive your aligners, perform speech exercises when you’re alone. This gives your mouth time to get used to the aligners.
Some people take to the aligners more quickly than others, so be patient. Regardless, it’s a good idea to avoid starting Invisalign right before a big speech or presentation.
3. Mind the Seams
When you start wearing Invisalign, the edges of the aligners may feel odd in your mouth. Many people find that their tongue rubs against those edges.
This can create cuts on your tongue, which can become painful canker sores.
The problem often improves after your mouth gets used to the aligners. You don’t have to suffer in the meantime, though. You can use dental wax to cover the rough edges and make them smooth.
4. Try Chewing Exercises
When you first put in a new aligner, it won’t be a perfect fit for your teeth’s current placement. After all, the whole purpose is to move your teeth to a new position.
One way to help your teeth adjust to a new aligner is to use orthodontic chewies. When you chew on these small, soft chewies, it helps your teeth mold to the aligners.
That isn’t the only benefit of chewing exercises, though. They also massage your gums and promote blood flow throughout the gums. This helps your teeth and gums stay healthy.
On top of this, chewing exercises can reduce the discomfort in your gums. Some discomfort is normal when you’re pushing your teeth into a new position, but the chewies can help.
5. Keep Sores Small
As we mentioned above, Invisalign tends to lead to canker sores in your mouth. The problem isn’t as much of an issue as it with traditional metal braces, but it still exists.
While the trick above with the dental wax will help, there are also steps you can take after a canker sore appears.
One option is using an antibacterial mouthwash. This may sting on your sore but it will help it heal more quickly.
Another choice is to use medications that are specifically meant for canker sores. You can buy these medications over the counter and apply them to your sore to reduce the pain and help it heal.
6. Have a Tracking Process
The whole idea of braces (including Invisalign) is to hold your teeth in one place for a long time so they adjust to it. For that reason, you need to wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours per day.
It seems like two hours without your aligners would be plenty of time. Keep in mind, though, that you need to divide that two hours among all your eating, dental care, and drinking non-clear liquids.
By the time you take ten minutes to eat breakfast, 20 minutes for coffee, two minutes to brush your teeth, and so on, it’s difficult to keep your time straight.
Find a time tracking system that works for you. It could be an app on your phone or a simple notepad. The best system to use is any that you can keep using day after day.
7. Take Your Oral Health to a New Level
Invisalign aligners do great things for your teeth cosmetically. They do have their risks when it comes to your teeth’s health, though.
If there are any food remnants, your aligners will keep them from washing away from your teeth. In addition, the aligners create a more compact, moist, warm environment. That makes it the perfect place for bacteria to thrive, which can lead to tooth decay.
This is why you need to make oral health a priority while using Invisalign. Don’t skip any flossing or brushing sessions, and add therapeutic mouthwash to your daily routine.
It’s also a good idea to keep a travel-sized toothbrush with you. Use it when you’re out and about to make sure there are no food particles on your teeth before you put your aligners in after eating.
Making the Most of Your Invisalign with Invisalign Tips
Without a doubt, Invisalign is a popular way for adults and teens alike to get the smiles they’ve always wanted. It doesn’t work miracles on its own, though.
The Invisalign tips above can help you make the most of your alignment to get better, healthier results.
If you’re ready to start your Invisalign journey, call our orthodontic office to schedule your first appointment!