How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?
Clean your aligners prior to each insertion. Use a soft bristle toothbrush with water and a small amount of toothpaste. You may find it easiest to clean the outside of your aligners by brushing them while they are still on your teeth, then remove your aligners to clean the inside surfaces. Be sure to rinse each aligner thoroughly with water after each cleaning. Denture cleaners or soaking aligners in mouthwash may change the surface of the aligner, causing it to become dull and more visible. DO NOT USE BOILING WATER OR MICROWAVE TO DISINFECT. This will melt the aligners.
When do I wear my Invisalign aligners?
Wear your aligners per Dr. Hodges’ instructions, usually 20-22 hours per day. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your aligners. Handle only ONE aligner at a time. Rinse your aligners when removing them from the packaging.
How do I place my Invisalign aligners?
First, Make sure you have the proper aligner—the upper for your top teeth and the lower for your bottom teeth. To help avoid confusion, each aligner is engraved with your unique case number, a “U” for upper and an “L” for lower, followed by the stage number. You may insert either the upper or lower aligner first. When inserting each aligner, gently push the aligners over your front teeth. Then apply equal pressure, using your fingertips, to the tops of your left and right molars (back teeth) until the aligner snaps into place. Do NOT bite your aligners into position. This may damage them.
How do I remove my Invisalign aligners?
On one side of your mouth, use your fingertip on the inside of your back molar to slowly pull the aligner from your molars. Repeat this process on the other side of your mouth before trying to completely remove the aligner. Once aligner is disengaged from the molars on both sides of your mouth, you should be able to slowly work your way forward gently prying the aligner away from your teeth with your fingertips. Immediately rinse aligner with water, shake off excess water, and store your aligners in the protective case provided with your starter kit. To help prevent damage to the aligners, avoid unnecessary removal. Take care in removing your aligners, especially if multiple attachments are being used. Do not use excessive force to bend or twist an aligner to get it off. DO NOT use any sharp object to remove your aligners.
How and when do I brush my teeth when wearing Invisalign aligners?
Remove your aligners for eating and drinking. (You do not need to remove your aligners to drink cool water.) Brush and floss your teeth after each meal or snack prior to reinserting your aligners. If you don’t have access to a toothbrush, you can simply rinse your mouth, and then clean your aligners by holding them under running water. It’s not the best way to clean, but it works in a pinch. Be sure to thoroughly clean your aligners at your earliest convenience.
Regular dental checkups and cleaning are recommended for the continued health of your teeth and gums.
How do I store my Invisalign aligners when I’m not wearing them?
Two aligner cases are included in your starter kit, a blue case and a red (or orange) case. We recommend that you store your Invisalign aligners in a case when they are not in your mouth. This will help protect them from loss and damage. Designate your blue aligner case for your “current stage.” Store the aligners you are currently using (e.g., stage #1) in this case.
When it is time to switch up to the next stage (e.g. stage #2), transfer the previous aligners (e.g. stage #1) to the red (or orange) case. Always keep the most recently used aligners in this case. If your current aligner is lost or broken, your doctor may recommend that you temporarily go back one stage and use the aligners in the red (or orange) case while a replacement is being made.
Note: Keep all of your older aligners in a clean plastic bag, or as instructed by your doctor. Keep them out of reach of small children and pets.
Does Invisalign make my teeth sore?
Most people experience tooth soreness for a few days after starting each new stage. This is normal. It is a sign that the Invisalign aligners are working, moving your teeth to their final destination. This soreness should gradually go away a couple of days after inserting the new aligner in the series.
Will wearing the Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Like all orthodontic treatments, the aligners may temporarily affect your speech, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp or minor speech impediment caused by your aligners should disappear.
What should I do if my new Invisalign aligner doesn’t snap onto my teeth?
Minor discrepancies between the new aligner and the current tooth position are normal, since the teeth need time to conform to the new aligner position. In the event of significant problems with aligner fit, inform your doctor.
Are there restrictions on what I can eat with the Invisalign aligners?
In general, no. Unlike traditional orthodontics, you can usually eat and drink whatever you desire because you remove your aligners while eating. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
Is it OK to drink hot or cold beverages while wearing Invisalign aligners?
Except for cool water, we recommend that you do not drink while wearing the aligners. This is to avoid formation of cavities and stains, or warping of the aligners with hot drinks and hot water.
Can I chew gum while wearing Invisalign aligners?
No. Gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all snacks and meals.
Will smoking or chewing tobacco stain the Invisalign aligners?
We discourage tobacco use while wearing aligners because of the possibility of aligner discoloration. And more importantly, it’s bad for your lungs.
Why do some of my Invisalign aligners have bumps or ridges on them?
Depending on your specific treatment, some of the movements may require either “attachments” or “ridges” to help the aligner grip the teeth. These bumps, or wells, are where the aligner grips the attachment the doctor places on your teeth. The attachments are actually small pieces of composite the doctor affixes to your teeth that are then gripped by bumps on your aligners. The ridges are slim indentations in your aligners. Your doctor will use one or both of these features to attempt to achieve the desired movement.
What if I lose or break an Invisalign aligner?
In the event that an aligner is lost or broken, you should immediately inform your doctor. Your doctor will probably tell you to start wearing your last set or next set of aligners immediately. He or she will possibly order you a new set of aligners to replace the ones you just lost, which
should arrive in a few days.
What if I lose or break an Invisalign attachment?
In the event that an attachment is lost or broken, you should contact Dr. Hodges office. This is not an emergency, but we may need to replace the attachment. Timing of this may depend on the stage of aligner or when your next scheduled appointment is planned.