Invisalign treatment can deliver a complete smile makeover while accommodating the needs and lifestyles of busy patients. Fewer trips to the dentist are required than with traditional metal braces, and most patients have their new smile in less than 18 months.
For optimal results and good oral health, keeping the Invisalign aligner trays clean is essential. Read on to learn more.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a system of clear, removable aligners that straighten your teeth without the use of metal brackets and wires. The aligners are virtually undetectable, so you can smile with confidence!
Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic trays custom-made to fit over your teeth. Each tray is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next one in the series. This sequence continues until you have achieved your desired result.
Invisalign works by shifting your teeth into place gradually and gently, allowing you to comfortably wear each tray for about two weeks before moving on to the next one.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign is an excellent option for those who want to straighten their teeth but are concerned about the visibility of metal braces. Invisalign aligners are custom-made to fit your mouth perfectly and allow you to eat whatever you want.
Invisalign is ideal for patients who:
- Don’t want metal braces.
- Are looking for fast, efficient treatment.
- Need mild or moderate corrections or adjustments in their bite or smile.
- Have crooked teeth but don’t need significant dental or orthodontic work.
Why It's Essential to Keep Your Invisalign Trays Clean
Invisalign trays are easy to clean and maintain, and it's crucial that you don't skip this step. By keeping your trays clean and free of food particles and other debris, you'll help prevent problems with your treatment.
Keeping your Invisalign trays clean:
- Helps prevent tartar and plaque from building up on the tray.
- Helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Keeps your smile looking fresh and clean.
- Helps prevent unpleasant odors.
- Reduces any discomfort caused by food particles getting stuck between your teeth.
- Reduces any risk of infection.
How to Clean Invisalign Aligner Trays, Step-by-Step
Begin by washing your hands thoroughly.
Step One: Rinse
Rinse the tray with warm water. Use a toothbrush to scrub away any food particles or debris from the trays.
Step Two: Brush with toothpaste
Brush the trays with a toothbrush and toothpaste to remove any remaining debris. You can also use an ultrasonic cleaner for this step, but it's not necessary if you've already done step one.
Step Three: Soak
Soak the trays in a bowl of warm water and baking soda for at least 10 minutes before brushing again. This will help loosen up any stains that may be present on the trays.
Step Four: Rinse (again)
Rinse your Invisalign trays a second time before using them again.
Learn More About Invisalign
Invisalign is an excellent option for many patients. They offer many advantages over traditional metal braces, and our patients have been thrilled with the results.
If you’re thinking of beginning treatment to straighten your teeth, you may have the option to choose between Invisalign or traditional braces. But who qualifies for Invisalign, and just how does Invisalign work? Read on for a step-by-step overview of the Invisalign process.
Step One: Invisalign Consultation
If you’re considering Invisalign to treat crooked, unevenly spaced, slanted, or gapped teeth, your treatment will begin with a consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth and mouth to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign. Candidates for Invisalign will not be missing teeth, will not have active gum disease, and will not have severe bite issues that Invisalign cannot correct. If you or your teenager has a healthy mouth, and all adult teeth, you’ll likely be approved for Invisalign.
Step Two: 3-D Scans, Photographs, and Images
Once you’ve been approved for Invisalign treatment, a series of images of your mouth and teeth will be taken. These painless x-rays and digital scans will be used by your dentist to design your treatment plan. They will also be used to make the clear alignment trays that you will wear during your treatment. Your dentist will be able to show you a photo of what your teeth will look like once you’ve completed your treatment.
Step Three: Start Wearing Your Alignment Trays
Once your alignment trays have been received by your dentist, you will return for instructions and begin wearing your first set of trays. The trays are made of durable, clear, BPA-free, translucent plastic. You should plan to wear your alignment tray for at least 20-22 hours per day. You can remove your trays to eat, brush and floss your teeth, and if you’re engaging in sports that require you to wear a mouthguard.
Step Four: Caring for Your Invisalign Trays
One of the biggest draws of using Invisalign to correct your smile is that you can undergo nearly invisible treatment. Unlike metal braces that can make patients self-conscious about smiling, Invisalign trays are barely noticeable in person or pictures. However, to keep your trays nearly invisible you need to take good care of them. Brush them with a soft bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste. You may also opt to use the Invisalign cleaning system which includes a soaking solution for your trays to keep them clear and free from bacteria, scuffs, or scratches. Taking great care of your alignment trays and wearing them all day unless you’re eating, drinking, or wearing a mouthguard for sports will ensure optimal results from your treatment.
Step Five: Graduate to New Trays
Each set of trays is designed to be worn for approximately two weeks. At the end of that time, you’ll swap out the old trays for your new trays. Each tray will be designed to pressure your teeth into aligning with the trays, which are in straighter alignment than your teeth. You’ll see your dentist every 4-6 weeks to ensure your treatment plan is on track.
Step Six: Complete Treatment & Retainer Use
Once you’ve completed your treatment with your aligners, your teeth should be in beautiful alignment. To ensure that they stay this way, and prevent teeth from shifting back into their old position, you’ll be fitted for a retainer. You may have to wear your retainer all day, only at night, or some combination of both. Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions for wearing your retainer.
Step Seven: Enjoy Your Beautiful New Smile
Most patients complete Invisalign treatment in 18-24 months. By the end of your treatment, you’ll be ready to show off your new, straight smile. You should continue to see your dentist twice a year for dental exams and professional cleanings.
Invisalign Treatment in Washington DC
If you’re ready to begin your journey towards a straight even smile, Invisalign may be right for you. Contact Blossom Dentistry today by calling 202-922-2900, or feel free to book an appointment online.
Invisalign offers patients the opportunity to obtain a straight, beautiful smile in a comfortable way. There are so many options on the market that are highly effective for your orthodontic needs, but none work quite like Invisalign.
You have the flexibility to go through the process discreetly while being able to remove them when you need to. While you can still eat everything you want to - unlike traditional metal braces - there are still certain foods you may want to avoid.
Sticky Foods - Including Gum
You never want to eat something that is sticky or chewy - including gum - while wearing your aligners. This can put your Invisalign aligners at risk of impairment. And, if they don’t work properly, it can impact your overall treatment. It’s just not worth the risk.
Things like gum, taffy, chewy candy, jerky and more should be avoided while wearing your aligners.
Crunchy or Hard Foods
While you are giving up sticky foods, you may want to let crunchy and hard foods go, too. Foods like popcorn, nuts, hard raw veggies like carrots, and even meat with bones in it should be avoided. Biting down on something hard could crack your aligners - and this will have an impact on your treatment, possibly even requiring you to invest in new aligners.
Remember, it only takes once. You may have eaten the same food several times without issue, but it only takes one bite for your Invisalign to crack. Don’t chance it.
Foods and Beverages That Cause Staining
There are foods and beverages that cause staining to teeth. Things like coffee, tea, red wine, curry, foods with heavy dyes, and more can all cause your pearly whites to be shades of not-so-pearly browns and yellows.
When it comes to Invisalign, unfortunately, these things can also cause staining to your aligners. And, let’s face it - you likely chose this route for your orthodontic treatment because it is discreet.
There is nothing discreet about stained aligners. Therefore if you would like your aligners to stay clear, then you may want to avoid consuming any foods or beverages that may jeopardize them.
Just Remove Your Aligners?
One of the things that so many people love about Invisalign is that it offers you so much freedom. You can remove them whenever you want to - though it is recommended you wear them at a minimum of 20-22 hours every day.
So, when you sit down to a meal or even a snack, it is perfectly fine to take out your aligners and keep them safe from any damage. In fact, it is even recommended. Once you are done eating, simply brush your teeth (or, at the very least, rinse your mouth well), and put your aligners back in.
Learn More About Life with Invisalign
At Blossom Dentistry, we like to offer our patients options when it comes to their dental needs. When it comes to orthodontic treatment, Invisalign is a great choice. They come with so many perks that you don’t get with traditional metal braces - and we’d love to talk to you about them.
If you want straight teeth and an impeccable smile, it usually involves some sort of braces. The traditional metal braces are still around and work really well, but the idea of having them doesn’t seem too enticing. This is especially true for adults.
New additions have come onto the market over the years that promise to give you that straight smile but in a very discreet way. While the contenders come and go, Invisalign aligners are here to stay. They have been around since the 1990s and keep growing in popularity. Not only does Invisalign work well, it seems to be a much easier alternative to traditional braces.
Here are the top 5 benefits of Invisalign.
- It’s Invisible
Perhaps the biggest perk of Invisalign is what they are most known for - being invisible. They don’t have any unsightly metal brackets or wires. And there is no chance of getting called names like, metal mouth. In fact, many people may not even realize you are wearing them.
Invisalign aligners are completely clear and lie flat against your teeth. Unlike traditional braces, there is no bulge under that upper lip, either. They are an incredibly discreet alternative to braces.
- Freedom to Eat Anything
Traditional braces require you to have restrictions from certain foods. For instance, sticky candy, gum, hard foods, and so forth can create issues for metal brackets and wires. With Invisalign, you can eat whatever you’d like. When you eat, you remove your aligners and reinsert them when you are finished. This means there is nothing getting in the way of what you are craving for lunch.
Although, please don’t forget to brush your teeth after you are done chowing down!
- Easier to Maintain and Care For
Invisalign is easier to maintain and care for. With traditional metal braces, you have to learn new techniques for brushing and flossing around without negatively impacting the wires or brackets. Not only is this a bit tricky, but it is also very time-consuming.
With Invisalign, all you have to do is pop out your aligners and brush and floss as normal. Then, clean up your aligners, and pop them back in. It’s quick and easy without any tricks.
- Minimal Impact on Lifestyle
Invisalign aligners only need to be worn between 20 to 22 hours each day. Ideally, you want to wear them as much as possible, but when needed, you can take them out. Many people worry about participating in certain activities with braces. And they don’t want them to impact their lifestyle.
While Invisalign is designed to be discreet so you don’t have to worry about wearing them all the time, if there comes a time when you aren’t comfortable, you can take them out. For instance, if you are having your picture taken for work or school - take out the aligners. Just put them right back in.
- Ease of Treatment
When you initially get set up with Invisalign, a 3-D model of your current smile will be morphed into your new smile - and aligners will be designed to move you through each phase of treatment. You have these aligners at home to be switched out, typically, every two weeks.
To move through the phases with traditional braces you have to go to the dentist and have them tightened. These regular appointments can add extra frustration to an already hectic schedule.
Invisalign does tend to be a little more costly than traditional braces, but when you consider all the benefits, the ease of use, and the opportunity cost, you may find that Invisalign is the best option overall.
Learn More About Invisalign at Blossom Dentistry
There are many options for getting that perfect smile, but Invisalign is a great option that will allow you to reach a successful outcome while still being discreet. And Blossom Dentistry is here to help make it happen.
Take advantage of these 5 benefits of Invisalign - and more.