Protect Your Oral Health With Excellent Invisalign Maintenance

Achieving the smile of your dreams is easier than ever with Invisalign clear aligners. Offered by Dr. Sahel Behbood at Warren Family Dentistry in Warren, MI, Invisalign treatment straightens teeth using a series of barely visible aligners that are custom-fit to your teeth. 

Unlike old-fashioned wire braces, the Invisalign process won’t get in the way of your busy lifestyle. But to enjoy the many benefits of Invisalign, including faster treatment times, you’ll need to properly care for your aligners.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a popular alternative to braces that straightens teeth using clear plastic aligners. Each Invisalign aligner is worn for about two weeks before switching to the next in the treatment series, with orthodontic treatment lasting anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the complexity of your case.

The custom-made Invisalign trays are nearly invisible on the teeth and can be removed for tasks like eating and brushing. Invisalign offers all the teeth-straightening capabilities of braces without unsightly wires and brackets. It’s an excellent option for teens and adults looking for a discrete pathway toward the smile they want.

Benefits of Invisalign

  • Easier Oral Hygiene: Unlike braces that trap plaque and debris, Invisalign aligners can be removed for daily brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking. This makes it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene without difficulty cleaning around brackets and wires.
  • Comfort: Invisalign treatment won’t irritate your mouth like metal wires and braces brackets. The smooth plastic material of Invisalign aligners is gentle on teeth and gums.
  • Appearance: Nearly invisible, Invisalign trays are clear plastic and won’t attract attention like conspicuous metal braces. Many patients choose Invisalign because it suits their professional, social, and personal lifestyle needs.
  • Dietary Freedom: Patients can remove Invisalign braces before meals, allowing full enjoyment of any food without worry. There aren’t dietary restrictions with the Invisalign system like there may be with traditional braces.
  • Shortened Treatment Time: Invisalign treatment is often faster than braces. The average treatment time is 12 to 18 months. Less complex cases can be resolved in even less time.

How to Care For Invisalign

Properly caring for your Invisalign aligners is critical for staying on track with treatment. Follow these essential care tips from Dr. Behbood:

Keep Aligners In 22 Hours Per Day

Aligners must be worn for 20 to 22 hours daily to effectively shift your teeth into the proper position. Only remove Invisalign trays for brushing your teeth and eating. Reinsert your aligner as soon as possible after you eat or drink. Invisalign patients wearing aligners for less than 20 hours daily risks impeding progress.

Rinse After Eating and Drinking

After eating, drinking anything besides water, or taking medication, remove clear aligners and rinse thoroughly before reinserting. Leave them out until you can brush and floss if possible. If away from home, swish water in your mouth and run clear aligners under water to remove food debris before reinserting.

Clean Aligners Twice Daily

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and water with a small amount of antibacterial dish soap to gently brush aligners inside and out. Avoid toothpaste, which can create micro-scratches in the plastic that encourage bacteria growth. After scrubbing, rinse thoroughly with water only. Repeat cleaning at night and use Invisalign cleaning crystals as necessary.

Don’t Heat or Cool Aligners

Avoid exposing aligners to high heat or cold to prevent damage, warping, or cracks. Don’t drink hot coffee, tea, or soup with aligners in place, and don’t clean or store aligners in hot water.

Keep a Spare Set

In case an aligner breaks, cracks, or is lost, always have at least one spare on hand. Contact Dr. Behbood right away if you need to move up to your backup pair.

Oral Hygiene With Invisalign

Consistent oral hygiene is nonnegotiable while using Invisalign. Food and plaque easily become trapped under and around Invisalign aligners just as they would with traditional braces. Without diligent brushing and flossing, you risk tooth decay, gum disease, and damage to teeth enamel that can leave permanent white spots.

Brush and Floss After Every Meal

Any time you remove aligners to eat, you must brush and floss before reinserting, even if you’re away from home. If just rinsing isn’t possible, swish water vigorously around your mouth before carefully reinserting aligners. Then brush and floss again as soon as possible, within 30 minutes at most.

See Our Warren Dentist Every 6 Months

Schedule regular six-month teeth cleanings with your dentist while undergoing Invisalign treatment. More frequent professional cleanings help remove plaque in hard-to-reach places and ensure your oral health stays on track throughout the straightening process. Alert your dentist if you experience tooth sensitivity or other oral health issues.

Invisalign-Friendly Oral Care Products

Use an electric toothbrush to most effectively remove plaque around aligners and an interdental cleaner to efficiently floss between teeth and under aligners. An antibacterial mouthwash helps eliminate bad breath and rinses away bacteria. Lip balm prevents chapping from removable aligners.

Don’t Neglect Tongue Cleaning

Use a tongue scraper daily to remove odor-causing bacteria that collect on the tongue’s surface, especially with less saliva flow at night. Reduce bad breath with regular tongue cleaning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Achieve the Healthy, Straight Smile You Want

Invisalign offers teeth straightening without many of the braces’ drawbacks. But enjoying all of Invisalign’s convenience requires diligently caring for your custom aligners. By closely following Dr. Behbood’s best practices for cleaning, wearing, and protecting your aligners, you’ll stay on schedule for the smile transformation you want.

Ready to get started with Invisalign? Contact Warren Family Dentistry today at (586) 574-9500 to schedule your Invisalign treatment consultation with Dr. Behbood. Discover how Invisalign can efficiently and effectively help you achieve the smile you’ve been dreaming of with minimal impact on your daily routine.