If you’re thinking about transforming your smile with Invisalign aligners, here are some tips to help you get the most from your treatment.

Choose a specialist orthodontist

Dentists and orthodontists can provide orthodontic treatment, but only orthodontists register as specialists with the Irish Dental Council. Specialist orthodontists spend years learning how to straighten teeth using a wide range of techniques.

Your aligners will be custom-made by Invisalign, but your clinician will play a crucial part in the success of your treatment, so choose wisely. Specialist orthodontist Dr. Jackie Bracken is a Diamond Provider of Invisalign in Clonmel and Newbridge with years of experience.

Find a provider who uses DentalMonitoring

DentalMonitoring is an amazing app that keeps you connected with your orthodontist in between appointments. Using an app on your smartphone, you can take weekly scans of your teeth for our team to review to make sure everything’s on track.

You’ll benefit from fewer visits to the practice and faster results. If we have any concerns about your progress or oral health, we can act immediately and invite you in for a check-up. We include DentalMonitoring for every patient at no extra cost.

Wear your aligners for 20–22 hours every day

You’ll get the best results from your treatment if you follow your orthodontist’s advice to the letter. It’s essential to wear your aligners for at least 20 hours every day. Otherwise, your teeth may not move as planned, and your treatment could take longer than expected.

Keep track of the time you’re not wearing your aligners for each day – it can quickly add up. Apps like TrayMinder track your daily wear time, and you can even set reminders to put your aligners back in.

Invisalign aligner

If you develop a lisp, keep talking

Some patients develop a slight lisp when they first start wearing aligners. If this happens to you, don’t worry, you’ll quickly adapt. Just keep wearing your aligners and practice saying different sounds.

You may also notice that you’re producing more saliva than usual. Again, this is a temporary side effect that should get better within a few days. In the meantime, you might find it helpful to prop your head up underneath a couple of pillows at bedtime.

Clean your teeth and aligners

Throughout your Invisalign treatment, you’ll be able to brush and floss as usual. It’s essential to keep your teeth and gums immaculate while wearing braces. Ideally, you should clean your teeth twice a day and brush them after eating before you pop your aligners back in.

It’s also important to keep your aligners fresh and clean and give them a brush every day, too. Don’t use toothpaste to clean your aligners, it’s slightly abrasive and may leave small scratches, which will make your aligners more visible. Instead, use unscented antibacterial hand soap and rinse thoroughly.

Carry a teeth cleaning kit

If you eat or drink (anything other than water), you’ll need to remove your aligners first and clean your teeth before you put them back in. If food or liquids get trapped between your teeth and aligners, they can damage your tooth’s protective enamel.

Always carry a toothbrush and toothpaste if you can. When this isn’t practical, chew sugar-free gum or rinse your mouth with water before putting your aligners back in, and brush as soon as you can.

Store your aligners in their case

Whenever you take your aligners out to eat, drink or clean your teeth, always store them in their protective case. Do this every time, so it becomes a habit.

If you leave your aligners on the side, or worse, wrapped in tissue, they’re more likely to get lost or damaged. If you do misplace your aligners, they’ll be much easier to find in their case. (Ask anyone who’s searched a bin for an invisible aligner.)

Change your aligners before bed

Every 1–2 weeks, you’ll change to the next set of aligners in your sequence. Your aligners might feel quite stiff at first, and your teeth could ache for a day or two. It’s essential to keep wearing your aligners. Taking them out for some temporary relief will only prolong your discomfort.

It can help to change your aligners before bed, so your teeth have time to adapt while you sleep. If your teeth feel tender the next day, you can take over-the-counter painkillers to help.

Chew your chewies

Chewies are small rolls of soft plastic that you bite onto to help seat your aligners. They’re the difference between a good fitting aligner and a great fitting aligner.

When you start a new set of aligners, they may not fit your teeth closely at first, and you might notice small air gaps between your teeth and aligners. Gently chewing on a chewie will push your trays tighter to your teeth for a better fit and faster results.

Keep your old aligners

When you start a new set of aligners, keep hold of the old ones. If anything happens to your aligners, we might ask you to start wearing the previous set while we organise replacements.

If you’re almost ready to move on to the next set in the sequence, we might ask you to do this instead. Always contact us for advice if anything happens to your aligners.

Wear your retainers

At the end of your treatment, we’ll give you retainers to keep your teeth in their new positions. Removable retainers look and feel very similar to Invisalign. Eventually, you’ll only need to wear them at night to keep your teeth straight. Fixed retainers consist of a thin metal wire that is attached behind your front teeth indefinitely.

We’ll give you one or both types of retainers to maintain your new smile. It’s essential to follow your orthodontist’s instructions carefully. If you don’t wear your retainers correctly, your teeth could move and undo all your hard work.

If you have any questions about Invisalign treatment, or if you’d like to arrange a consultation with Dr. Jackie Bracken, contact our friendly team.