Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Invisalign Treatment

questions to ask an orthodonitist

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

Invisalign is a great option for those who don’t want to go with the traditional metal bracket and wire braces. Invisalign and Invisalign Teen is less painful and more convenient, making it easy to take out your treatment, in order to eat and brush your teeth, something that is absolutely impossible with traditional braces. It is still an orthodontic treatment, however, and to get the most out of your treatment, we have a couple tips and tricks in order to make sure Invisalign does what it is supposed to do and straighten your teeth as quickly as possible.

Here are thirteen tips to help you get the most of your Invisalign treatment:

1. Floss every day.

You may already be brushing every day, but are you flossing every day? With Invisalign, this is more important than ever. The aligners hold any gunk that’s left over after your cleaning routine right up against your teeth and prevent the saliva from doing a lot of the work it does if you are not wearing an aligner. Be sure to thoroughly clean in between your teeth with floss every single day.

2. Stick to the 48-hour instruction.

For the first two days of each aligner tray, wear it as much as possible during the first forty-eight hours. Most orthodontists recommend only taking it out to brush your teeth, and then it should go right back in. Of course, you should always wear your aligners as much as possible, but this goes double for the first two days.

3. Commit to wearing them at least 22 hours every day.

Invisalign only works if you actually wear the trays for most of your day. If you are not willing to wear them at least twenty-two hours every single day, then you are less likely to get fast, positive results from Invisalign.

4. Change your aligners on time and in the right order.

If Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg tells you it is time to change and aligner, change it. If he tells you to let one sit for a few more days, let it sit. You won’t make your treatment go faster if you put in different trays without being instructed to do so.

5. Know that it feels a little weird, but you will get used to it.

Most people say that they can feel the aligners, especially during the first couple of days, push against the teeth. This is not a painful sensation (the same cannot be said all the time of metal braces after an adjustment), but it is present. Those that wear their aligners all day, every day begin to notice the feeling less and less.

6. The speech “learning curve” is steep.

When you first put in your very first aligner, you will probably notice that you talk with a lisp. The best way to get rid of this is not to take out the tray, but to practice talking with the tray in. You’ll get used to it very quickly.

7. Most people will not notice your aligners.

One of the biggest complaints that those who use Invisalign have is that they feel like everyone will notice they are wearing the trays. It’s just not true, and considering the alternative (metal braces), these aligners are far less visible.

8. Don’t be afraid of the Invisalign attachments.

Many people get what they call “buttons” to help speed up their treatment.

These help to hold a tray in place or move a tooth, etc. Many people shy away from these, but they can really speed up treatment, which is great for anyone that wants straighter teeth fast.

9. Know how to care for your aligners.

The best way to clean your Invisalign trays is with warm water and antibacterial soap. Invisalign also puts out their own products for cleaning their trays, but soap and water usually does perfectly fine. It is not advised to use toothpaste to clean your trays, as this will scratch the plastic and create places for bacteria to live.

10. Stick to the dietary instructions laid out by Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg.

First of all, drink a lot of water. As with traditional braces, your mouth is going to sense that something is different. Some people produce a lot of extra saliva (the mouth is trying to clean out the weird obstruction it is feeling), and become quickly dehydrated. Like any orthodontic treatment, Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg will walk you through what you can and should not eat with the aligners in—follow these rules for the fastest treatment.

11. Keep your mouth extra clean.

Again, the aligners, if your teeth and the trays themselves are not super clean, can actually hold plaque and bacteria against your teeth. Make sure your brushing and flossing routine are up to snuff to make sure that you don’t have tooth decay or cavities during your treatment.

12. Use a whitening toothpaste.

Many Invisalign patients have found that whitening toothpaste is more effective during their treatment than previous to treatment. This is because remnants of the toothpaste, both the fluoride and the whitening substance are held against the teeth by the aligner, instead of washed away be saliva. Hold off on other whitening treatments until after you are done with Invisalign.

13. Use your retainer properly.

Use your retainer as instructed by Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg. Some patients, after treatment is done, do not wear their retainer at all, which means they could lose some of their progress. Often times, you are supposed to wear it all day for a few months and then wear it at night once instructed to by the orthodontist. Don’t miss your follow-up appointments and follow Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg post-care instructions.

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14 responses to “Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Invisalign Treatment”

  1. Francheska says:

    Great tips! I just got mine yesterday but is it normal for them to hurt like hell every time I have to put them back in after brushing!?! So painful and makes my gums feels sensitive and numb

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I have had my trays not quite a week yet and so far, so good. I have had no pain whatsoever. On day three I did have some tenderness while eating lunch but it was gone by dinner. My only issue so far has been the extreme difficulty in removing the trays . Especially the top tray. There have been times when it’s taken over a minute just removing the upper one alone. I Have ten brackets on the top teeth and do not know if this is a lot in comparison to other wearers or pretty much the norm. I believe the brackets are what is making the removal so difficult. It would be nice if there was a small tool designed to help remove the trays.
    I’m glad I read over these tips. The tip on not using toothpaste on the trays was not mentioned in the brochure that came with my trays. One other thing is a friend who wears Invisalign was given little chew sticks to gnaw on to help the teeth move quicker. I did not receive these.

    • Lynne Wright says:

      The “Chewies” purpose is to make sure your trays are inserted fully not to make the teeth move faster. I find when you loosen one side pull down a bit further not just the back teeth then loosen other side and it comes right out. Yes the Upper tray is a lot harder than the lower tray to remove.

    • Kenzie says:

      Investing in an “outie” which can be found on Amazon should help with getting your aligners out

    • karla says:

      There are tools I bought 2 different ones and they don’t work cause I have so many attachments on the top teeth. I pry the back off 1st and take a little piece of paper towel and then pull it gives you a better grip… works good…

  3. Marcie says:

    What is the best toothpaste to use for Invisalign? I brush my teeth often and I used to used whitening toothpaste. My enamel is now damaged and I have white spots.

  4. Mark Shepherd says:

    Concerning the 48-hour rule, which recommends I only taking it out to brush your teeth, and then it should go right back in. Should I also take out the aligners to eat?

  5. Donma says:

    I just had my visilign put on yesterday 2 fell off on upper right side this morning and it’s a 3 day holiday do I continue to wear them or hold off til
    l I see my dentist?

  6. Ridley Fitzgerald says:

    It’s great to know how to work with Invisalign. I’ve heard so many good things about it that I want my kids to all get it. I’ll be sure that they all wear them at least 22 hours every day, like you said.

  7. Vanessa Cooke says:

    Should I be able to move my upper tray with my tongue? It slips ever so slightly and lots of saliva enters the tray. This unfortunately leaves me sucking it out frequently. Not pretty.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I’ve had the same invisalign tray for 8 months now, but reading here, I’m supposed to get one every few weeks?
    I do have trouble keeping the aligner in 22 hours a day as it makes me gag frequently.
    It is getting loose though, shouldn’t I have a new tray by now anyway?
    My Ortho said he’d have to do a new mould and interproximal reduction between the teeth so they will have somewhere to move with a new aligner. I’m worried I’m just going to end up with narrow teeth and an even narrower bite.

  9. Charlotte Fleet says:

    I like that you mention that you should stick with your Invisalign treatment recommendations such as wearing it as much as possible in the 48 hours. My husband has been wanting to get a straighter smile for a while. I think we should look into getting him Invisalign for help.

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