4 Ways You Can Avoid Setting Back Your Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign is a popular method used to straighten teeth. Unlike traditional braces which utilize highly visible metal brackets to shift the alignment of your teeth, Invisalign uses clear aligners to gently move your teeth into an optimal position. While your orthodontist is in charge of your treatment, you can affect the outcome for better or worse through your actions. Here are four ways you can avoid setting back your orthodontic treatment:

1. Wear your clear aligners as often as possible.

Clear aligners are highly effective at realigning your teeth, but they can only work while you're wearing them. Orthodontists suggest that you wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day, but wearing them more than that is even better. You should only take your Invisalign out of your mouth to eat, brush your teeth, or clean the aligner trays. Other than that, keep them in at all times.

2. Don't neglect your rubber bands.

During orthodontic treatment, doctors often take advantage of rubber bands to treat bite issues. They will show you how to attach small rubber bands to tooth-colored hooks on your clear aligners. Make sure to be just as diligent in your rubber band usage as you are with your clear aligners. Rubber bands can be uncomfortable, but they are a crucial part of your treatment. The more you wear your rubber bands, the sooner you'll be done with your teeth straightening treatment.

3. Handle your clear aligners carefully.

Your aligners are made from durable plastic, but their thin, brittle nature means that they can break if you handle them too roughly. To prevent cracks and other damage, always use care when removing or inserting your clear aligners. Use both hands to apply gentle, even pressure when removing them. When cleaning your aligners, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid creating small scratches that can accumulate bacteria.

4. Contact your orthodontist if your clear aligners break.

Accidents are always a possibility. If you accidentally snap your clear aligners, call your orthodontist as soon as possible. They can advise you on whether or not to move onto the next aligner in your schedule. Don't try to repair your aligner yourself with glue or any other substance; many of these adhesives are toxic and can make you sick. Instead, you should wear your most recent, intact aligner until you can get a replacement made. This will ensure your teeth don't shift back into their original position in the meantime.