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Tips for caring for your Teeth with Invisalign

12 May 2016, Langley Dental Practice

Caring for your teeth after you have Invisalign braces installed can really be an exciting, albeit big step. There are a number of things you need to consider and do to ensure your teeth turn out well and are also cared for during the time.

1.  Wear your aligners all of the time.

Like any good habit, adjusting and adopting to changes to your daily routine takes time.  Fortunately, quite a few of our patients have told us that within one to two weeks of wearing their aligners full-time, they are more comfortable wearing them than not.

Wearing your aligners full time means that you have them in for 22 hours per day at least.  They should only be removed for 2 hours total per day so that you can brush your teeth, drink and eat.  You will be able to tell when the movements of your teeth are progressive when your new aligner sets fit on your teeth comfortably.  By contrast, failing to wear them full-time may cause each of your new sets of aligners to progressively fit worse.  Eventually that will require that new scans or impressions be done in order to make your aligners.  That will prolong your treatment time.   That is why you are highly encouraged to wear your aligners diligently.   

2.  Bite down on "chewies

You will obtain the best results for your Invisalign treatment when your fit perfectly fit into each aligner before moving on to your next one.  You will be able to tell that your aligners do not fill well (and will not be able to work effectively) whenever there are air gaps in between the aligner and your teeth.  If you happen to notice any of those gaps, we advise you to use "chewies."  They are small cylindrical cushions that are made out of Styrene Copolymer, which is a plastic-like material.  If you bite down on chewies a couple of time per day for 5 to 10 minutes, it will help with seating the aligner.  What the means is that the aligner will fit against your teeth tightly.  When you use chewies on a regular basis it will increase the chances that your treatment finishes on schedule.     

3. Use attachments

There is more to an Invisalign treatment plan than just aligners.  In order for the effectiveness of your aligners to be maximized, we at Queen Square Clinic place attachments strategically on certain teeth.  What attachments are tooth-colored small dots of dental bonding, which is a white filling material.  Because aligners are removable, sometimes they may slip when certain movements are attempted.  In those circumstances, you can use attachments as an anchor for helping the aligners achieve a better grip with your teeth.  How well the color of the bonding matches your tooth colorand where they are placed will determine who visible the attachments are.  Generally speaking, they are not easy to see.      

4.  Understand How Important IPR Is

Depending on your teeth's current arrangement and the movement that is needed for creating a perfect smile, it might be necessary for use to conduct an interproximal reduction (IPR).  This is gentle sanding done in between your teeth in order to make more space.  Most dentists use a computer modelling tool which identifies where more space is needed for the occlusion (bite) or alignment.  In addition it tells us precisely the amount of space that is needed.  The IPR procedure is very safe and provide your teeth with the room needed for moving into the positions that are ideal for them.

5.  Consider using the PROPEL system

This is an in-office 5 minute procedure where a virtually painless, small puncture is made in the bone where it is desired to have accelerated tooth movement.  When PROPEL is used, your treatment time may be reduced by up to 60%.  Historically, orthodontic treatment has focused on mechanical systems that place precise and gentle forces on your teeth in order to create the tooth alignment that is desired. The focus of the PROPEL system, by contrast is on biological response and is similar to your teeth receiving acupuncture.    

6.  Wear your retainer

Having Invisalign treatment done is a big investment in energy and time.  Therefore, maintaining your ideal smile represents a very important, life-long commitment that you will want to make after your treatment has been completed.  Wearing your retainer is the best way of doing this.  Patients who fail to wear their retainers regularly frequently experience orthodontic relapse, where the teeth shift slowly back into their original position.  When you wear your retainers, it provides the structures that support your newly aligned teeth with the time needed for settling into place.  Immediately following the completion of your Invisalign treatment, it is strongly recommended that you wear your retainer constantly.  After your teeth have had the chance to stabilize, you will be able to reduce the time that you wear your retainer to just at night, and then one or two times per week.


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