The journey to straight, beautiful teeth is an exciting one. And with Sensational Smiles at-home Invisalign® treatment, you know that you’re using a super discreet system that lets you go about your day without much interruption. But like any self-improvement, life with Invisalign does mean adopting a few new habits and routines that help set you up for success. Thankfully, the adjustment phase with Invisalign is easy (especially with the Invisalign tips covered below) — getting used to wearing Invisalign is quick and routines become second nature.
So where to start? Like we said, the great thing about at-home Invisalign with Sensational Smiles is the freedom you have to go about your days pretty much as usual. And during your treatment, you don’t even have to come in for check ups. You only see us at your free consultation and when you pick up your clear aligners from our Naperville or Shorewood office at the start of treatment. That’s the beauty of at-home Invisalign service from us: you get the convenience of at-home Invisalign with the trusted orthodontic expertise of a Diamond+ Invisalign provider.
That said, there are a few important Invisalign tips and tricks to follow in order to make sure your Invisalign is doing the best job possible in straightening your teeth. To help you on your way, we at Sensational Smiles have compiled a list of the top Invisalign Dos and Don’ts to reference.
So without further ado, let’s jump in and start with what you should do.
Our Sensational Invisalign Tips
DO Keep Them in 22 Hours a Day
Once you pick up your custom Invisalign clear aligners from our Naperville or Shorewood location, you’re ready to get started. Pop your first set onto your teeth and start your treatment plan! From here on out, you must wear your Sensation Smiles Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours a day, every day. Unlike diet or exercise, there’s no cheat days with Invisalign!
The reason you have to wear your Invisalign for 22 hours a day is because clear aligners work by straightening your teeth gradually, and within a certain timeframe. Using a constant, gentle pressure, your Invisalign aligners move your teeth incrementally as you make your way through the series. Each set of aligners is all about moving your teeth into position to fit them, then you graduate to the next set to fit those, then the next and the next, until you fit perfectly into your final set of aligners. Once you’ve finished wearing that last set, you’re done! And you can confidently show off your new smile.
DO Change Your Aligners on Schedule: How Often Do You Change Invisalign Aligners?
With Sensational Smiles, you get a maximum of 24 sets of aligners. How often you change your Invisalign aligners depends on your custom treatment plan and everyone’s schedule is different. But patients typically change them every 1-2 weeks as prescribed by Dr. Manal Ibrahim or Dr. Christine Gin. As you make your way through each set, the fun thing about life with Invisalign is that you get to see your smile changing as it happens. Not only do you feel them moving, you can see your progress right before your eyes.
It’s important to stay on track with how often you change your Invisalign aligners so you finish your treatment as efficiently as possible. Most Sensational Smiles plans take six months which is no time at all for the payoff of having a winning smile for the rest of your life!
Think of it like training for a race. You typically start with a short distance as your goal, then when your fitness level is ready, you move on to a longer distance. You graduate to longer and longer markers until you’re able to run the entire race. That’s what changing your Invisalign aligners is like.
DO Eat and Drink Whatever You Want!
Many people choose Sensational Smiles at-home Invisalign treatment over braces because of how little it affects their normal eating and drinking preferences. Love pizza? You can enjoy it as usual with Invisalign, but with braces it’s “proceed with caution.” Carrots and hummus a favorite mid-afternoon snack? Keep the carrots a-coming with Invisalign but definitely not when you have braces.
Why? With Invisalign treatment, you simply take out your clear aligners when you eat, then put them back in after you’re done with your meal. You get to eat and drink as before. Foods to eat with Invisalign? Whatever you want: hard foods, crunchy foods, chewy foods, sticky foods… all the textures that are typically not okay with braces because of the damage they could cause, you can eat them with Invisalign!
Of course, it goes without saying that we always suggest eating as healthy as possible. Not only do you want a straight smile, but a cavity-free one, too.
Just like eating, you can also drink whatever you want with Invisalign. But keep one rule in mind: keep your clear aligners on your teeth only when drinking water. Be sure to take them out when drinking anything else. Any other drinks either have sugar that can stick to teeth and get trapped there by your aligners, or have the potential to stain. Drinks like red wine, brightly-colored sodas, coffee, and tea can potentially stain teeth and your clear aligners if you drink them with your clear aligners still in.
DO Keep Your Invisalign Aligners In Their Case
What do you do with your Invisalign aligners when you take them out for eating or drinking? Whenever they’re not in your mouth, store them in the provided Invisalign case. This goes a long way in keeping them clean and will help you avoid misplacing them. A set of lost aligners can set you back in your progress while you wait for a replacement set.
DO Clean Your Teeth and Aligners Before Putting them Back In
After you eat or drink anything other than water, be sure to brush your teeth to get rid of any food debris or sugar that might be sticking to your teeth. If you’re out-and-about and don’t have your toothbrush handy, a good swish of water can tide you over until you can brush your teeth. Take a moment to also rinse your Invisalign aligners with water before popping them back in. Good to go!
You should also get into the habit of brushing your clear aligners when you brush and floss your teeth. How do you clean your Invisalign trays? The best daily Invisalign cleaner is a soft toothbrush and warm (not hot!) water. Rinse, then put them back in after you’ve cleaned your teeth.
So now you have a list of what you should do when wearing Invisalign clear aligners. Now here’s a few reminders about what not to do:
Don’t Skip Any Sets
We can’t stress enough how important it is to stick to the schedule in your treatment plan. As a personalized map to a beautiful smile, the changes happening with your teeth were set up to unfold gradually — and in a certain order. Skipping sets could cause too much pressure on your teeth. Or cause unnecessary pain in your teeth or gums. If you’ve worn a set for too long and are unsure of what to do, please contact us. We’d be happy to advise you on your next step.
Don’t Forget About Your Oral Hygiene
Make sure you keep visiting your dentist every six months for check ups during your Invisalign treatment. As we talked about earlier, a straight AND healthy smile is the ultimate goal.
Invisalign treatment is also a great time to level up your oral care. Take the time to brush more thoroughly, or, better yet, invest in an electric toothbrush. One 11-year study showed that using an electric toothbrush resulted in 18% less tooth decay than brushing with a manual toothbrush. And be sure to floss before brushing and use a fluoride mouthwash afterwards to get rid of lingering bacteria and strengthen your tooth enamel.
Don’t Think Twice About Taking It Easy On Yourself
Some people at their consultation ask us if Invisalign hurts. In truth, most wearers experience a mild discomfort when they first put in a new set, but it quickly goes away. But, we do suggest taking over-the-counter pain relief if it bothers you.
Some Invisalign wearers also might find that their teeth are a bit sensitive to certain food textures, or super cold or hot foods. If this happens to you, stick with the foods that don’t cause discomfort, or foods that are soothing to your teeth. At-home Invisalign treatment is also a good time to build in some other self-care practices too. Meditation, exercise, journaling, you do you!
Don’t Skip After Care, aka, Your Retainer
Once you’ve finished wearing Invisalign, you have to wear a retainer if you want your new smile to stay put. Yes, a retainer is standard with all teeth-straightening — once your teeth aren’t under the pressure of clear aligners (or braces), it’s actually natural that they’d want to start shifting back to their original positions. A retainer helps lock in your new smile so you can enjoy it for a lifetime.
At Sensational Smiles, we include a retention aligner for you to wear for up to three months post-Invisalign. After that, you’ll need to invest in a proper retainer like the Invisalign Vivera retainers we use at Sensational Smiles. Vivera retainers are made of plastic that’s at least 30% stronger than the plastic in other leading retainers and they’re twice as durable.You’ll first wear your retainer 24/7, but once your teeth get used to their new positions, you’ll only have to wear your retainer at night.
The great thing about getting a Vivera retainer from us is that we already have your final tooth position on file from your Invisalign treatment. That makes it efficient and easy to order your retainer from us, and if you need a replacement one down the road, we keep your file for 10 years. Another order is just as easy as the first, no new diagnostics required.
Start Your Smile Journey With Sensational Smiles Today!
Haven’t started Sensational Smiles Invisalign treatment yet but are ready to dive in? Life with Invisalign is definitely easy-peasy. What makes it even more straightforward is our flat cost of $2780 when paid in full. That’s 60% less than traditional treatment!