Make Your Aligner Treatment a Success With These Tips

Aligner treatment is a great way to get straight teeth without the downsides of metal braces. Aligners usually work in less time than braces. Their lack of metal hardware makes them nearly invisible and also more comfortable to wear. They are more convenient too, because you can take them out for meals and oral hygiene. 

To see if you’re a good candidate for clear aligners, call Oelwein Dental Associates at 319-209-9295 or West Union Dental Associates at 563-677-6861

When you get your aligners, you’ll want to make sure you use them properly to ensure your treatment is as successful as possible. You’ll wear each set of custom-made aligners about two weeks, then move to the next set in the series. They gradually move your teeth into their proper positions. You’ll visit us every six weeks or so for a brief exam, so we can make sure your treatment is on track.

Follow these tips for the best results:

  • Wear Your Aligners as Much as Possible – The ability to remove aligners for meals, oral hygiene, and even special occasions is a good thing. However, it can be tempting to leave them out for extended periods. Don’t do it! You should aim to wear them at least 22 hours a day. If you leave them out too long, you risk lengthening your treatment time. 
  • Put Them in a Case Every Time They Come Out – One advantage that braces have over aligners is that you can’t lose braces. As soon as you take out your aligners, pop them into a storage case. This keeps you from losing them and also protects them from damage. We recommend keeping a case with you at all times. Tuck one into a pocket or purse. 
  • Clean Them Properly – Brush your aligners gently with a mild soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Abrasive cleaning products (even toothpaste) and hard-bristled brushes can scratch your aligners. 
  • Skip Staining Liquids – When wearing your orthodontic aligners, drink only water and other clear liquids. Many liquids can stain them. The worst offenders are coffee, tea, and red wine. You should also avoid hot beverages, as the heat can warp your aligners. 
  • Drink Plenty of Water – In addition to keeping your aligners looking good, water helps wash away disease-causing bacteria. So make sure you consume plenty of H2O. Staying hydrated can even help ease minor discomfort when switching to a new set of aligners. 
  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene – If you can, brush and floss after eating and drinking before reinserting your aligners. If you can’t, at least swish your mouth out well with water and then brush as soon as possible. This will help avoid cavities. 
  • Stay Patient and Positive – Maintaining a positive attitude during your aligner treatment is important. Post some photos of straight smiles where you can see them for inspiration. 
  • Keep Teeth in Place With a Retainer – Once your treatment is complete, you’ll need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth straight and beautiful. We’ll give you specific instructions on how long to wear it. Typically it will only be at night after the first few months. 

Interested in aligner treatment? Call Oelwein Dental Associates at 319-209-9295 or West Union Dental Associates at 563-677-6861.