Caring For Your Aligners in Waterford, MI

Ensure A Successful Invisalign® Treatment

Most people dream of having a beautiful, straight smile. When people are able to smile freely without embarrassment, they often feel happier and more confident. However, patients often associate straight teeth with having to wear bulky metal braces. Luckily, Invisalign is a discreet alternative. Invisalign® aligners are supported by over 20 years of innovation. They don’t contain any metal wires and are completely removable, making them much easier to clean and care for than traditional braces.

Even though your aligners are simple to care for, it’s crucial that you follow all of Dr. Sheehan’s instructions if you want to maximize your results from treatment. While they’re much more attractive than traditional metal braces, some patients experience issues with their aligners. It’s crucial to know how to troubleshoot problems that may arise.

If you’re a Michigan patient in Shelby, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester, or the surrounding areas and want to guarantee a successful treatment, explore our guide below detailing some valuable tips on caring for your aligners.

Common Invisalign Issues

Although wearing Invisalign may seem like a lot of work at first, the end results will be worth it. Taking care of and consistently wearing your aligners will leave you with a beautiful smile after your treatment is complete.

Our Waterford dentist has successfully provided Invisalign to many of her patients and encourages you to contact her if any issues arise with your aligners or teeth. Neglecting to follow care instructions can result in setting your treatment back which can waste both time and money. Please keep the following tips in mind:

  • Don’t take your aligners out more than 4 hours a day
  • Don’t leave your aligners in the open when you aren’t wearing them
  • Don’t use toothpaste, mouthwash, or any rough or colored soap on your aligners
  • Don’t eat or drink with your aligners in (plain water is allowed)
  • Don’t put your aligners back in until after you’ve brushed your teeth

Keeping Your Aligners Clean

Invisalign aligners are much easier to keep clean than metal braces. The easiest way to ensure that your aligners stay in optimal shape is to remove and clean them every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. One way to do this is by soaking them or lightly brushing them with a mild soap. To prevent damaging your aligners, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid abrasive cleaning solutions.

Another excellent tool is the Invisalign Cleaning System. It involves placing your aligners in a case that’s filled with warm water and cleaning crystals. You’ll gently shake the case for approximately 20 seconds to activate the crystals. Then, let them sit for 15 minutes. Once you’re all done, rinse off the aligners and reinsert them.

It’s also crucial to take out your aligners before meals and brush your teeth before putting them back in. This will prevent food crumbs and harmful bacteria from getting trapped in your teeth and causing an infection.

Enjoy Your Favorite Foods with Ease

Traditional braces cause a lot of grief for those who wear them, and one of the most annoying aspects is trying to keep food from getting lodged in the wires. Fortunately, Invisalign eliminates this issue by making its aligners completely removable. When used correctly, this prevents small pieces of food and other unhealthy bacteria from getting stuck under your aligners and putting you at risk for oral health conditions.

It’s recommended that you wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day, only removing them to eat, drink, and clean. It should be noted that you might have to alter your eating habits to eliminate continuous snacking throughout the day. While it may be difficult to adjust to at first, you’ll find that eating with Invisalign is way more manageable than with traditional braces. Best yet, you can eat your favorite foods without restriction.

Protecting Your Aligners 

Since Invisalign requires patients to wear their aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day to work properly, patients may have to adapt to new eating habits. These tips can help you get used to eating and drinking while undergoing Invisalign treatment:

  • Remove your aligners before eating — Although it may be tempting to eat with your aligners in, it’s important to remove them every time you have a snack or meal. The main reason for this is that your aligners are custom-made to realign your teeth, but they’re still somewhat fragile and may sustain damage if you chew on them.
  • Clean your teeth before reapplying aligners — Another thing that may take some getting used to is that it’s crucial that you brush and floss your teeth each time you eat before replacing your Invisalign aligner.
  • You can drink water with your aligners in — Staying hydrated is vital for your health and appearance, and you can feel free to drink as much plain water as you want without removing your aligners. Remember to remove the aligners if you consume other beverages though.

Since your Invisalign aligners are clear, they’re likely to become stained based on the food and beverages you consume. Learning how to clean them properly and how to prevent stains altogether will ensure your aligners remain completely clear. If you’re noticing stains on your aligners, try brushing them or soaking them in dentist-approved solutions. This will pull out the plaque build-up without harming your aligners. 

Recommendations for Your Invisalign Diet

Invisalign is an extremely popular treatment for the various advantages it provides over metal braces. In addition to being virtually invisible and easy to care for, Invisalign makes it much more comfortable to eat the foods you love. Unlike traditional braces, patients can remove their Invisalign aligners, allowing them to enjoy a meal or care for their teeth with ease. 

While you can eat whatever you want with Invisalign, some foods pose a threat to the health and appearance of your smile. Since Invisalign is a treatment that depends on excellent care for your teeth and proper use of the aligners, these are foods and habits you may want to avoid to preserve your smile.

  • Tobacco — Whether you smoke or chew it, tobacco poses several risks to your oral health. In addition to vastly increasing your chances of developing diseases, tobacco use stains your teeth and can lead to additional dental problems.
  • Staining foods and beverages — Certain foods and drinks are highly likely to stain your teeth when you consume them on a regular basis. These include beverages like coffee, wine, soda, and tea, and foods such as beets, cherries, and blueberries. 
  • Hard snacks — It may be a good idea to avoid hard foods including popcorn kernels, hard candy, and others that are particularly hard in texture. These kinds of foods put a strain on your teeth and can potentially cause permanent damage during your Invisalign treatment.
  • Chewy snacks — Chewy foods like taffy, caramel, and similar soft snacks are particularly bad for your teeth. Not only do they stick to your teeth, making them difficult to clean, but they also leave sugar behind which can quickly lead to tooth decay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can Invisalign help fix?

Invisalign is used to treat a variety of orthodontic issues that can impact your health, as well as your smile. During your consultation, our dentist in Waterford, Dr. Sheehan will thoroughly examine your teeth and determine if Invisalign will be an effective treatment for you.

Typically, we use Invisalign to correct the following orthodontic issues:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Open bite

What is the Invisalign tier level?

The Invisalign tier level is a system that categorizes providers by their experience. The more successful cases a provider has completed, the higher their rank will be. This makes it easier for you to choose an Invisalign provider who can give you the smile you want.

Dr. Amanda Sheehan is a certified Invisalign Platinum Provider, meaning that she’s experienced enough to regularly treat patients using clear aligners. She’s maintained this status by continuing to help patients to love their smiles every year.

What do I do if my aligners aren’t fitting properly?

Invisalign trays are meant to fit snugly against your teeth and shift them in small increments. Each set of clear aligners is custom-made to fit your teeth perfectly as they straighten. If you notice that your aligners aren’t fitting properly, this may be a sign that you’re not wearing them consistently or in the right order.

In cases like these, Dr. Sheehan will suggest you visit our Waterford office for an evaluation. She may tell you to either skip ahead to the next tray or wear the previous one.

Is it normal that I’ve lost weight since I started wearing my aligners?

For optimal results, you’ll need to wear your clear aligners 22 hours a day. Since you have to take out your aligners to eat, this only leaves you with a total of two hours to eat throughout the day. Having limited time to eat may result in you eating less frequently and in smaller quantities.

If you notice yourself losing an alarming amount of weight, Dr. Sheehan recommends setting aside specific times to eat and consuming nutrient-rich meals or protein shakes during these times.

Visit Dr. Sheehan to Experience Invisalign for Yourself

There are good reasons for the popularity of Invisalign. Patients love that it’s comfortable, removable, and almost completely invisible. Plus, it can produce great results for your smile. Invisalign can be a rewarding treatment that’ll provide you with straight teeth, but issues with your aligners may arise if they are not taken care of properly. That’s why our Michigan dentist provides patients in Shelby, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester and the surrounding areas with detailed instructions for caring for their aligners.

To experience the benefits of Invisalign for yourself, simply contact Dr. Sheehan at our Waterford office at (248) 674-0384 to schedule your complimentary Invisalign consultation. Or, if you prefer, click the button to the right to fill out our convenient online contact form, and one of our expert team members to reach out to you. We look forward to transforming your smile.