Avoid These Common Mistakes When Wearing Invisalign

by Brent Woods

The process of wearing Invisalign seems pretty straightforward on its surface. Your dentist gives you a set of aligners, and you pop a new one in every couple of weeks, according to a schedule your dentist sets. Even though this process is simple, people do make some mistakes when wearing their aligners. These mistakes could hinder your results or even lead to tooth decay. Here's how to avoid them.

Changing your aligners a day or two late.

You know you have to change your aligner on Tuesday, but Tuesday gets busy, you forget, and it's Thursday before you actually make the switch. While doing this once or twice is not a big deal, making a regular habit of it can be. After you've worn an aligner for a few weeks, it has already moved your teeth as much as it can. It's no longer really putting much pressure on them or shifting them. Thus, during those extra days you're wearing your old aligner instead of switching to a new one, you're not making any progress towards straightening your teeth.

You can help avoid this mistake by setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to change your aligner. If you won't be home a lot (or at all) on the day you're set to switch your aligner, bring your new one with you so you can switch it on a break or at lunch when you remember.

Drinking beverages other than water with the aligners in.

Your dentist will likely advise you to remove your aligners before meals, and only to drink water when you have them in. A lot of people tend to ignore these instructions, reaching for beverages like soda and coffee when they're wearing their aligners. This is a bad idea for two reasons. One, it can stain the aligners, making them less than invisible. Two, the sugary liquids can ease their way under the aligners, where they sit on the surface of your teeth and may contribute to tooth decay.

Get into the habit of enjoying your favorite beverage right after your meal, and then brushing your teeth before putting the aligners back in. Always bring a bottle of plain water with you, so you're not tempted to reach for something else when you get thirsty with your aligners in.

If you run into any other challenges when wearing your aligners, be sure to let your dentist know. He or she can tell you what has worked for other patients in terms of rising above those challenges. For more information, contact a dentist like Joe Rosenberg, DDS.