Tips For a Better Aligner Experience
Clear Aligners like ClearCorrect are a great alternative to metal braces when you’re in search of an invisible solution to the perfect smile. Just like any other form or orthodontic treatment, aligners will take some getting used to. We promise you will adjust to the aligner lifestyle! Here are some of the best tips we’ve heard to keep your experience with clear aligners amazing:
1. Always put your aligners in your case! Aligners (and even your post-treatment retainers!) placed in napkins, cups, or left on tables will often be misplaced, thrown out, or damaged. The case will also keep your aligners safe from pets that may try to chew them (it happens, trust us). It’s also a good idea to keep your case out of direct sunlight or in a hot car, as this could cause distortion in the plastic. This means your trays might not fit properly! Keeping your aligners in a case and out of the heat is key to keeping your treatment on track.
2. If it helps, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to put your aligners back in thirty minutes after you take them. Ideally your aligners should be in your mouth for 22 hours a day for them to work properly. Your teeth may be sore, but taking out your aligners for extended periods of time will reduce their effectiveness.
3. If your teeth are sore or tender, take medication that you would normally take for a headache. This should alleviate any discomfort. If your clear aligners are causing sores to your gums or tongue, call our office! We can adjust your trays to help with your discomfort. You can also try a topical anesthetic such as Kank-A to temporarily numb the sore area on your tissue.
4. Change to a new set of trays before you go to sleep. This way, the majority of the initial soreness will happen overnight and you can wake up well-rested and with a smile. But only change when instructed! Orthodontists are trained to understand tooth movement and the speed at which teeth can safely move. Switching trays faster than your orthodontist recommends will not cause your treatment to go any faster, and trying to move your teeth too quickly may cause damage.
5. Always hang on to your previous set of aligners. If you lose or break the set you are currently wearing, we may have you switch back to your previous set of trays. If you do lose or break an aligner, please call our office to let us know and ask for advice! It helps to keep your old aligners in one color case and your current aligners in a different color case. This will keep you right on track and wearing the right set. If you would like an additional case, just let us know!
6. Avoid drinking anything but water while wearing your aligners. Hot beverages can cause distortion, and sugary liquids such as soda or sports drinks can cause discoloration of the aligners themselves. Adhering to a water-only rule will ensure your aligners stay nice and invisible throughout the length of time you have to wear them.
7. Additionally, brush, brush, brush!!! Try to brush your teeth after every meal (rinse extremely well if you don’t have a toothbrush on hand) and floss your teeth at least once a day (more is always better!). Putting aligners in over unclean teeth puts you at risk for cavities. Also gently brush your aligners with toothpaste and a toothbrush! This ensures they stay clean, clear, and prevents stinky trays. Do not press too hard, as brushing your aligners too roughly may cause them to scratch.
8. After you finish treatment, wear your retainers! Your retainers are an important part of your orthodontic treatment and ensure your amazing results stay amazing. Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor and be sure to care for your retainers just as you cared for your aligners. You will be an expert in taking care of them by the time you finish treatment!