Yay! You finally started your aligners, what now? I’m sure you have a lot of questions; how do I wear aligners, how long do I leave my aligners on, how do I clean my aligners? Next Level Orthodontics is here to help! Wearing aligners is nothing like having braces. Aligners while having the best aesthetic between the two, require much more maintenance, and upkeep. We have shared some helpful tips to make sure you get the most out of your aligner treatment.
All About Aligners
Probably the biggest tip, WEAR YOUR ALIGNERS! Keep in mind, you are only actively in treatment if you are actually wearing your aligners. This means you should be wearing your aligners a MINIMUM of 22 hours a day, the other 2 hours should be solely for eating and brushing. Your teeth will not move, if you do not wear your aligners.
Keep up with your hygiene! Because the aligners consist of a special plastic that covers all of your teeth, it is that much easier for sugars to get trapped in your aligner and damage your teeth. If you drink anything with sugar, take the time to rinse your mouth before placing your aligner back in, and refrain from drinking anything with sugar while you have the aligners on. If you are asking yourself “How do I clean my aligners?” the answer is quite simple as you have a lot of options. One great way to clean your aligner is gentle soap and water, make sure the water is not hot as it can warp the plastic. Another way you can clean your aligners is using cleaning tablets Do not leave aligners in the car (especially in Texas!). This could cause your aligners to warp the plastic. If the aligners melt, even just a little it will not fit properly, and you will need to contact Next Level Orthodontics to see how Dr. Smith would like you to proceed.
Invest in bite chewies to ensure your aligner attachments are fully engaged. You are probably asking yourself “What is a bite chewie”? Bite chewies are a flexible plastic that sometimes come in the shape of a tube, or a bite wafer (see photos) that help your aligners fully wrap around any and all attachments. This may seem silly at first, but it is a great way to get the most out of your treatment.
ALWAYS put the aligners in your given case when you are not wearing them. It can be really easy to store your aligners in a nearby napkin when you go out to eat, but keep in mind that your aligners are clear, and small. The chances of you throwing away that napkin will significantly increase. You never want to keep your aligners near your pets (even if your aligners are in your case) as they can easily think it is a toy and chew it up.
Change your aligners on time. Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to make sure you are switching to your new aligner on time. This will ensure that your treatment ends when Dr. Smith quoted you.
If you are sore, that means your teeth are moving! Removing your aligners when you are sore, will cancel out the progress you have made. Like taking one step forward and one step back. It is crucial that you stay consistent about how you wear your aligners. It’ll take some getting used to, but once you build your habits, you won’t even have to think about it!