3 Top Tips For New Invisalign Users

Invisalign braces are touted as being more convenient than metal braces because they're removable, and because they often do the job in less time than it takes for metal braces to straighten your teeth. However, there are rules that go with using Invisalign effectively and tricks that can help you get the most out of your treatment. Take a look at the tips that new Invisalign users need to know.

Ask Your Dentist for Chewies

When you first put on your aligners, you may notice that they don't fit exactly right. That's because there may be air bubbles between the aligners and your teeth. Getting these air bubbles out is important—the tighter the fit of your aligner, the better the job your aligner will do at straightening your teeth. And that's where chewies come in.

Chewies are spongy plastic cylinders that you bite down on. Biting down on the springy material helps to work the air bubbles out of your aligners and push them down on your teeth, making them a tighter fit. They don't come with your aligners since they aren't made by the same manufacturers that make Invisalign. You can buy your own, but if you ask your dentist, they may give you some for free.

Learn Tricks for Removal

Of course, once you get the aligners fitting tightly, it might be harder than you expect to take them out again when you need to. Don't panic if you have trouble getting them off the first few times you try it.

There are a few things you can do to make removal easier. First, always start from the back. It can help to wear surgical gloves or hold a paper towel when you're removing the aligners—the texture of the gloves or the towel can give you some extra traction on the slippery aligners. If all else fails, try taking a sip of warm water or a hot drink—the heat can help make the plastic a little more pliable. Keep in mind that cold drinks or ice will have the opposite effect, so avoid cold things shortly before you plan to take the aligners out.

Wear the Aligners Full Time

Dentists recommend that you wear your Invisalign aligners for about 22 hours a day. That means that pretty much any time that you're not eating or brushing your teeth, you should have the aligners on.

It's not a good idea to disregard your dentist's advice on how many hours a day to wear the aligners. Choosing not to wear them can have a really negative impact on your treatment. You only wear each aligner for a few weeks before trading it in for the next one. If you don't wear the aligners for enough hours, then your teeth may not move as much as they were supposed to before moving on to the next aligner.

Once you're accustomed to wearing the aligners, it will become routine to put in and remove the aligners easily, get rid of any air bubbles, and wear them as long as you're supposed to, but don't be surprised if it takes some getting used to at first.