What Daily Life with Invisalign is REALLY Like

Woman wearing orthodontic silicone trainer

So: you’re ready. You’re straightening your teeth, and you’re trying out this supposedly patient-friendly treatment method called Invisalign.

If you’re holding your aligners in your hand for the first time, you’re probably thinking: okay, I’ve got them, but what do I do next?

While your Invisalign provider will give you all the information you need to succeed, there are always going to be day-to-day bumps in the road that you might not feel prepared for.

That’s where this post comes in!

If you’re a new Invisalign patient, this article will tell you exactly what you can expect from the upcoming months in your aligners – plus, some advice on retaining your results post-treatment. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers – and if you don’t find what you’re looking for below, just get in touch with Cherrywood Dental for advice. Our staff loves helping Invisalign patients through their journeys, and unveiling their straight, confident smiles in the months ahead!

Invisalign Non-Negotiables: What You MUST Do Daily

While Invisalign definitely makes straightening simple for its patients, there are some guidelines that you absolutely must follow if you’re going to finish treatment on schedule – and avoid cavities along the way.

  • Wear your aligners as much as possible – While Invisalign’s removability makes it more appealing than braces, that removable nature adds responsibility onto the patient. You need to wear your aligners at least 20-22 hours per day (every 24 hours). This might sound easy, but it’s actually quite a big chunk of your day and night. If you eat three meals a day, plus snacks in between, plus brushing and flossing, that’s easily a few hours when you aligners will need to be out. A good practice is to brush immediately after eating, then pop your aligners back in. There’s another downside to leaving your aligners out after eating – it’s more likely that you’ll lose them. Something that you can try is setting a an alarm on your phone every time you take them out. The alarm will go off after you’ve given yourself a reasonable amount of time to eat, and then the aligners get back to work straightening your teeth!
  • Brush and floss every time you eat or drink – You know that brushing and flossing are important for everyone’s oral health because they prevent plaque buildup. But for Invisalign patients, oral hygiene is absolutely imperative – and you’re going to be brushing more often than usual. This is because it’s easy for acids and food particles to get trapped against teeth if you replace your aligners after eating but skip cleaning your teeth. The last thing you want is for your straight smile to be filled with cavities – make sure to clean your teeth every time you eat, and this won’t be an issue.
  • Adjust your eating schedule – This might not be necessary for every patient, as we all have different snacking habits. If you tend to eat 3 meals a day and forgo snacks, then Invisalign will fit into that schedule fairly easily. But if you tend to eat small amounts of food throughout the day and just have 1 larger meal at dinnertime (as many of us do in our nonstop-busy era), this is going to prove tricky. Since you need to clean your teeth every time you eat, snacks become frustrating and end up taking up a lot of time. It’s going to be important that you eat fewer, larger meals to get enough calories without having to constantly pop out your aligners and brush your teeth. For this reason, many Invisalign patients actually lose weight because they eat less than they typically would.
  • Put together a travel toothbrushing kit – Think about all the places that you eat every day – home, work, school, a friend’s home, restaurants. If you’re cleaning your teeth post-dining, you’ll need to have a small toothbrush, toothpaste & floss that can accompany you. Visit your local drugstore and put together a small kit that can live in your purse, backpack or briefcase and keep your teeth clean no matter where you eat.

Other Invisalign Patient Responsibilities

While these tasks won’t be necessary daily, they’re also crucial to your success.

  1. Change out your aligners as instructed – You’ll need to switch to new aligners at specific intervals. This keeps your straightening moving forward and your progress on schedule. Don’t delay the swap due to the initial discomfort. Soon enough, you’ll feel completely comfortable again and your teeth will continue to shift as planned.
  2. Don’t skip follow-up appointments – You’ll need to visit the office for routine checkups. This allows your Invisalign provider to ensure that everything is looking good and your teeth are shifting predictably. If you miss an appointment, it could take a little time to reschedule, so try to make these trips a priority.

After Invisalign Treatment: What Happens Next?

You’re not completely finished with your orthodontic treatment once you’ve completed your course of Invisalign aligners. It’s important that you wear retainers at night. This will help ensure that your straighter smile lasts for many years to come.

Considering Invisalign? Whether you’ve never discussed it with a provider or have already had a consultation, we’re happy to provide more information or a second opinion. Reach out today!

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