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Believe it or not, about 4 million people have braces in the United States. Though incredibly common, traditional braces are not the only option you have.

Invisalign aligners offer a fantastic and discreet alternative to those troublesome metal brackets. They’re less painful, more comfortable, and easier to adjust to.

But to get the best Invisalign results possible, you need to commit to your treatment plan. Here are a few tips to help.

1. Clean Your Aligners Regularly

Your Invisalign aligners allow you to get an almost invisible orthodontic treatment. But you have to keep the aligners meticulously.

Unfortunately, the aligners can get stained if you don’t clean them regularly. And when that happens, people will start to notice when you have them in.

Use a gentle anti-bacterial soap and warm water to remove any buildup and bacteria from the trays. Try to do this at least once a day. This will keep the trays clear and in good shape.

2. Wear Them for the Full 22 Hours

The aligners can only work if you wear them and you need to wear them long enough for your teeth to straighten out.

For most people, this means committing to wearing the trays for 22 hours each day. You’ll need to take out the trays to eat or drink anything other than water. But beyond those activities, do what you can to leave them in.

If you don’t, you’ll end up extending your treatment length and won’t get the Invisalign results you want.

3. Follow Your Schedule Like Clockwork

With traditional braces, you have to see your orthodontist for regular adjustments. But with Invisalign, you’re given a series of trays that you need to change out yourself.

It’s important that you follow that schedule as accurately as possible. If you forget to switch out a tray, you’ll delay your treatment’s progress.

If you’re worried about staying on top of your schedule, you may want to consider using traditional braces instead.

4. Expect Some Discomfort

Invisalign still moves your teeth into a better position. This process can cause some discomfort, especially after changing to a new aligner tray. But the pain should go away in a few days and it should never be severe.

Make a plan for it. Switch trays out at nighttime so you can sleep through the worst of the adjustment. And stock up on plenty of soft foods to help you through the sore period.

If the pain feels too bad at any point, call your orthodontist.

5. Floss and Brush Your Teeth

Invisalign trays completely encase your teeth. This is what allows them to work so effectively.

But it also means that the bacteria and germs inside your mouth get trapped against your teeth and gumline, too. Your saliva won’t be able to reach your teeth throughout the day to periodically rinse them off.

This means you need to brush and floss your teeth after each meal and before you put your aligners back in. Otherwise, you’ll increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

6. Hold On to Your Old Aligners

Accidents happen. Sometimes those new aligner trays break or get lost. When this happens, you’ll need a way to preserve your progress until your orthodontist can get you a new aligner.

Your old aligners will do the trick just fine. Try to hold onto your old trays throughout your treatment. This way, you can use them as a temporary retainer until your new trays get to you.

7. Never Eat with the Aligners In

Food and beverages can lead to stains on the aligners if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s important to always take your aligners out before you eat or drink anything other than water.

Though the alignment trays themselves may not get damaged by you eating or drinking, they won’t stay clear for very long.

When in doubt, take them out.

8. Store the Aligners Properly

Invisalign aligners make it easy to get a discreet orthodontic treatment. But their near-invisible appearance poses other challenges—they’re incredibly easy to misplace!

Always use a retainer case or other hard container to store your aligners anytime you’re eating, drinking, or not wearing them. If possible, use a brightly colored case to make it easy to spot in your bag or purse.

9. Don’t Feel Discouraged

It’s normal to feel self-conscious about your aligners at first. But that doesn’t mean you should feel discouraged about your treatment.

Know that it will take time to get used to wearing the aligners. Almost everyone finds it tough to talk normally at first, but the more you do, the easier it will get.

The important thing is to continue wearing your aligners and speak with your orthodontist if they don’t feel like they’re fitting your teeth just right.

Don’t give up on your treatment. Just give yourself a few weeks to get used to the Invisalign. It’s still going to be easier than adjusting to traditional metal braces.

10. Go to Your Checkups

With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about getting your braces adjusted and tightened every few weeks. Instead, you get to do that on your own by changing out your trays. But you’ll still need to go to the occasional checkup with your orthodontist to make sure your treatment is going according to plan.

It’s important that you take the time to go to these appointments. If anything comes up or you can’t make it, reschedule as soon as possible. Remember, these appointments help you and your orthodontist stay on track with your treatment.

Get the Invisalign Results You Want

If you’re getting started with Invisalign, these tips will help you get the best Invisalign results possible. But they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

Pay attention to what your orthodontist tells you during your consultation and your fitting. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice throughout your treatment.

If anything happens that doesn’t feel right or you’re worried about the way your treatment is progressing, contact us immediately.