Traditional braces have been helping patients correct even the most complex dental issues for decades. The orthodontic appliance is made of metal brackets, wires, and ligatures and has earned its highly respected reputation over and over again! We are proud to provide metal and ceramic braces for our patients.
At the same time, braces have discouraged or intimidated some patients into avoiding necessary orthodontic care. Clear aligners, also known as trays, have become a favorable alternative to braces and continue growing in popularity daily. Aligners are clear, removable trays that straighten your teeth over time by applying pressure. Their snug fit and transparent material mean they’re practically invisible to onlookers when worn!
It’s also true that aligners, like the Invisalign trays we offer at Moon Orthodontics, are lower maintenance than braces. However, there are still some things to be mindful of so that your smile is everything you dream it would be when your treatment is over.
1.) Don’t forget to wear them.
Fixed orthodontic treatments like braces are not removable. Some wearers might have to remember to put on their rubber bands, but for the most part, braces don’t require the patient to remove or wear anything.
One of the benefits of aligners is that they are removable for eating, drinking, or special occasions. This benefit comes with the responsibility of patients putting on their aligners and wearing them for the amount of time per day prescribed by Dr. Moon.
Another advantage of the aligners is that the average treatment time with them is less than with metal braces. Forgetting or neglecting to wear the aligners can prolong your overall treatment and delay the day you see your teeth in the mirror, perfectly aligned.
2.) Brush and Floss.
Brushing and flossing twice a day keeps cavities and gum disease at bay! The ability to remove aligners makes it much easier to keep your teeth and gums clean during the teeth straightening process than ever before! Wearing aligners is not an excuse for not maintaining your oral hygiene. Your teeth and gums still need cleaning!
The health of your teeth and gums is so important, but you also don’t want your nearly invisible aligners to be visible! Depending on what you ate at mealtime, you might want a quick brush or rinse with water before putting your aligners back in to prevent them from staining.
3.) Clean your aligners.
Even though you are not eating or drinking anything but water with your aligners, you still need to clean them every night. Over the week or two that you wear the tray, they can collect bacteria and plaque from your mouth. When you take the trays out to eat, they are also vulnerable to germs and dust in the air. You want to ensure that they are thoroughly clean every night so you can have a fresh start for the next day
Aligners that are not adequately cleaned can quickly develop an unpleasant smell, which is not encouraging when it is time to put them on again! Cleaning them takes only a few minutes and is much easier than cleaning fixed orthodontic equipment like braces. To clean your Invisalign trays, you want to run them under lukewarm water and gently brush them with an unscented antibacterial soap using a separate toothbrush than you use to brush your teeth. You might want to use Invisalign Cleaning Crystals if you need a deeper clean, but remember to ask Dr. Moon before using any product on your clear aligners.
4.) “Wait, where did my aligners go?”
Aligning trays are small and easy to lose if you are not careful. Their small size makes them easy to misplace when you take them out to eat. Putting them in their case also helps you keep track of them if you are not ready to put them back in. Make sure to carry your case with you everywhere you go! You don’t want the aligners to get damaged or accidentally thrown away.
Their small size makes them perfect chew toys for your pets, too! You might be surprised how many aligners and retainers need to be replaced because a pet thought it was for them.
Your aligner set does not come with replacements. If they get lost or damaged, you would have to make an appointment to get more made, and if that happens often enough, your overall treatment time could become extended.
5.) Change Your Trays On Time.
The whole team at Moon Orthodontics is just as excited as you are to see your progress in your orthodontic journey. We know that seeing your predicted final smile on your digital treatment plan is exciting, and you want to get there as fast as possible.
No matter how excited you are, you can’t rush the process! Change your aligners at the prescribed time. Changing trays too early could be unnecessarily uncomfortable, and forcing an aligner on that doesn’t fit could break it! If you wear the wrong aligner for too long, your teeth’s movement path will change. All of these scenarios result in an altered or delayed treatment program.
Follow Dr. Moon’s instructions, and he will safely get you the beautiful smile you’ve been working towards as quickly as possible!
Have more questions?
Our team at Moon Orthodontics is passionate about helping you achieve an out-of-this-world smile! If you are a current patient and need more personalized advice or a new patient thinking about getting clear aligners, we would love to answer your questions! Schedule an appointment or free consultation with Dr. Moon and our fantastic staff to get all the information you need to make an informed choice.
We look forward to assisting you in your orthodontic journey!