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I have just finished my first week with Invisalign® clear aligners. If you are not familiar with Invisalign® let me quickly fill you in. They are clear aligners that are custom made from a 3D scan to fit snugly over your teeth to align them over time. You wear the clear aligners for 22 hours and you change aligners either weekly, every 10 days or 2 weeks – depending on your individual treatment plan. My treatment plan calls for 14 sets of aligners that I will switch out every two weeks and follow-up with my orthodontist every four weeks.
If you’re new to Invisalign® or you’re thinking of getting them, I have a few pointers based on what I’ve experienced so far.
- Buy a Cleaning Case and Retainer Brite®. The cases are under $10 on Amazon.com and you can buy a 3-month supply of the cleaner too. I take my clear aligners out each morning before having my coffee and breakfast and soak them in the case with Retainer Brite®. It keeps my aligners clean and kills bacteria. These babies are going in my mouth for 22 hours a day – I want them clean, free of discoloration and odor. Before having Retainer Brite®, I used hydrogen peroxide and that seemed to work just fine.
2. Ask your orthodontist for dental wax. Until you get used to the edges of the aligners, you will want to protect your tongue. The edges of the aligners can be a little sharp until you grow accustom to them. If you apply a little wax, it makes a huge difference.
3. Have a good lip balm handy at all times! My mouth is dry and so are my lips. In my purse, at my desk, in my car, on my nightstand, bathrobe pocket and my coat pocket you will find the Now Solutions® Peppermint Completely Kissable™ organic & gluten-free lip balm. This stuff is a lifesaver. Made with sunflower oil, beeswax and vitamin E – it’s my new best friend. I love the peppermint smell; it’s perfect for feeling like I have fresh breath all the time.
4. Consider asking for a trial period. Wearing a clear aligner might not be for you. If possible, see if you can try a set to see if this is for you. The cost is high. I’m spending $5,000 and there’s no turning back. I know other competitors of Invisalign® offer trial trays. It is worth asking your orthodontist about.
5. Do not give up. I wanted to the first few days but 7 days later, I am perfectly fine wearing my clear aligners for 22 hours a day. My mouth has healed and adjusted.
Stay tuned for more tips and updates on my Invisalign® progress. If you have questions or suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them! If you are looking into Invisalign® find a qualified doctor in your area for a free consult.