For many patients at Timock Family Orthodontics, aligners remain a crucial step in orthodontics health. Whether you’ve seen us in Fort Collins or Windsor, you’ve likely worn an aligner at some point. If Dr. Timock has recommended an aligner for you, here are 3 keys to creating beautiful smiles with aligners.
Don’t Believe The Myths
Invisalign is an orthodontic appliance. Like any other appliance, what you hear about it isn’t always true. If you don’t hear it from us or read about it in any literature we provide, approach anything you hear about Invisalign with a grain of salt. Here are a few examples of myths about Invisalign we’ve listened to over the years.
Myth #1: Aligners and braces aren’t any different.
Invisalign’s purpose is to straighten teeth over a period of time. Like traditional braces, a patient may have to wear Invisalign for an extended duration. In those ways, Invisalign is similar to conventional braces. But to call them the same would be inaccurate. Braces, whether metal or clear, have brackets and wires.
Additionally, Dr. Timock will likely recommend braces to fix a bad bite. You may hear her use the term “malocclusion.” Braces can work better (and, in many cases, more quickly) on bad bites. Nevertheless, Invisalign and braces are distinctly different for that reason.
Myth #2: Aligners are permanent.
This misunderstanding is similar to myth #1. Braces are affixed to the teeth. The wires and brackets help pull the teeth into position over a while. We might give you a list of food and beverages to abstain from if you have braces. You might have to temporarily say goodbye to some of your favorite snacks and drinks. But with Invisalign, that’s not the case. Invisalign is 100% removable. That’s one of the features that makes it so convenient and ideal for treatment.
Myth #3: Aligners are out of my price range.
Timock Family Orthodontics understands budget constraints. In any circumstance, patients come first. Dr. Timock will only offer treatment plans a patient will actually benefit from. We don’t believe in surprise charges or hidden fees.
With that in mind, sometimes people are intimidated by anything described as “state-of-the-art.” To many folks, that’s just another word for “expensive.” In reality, the price for Invisalign isn’t that different from traditional braces.
Speak with your insurance company about coverage for Invisalign. In addition, we can discuss payment plans to fit your budget.
Keeping Up The Clarity Of Clear Aligners
Dr. Timock recommends wearing your Invisalign clear aligner for 22 hours a day. It’s completely removable, and thus you can take it out as you like. Most people will wear Invisalign anywhere from 12-24 months. Here are a few tips to help you keep your aligner intact:
- If you’re not wearing it, put it in its case.
- Clean your Invisalign as directed (more on that below).
- Bring it into our office if you drop, break, or damage it. Don’t try to fix it yourself.
- Your Invisalign is yours. You’re the only one who should be wearing it (we’ve seen it before).
How To Cleanse Your Aligner
Invisalign clear aligners are just as easy to clean as your teeth. Within a few tries, you’ll know exactly how to clean yours. Make sure that whatever you use to clean your aligner is designed for that purpose. The doctors can advise you of specific cleaners to use. Soak your aligner in the appropriate cleaning solution for about 20 minutes daily. If all else fails, opt for a gentle soap. Remember to keep your toothpaste away — toothpaste can damage aligners. That said, using an additional soft bristle brush doesn’t hurt to keep your aligner clean.
We suggest cleaning your aligners at least twice a day. After all, that’s how often you brush, right? Many patients find it easiest to clean their aligners once before breakfast and again after dinner. Do what works best for you and your schedule, but try to clean your aligner twice daily.
Remember Your Pearly Whites
We must remember our teeth among all this talk about our Invisalign aligner! That’s the whole intent behind the aligner in the first place — taking care of your teeth! On that note, always follow the doctors’ guidance. Brush your teeth at least twice daily. Remember to take it easy on your gums. Brush thoroughly but not too hard.
Furthermore, pay attention to floss. Flossing helps reach the tiny nooks and crannies between your teeth that your brush simply can’t. Rinse with fluoride mouthwash. Keeping your teeth clean will make it easier for your Invisalign to do its job.