Staying Safe and Healthy with Invisalign During COVID-19

Speaking for all of us at Timock Family Orthodontics, it’s been hard to find time for self-care while navigating the new normal of this past year. If you found yourself putting orthodontic treatment on the backburner throughout 2020, there’s no better time than now to make it a priority! There’s no need to compromise though; staying safe and healthy during COVID-19 is easier than ever with Invisalign!

You deserve a healthy, confident smile, and our team at Timock Family Orthodontics is here to make that happen with a wide range of affordable treatment options, including clear aligners like Invisalign. As our most popular alternative to braces, clear aligners have had some distinct advantages during the pandemic. Let’s take a look at why this treatment could be just what you’re looking for in 2021!

Clear aligners offer an extra measure of flexibility

While traditional braces can come with a pretty significant learning curve, clear aligners bring no dramatic change to your daily habits. You’ll be able to eat and drink the same things, participate in sports without taking any extra precautions, and essentially continue to do anything you did before treatment began! Because the aligners are nearly invisible, many people won’t even realize you’re in the process of straightening your smile, a feature that many image-conscious teens and adults love.

Clear aligners are comfortable 

After a year of wearing pajamas to Zoom meetings and working from your couch, comfort understandably ranks high on everyone’s current list of priorities. Fortunately, clear aligners have got you covered in this department! Each aligner is made of a smooth thermoplastic material and custom-designed to fit firmly over your teeth. With no sharp brackets or protruding edges to rub against your cheeks or gums, your aligners will take very little getting used to. 

While traditional braces come with brackets and wires that can be bent or broken, extreme orthodontic accidents are much less likely with clear aligners. They’re all one piece and are made to be durable and long-lasting—but that doesn’t mean they can’t be lost or damaged! If they’re not handled properly, aligners may be prone to cracking, tearing, or breaking. Some damaged aligners can still be worn as normal until it’s time for the next in the series, but in severe cases we may need to make a replacement. If you do damage or lose an aligner, you should let us know as soon as possible so Dr. Timock or Dr. Wire can advise you on the next step to take.

Clear aligners are a discreet treatment option

One of the biggest benefits of clear aligners is how subtle they are. Teens and adults can achieve a stunning new smile without anyone around them noticing their treatment! That means you can continue attending school, going to work, singing karaoke, or simply enjoying life without many of the changes that can come with braces. Clear aligners allow you to let your beautiful smile shine through once you can safely meet up with others again! You can even take them out for short periods of time on special occasions like prom, senior photos, or a wedding, a luxury that braces don’t afford. 

Clear aligners are simple to use 

Although they look very different, braces and aligners work similarly. Both methods use an orthodontic appliance to put gentle pressure on the teeth, moving them into more desirable positions over time. Though aligners are removable for meals and the like, they must be worn for 20-22 hours every day, and switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks in order to continue producing the correct orthodontic forces while keeping up with the movement of the teeth. When you are compliant with these straightforward guidelines, aligners can work just as well as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues. 

We normally provide patients with several weeks’ worth of aligners at a time. This has been very convenient during this uncertain era of stay-at-home orders and social distancing! Even now, we’re happy to arrange curbside pick-up for the next set of aligners if you run out of your current set. Patients with questions can also choose to set up a virtual appointment to speak with Dr. Timock and Dr. Wire to discuss their concerns if they’d rather not enter the office. Options like these allow all of our patients to continue their treatment process safely and conveniently. 

Clear aligners are easy to care for

From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been told by experts to keep our hands away from our face and mouth to help limit the spread of germs. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that patients in clear aligners will touch their mouth multiple times a day, which means it’s more important than ever to practice good hygiene! 

The good news is, you don’t have to choose between your oral health and your aligners with Invisalign or other clear aligners. The aligners are designed to be removed prior to  eating, drinking anything other than water, and brushing your teeth. Before you remove your aligner, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Pay careful attention to the fingernails and fingertips since these areas will come into the closest contact with your mouth and aligners. 

Remember that washing your hands is the first line of defense against germs and infection. This CDC video has helpful information on how to do so quickly and effectively! If you aren’t able to wash with soap and water for any reason, sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used in a pinch. This concentration is best-suited to kill germs and bacteria on your hands. 

It can be tempting to toss your aligners onto the nearest surface when you remove them, but you should always place aligners in an aligner container or leave them to soak in a cleaning solution when they’re not in your mouth. This protects them from germs and also prevents you from accidentally throwing them away (which happens more often than you’d think!). Once you’re done eating or your teeth are brushed and flossed, wash your hands again and rinse your aligner well before putting it back in your mouth. 

It might sound like a lot to manage at first, but caring for your aligners will quickly become just another part of your daily routine. Being careful with your oral health and aligners will help protect your total body health, too!

Get the smile you deserve with clear aligners from Timock Family Orthodontics

We may not be quite clear of the pandemic just yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the first step towards a healthier smile in 2021! Clear aligners make it easy to improve your oral health safely and effectively, and will leave your friends and family wondering what you did during quarantine to get such a beautifully aligned smile.

Wondering if you could be a good fit for these exciting options? Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Timock and Dr. Wire to find out!