At Christian Manley Orthodontics, we are proud to offer our patients a variety of treatments to help them get the smile of their dreams. Many people like the consistency of traditional or clear braces, but what we get requests for more than any other treatment option is Invisalign clear retainers!
Invisalign retainers are popular for good reason, as they are nearly invisible and super simple to care for. Plus they create the same stunning and aligned results as other forms of orthodontics, at around the same cost. What’s not to love?! Despite all the conveniences, Invisalign might not be the right fit for every patient, so let’s get into a few more details on what Invisalign is and if they would be a good fit for you.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Invisalign retainers, otherwise called clear aligners, are retainers that fit over your teeth. As they are clear, they are essentially invisible to others, which is one of the reasons they are so popular with adults and teens. The Invisalign system starts with an impression of your smile, and continues with an entire treatment system that slowly shifts from your baseline to your final stage of aligned teeth.
You will come home from each orthodontist visit with several retainer trays. After a week or two, depending on your orthodontist’s recommendation, you will transition to the next tray, which will slowly shift the alignment of your teeth. Over the course of several months or years of regular shifts, your smile will be healthy, straight, and beautifully aligned!
Is Invisalign a Good Fit For Me?
Dr. Manley recommends Invisalign to his patients that fit a few criteria. First, they have to be mature enough to remember to wear and care for their retainers. Typically older teens and adults fit this criterion best, whereas younger children and Invisalign are often not a great idea.
There are also a few exceptions where Invisalign might not be able to help your particular teeth structure. Those with severe bite problems, extremely rotated teeth, or with large gaps between their teeth may not get good results from Invisalign, in which case Dr. Manley would recommend another orthodontic option.
But mature teens and adults who can be committed to maintaining their retainers and don’t have the above-mentioned problems would probably see great results from Invisalign.
How to Succeed with Invisalign Retainers
If your orthodontist has suggested Invisalign as a good fit for you, then here are a few of our best tips to help you succeed with your clear retainer!
Wear Your Retainers Consistently
The golden rule for Invisalign success is to consistently wear your retainer. Dr. Manley recommends wearing it for 22 hours a day! That means all the time except when eating or brushing.
This might seem like a lot at first, but you will quickly get used to it. It only makes sense that in order for your retainer to shift your teeth you will need to wear it as instructed! If you are diligent about wearing your Invisalign day and night, it will ensure that your treatment is as fast as possible and you will soon have the straight smile you’ve been dreaming of.
Brush, Floss, and Rinse Your Teeth!
Maintaining a clean mouth is vitally important all the time, but especially during your orthodontic treatment. Because the plastic trays of your retainer are enclosed around your teeth for so many hours, you will want your teeth and retainers to be cleaned often to remove germs and plaque that are growing inside.
Continue your regular brushing and flossing routine of a twice-daily brush morning and evening, and flossing once. You will also want to start brushing your retainers at least once per day. You can brush them with a separate toothbrush that you use for your teeth and rinse well with lukewarm water. Brushing with hand soap or alcohol-free mouthwash can add some extra germ-killing power if you need it. You can also soak your retainers in a denture cleaning fluid like Polident to help get rid of any stuck-on grime or buildup.
Another good idea is to do a quick mouth rinse after meals before putting your retainers back in. This can prevent excess food particles from getting stuck in your teeth and retainers that might cause discomfort and plaque growth.
Keep a Case Close By
The last thing we want during your Invisalign treatment is for you to lose a retainer and need to purchase a replacement. Not only is it inconvenient and expensive, but it can make you lose precious time and progress on your treatment! Make sure you keep your retainer case close by at all times, either in a purse or backpack, to stash them in during meals. Also, be sure to never wear your retainer when eating or drinking anything other than water!
Save Your Aligners
If something should happen to your retainer, like it gets broken or lost, it’s good to have your last pair of retainers on hand as a backup. That way you can continue wearing something to help prevent teeth shifting while you wait for your replacement retainer to arrive.
Don’t Skip a Retainer Set!
We know that it might be tempting to jump quickly from one retainer to the next as a way to speed up your progress, but we don’t advise it! It can actually end up causing more problems and slow down your treatment. Trying to shift your teeth too quickly can sometimes mess up the aligners or your teeth. We don’t want to have to backtrack your treatment as a result of impatience. Instead, wear your retainers for the prescribed amount of time by Dr. Manley, typically 1-2 weeks at a time, and try to be patient as you wait for results.
Need More Invisalign Advice?
Our team at Christian Manley Orthodontics are experts at supporting our patients through their Invisalign treatment! We are available to offer advice and support throughout their orthodontic journey to help things go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
If you are in the Sammamish or Issaquah areas, be sure to give us a call to schedule your free consultation appointment to learn all about Invisalign and if it’s the right fit for you!