Invisalign is a custom-made brace for your teeth. However, you may find that when first fitted they are tight or loose. This should improve with wear and the use of chewies. You may find this happens every time you start a new aligner and is normal.
How to put in and take out your aligners
It is very important to handle your aligners carefully when putting them in and taking them out, as these are the times when they are most likely to be damaged. You should only seat your aligners in the mouth using your fingers. To avoid damage, never use your tongue and/or teeth to line them up or push them into place. You then need to use your chewies to seat them tightly to your teeth (even if you think they are fully seated they won’t be). This needs to be done every time you remove and replace your aligners (e.g. after eating)
To prevent over-flexing your aligners, they should always be removed at the back first with both sides removed at the same time – this is best achieved using your fingernails hooked over the edge of the retainer and pushing them away from the teeth. If they are then tight on the front teeth, release them from there. If you find it difficult to remove because of the attachments you may find it easier to pull them from the inside or by gripping either side of the teeth.
When not in the mouth, the aligners should be placed in the boxes provided.
Comfort and speech
Rest assured, most patients will not experience problems with comfort and speech for more than a few hours or days. However, the aligners and attachments do take some time get used to. It can be frustrating getting used to the change in routine with your aligners. You may find that you drink less than normal so make sure to stay hydrated if you start skipping your normal cup of tea or coffee! Occasionally you may feel like you are catching on the edge of the aligners which may be a bit sore after a while. If you would like to make the aligner more comfortable, we recommend taking a smooth emery board (nail file) and file gently along the “face” of the aligner at the edge. See picture below
Make sure to file the side of the aligner edge NOT the bottom of the edge as this won’t solve the problem for you.
If you notice a slight lisp at the start – it will either be because of extra saliva or due to the small change in the thickness of the tooth with the aligner in place.
To help reduce this we recommend that you practice speaking the following words, going slowly and making the sound as clear as you can. You will need to repeat this exercise a few times. Words to practice are, for example “SAUSAGE” and “THISTLE”!
If you find you are producing too much saliva DONOT try and suck it out from under the aligners as this will just encourage more saliva to be made and released. It is better to either rinse out with water or remove them and rinse them with cold water to get rid of the saliva. Try and take frequent sips of water as well.
Most patients find Invisalign comfortable to wear, but occasionally are aware of discomfort affecting their teeth. If you do experience this, we recommend that you take Ibuprofen if you are not Asthmatic or been told by your doctor not to take it. If you experience this with each new aligner then take some pain relief on the change days to help settle your symptoms quickly.
Cleaning your aligners
You will need to brush your aligners to keep them clean. Use your normal toothbrush and toothpaste This is particularly important in the mornings. Retainer Brite can be used 2-3 times a week to disinfect the aligners.
The aligners should be rinsed regularly before and after wearing them to remove saliva and debris. If this is not done and food or plaque is allowed to dry on the retainers, it is not easily removed even with vigorous cleaning.
Wearing your aligners
You need to wear your Invisalign for 20-22 hours a day to get the maximum benefit. They must be removed for eating and drinking anything other than still water. You must also use your chewies every time they are put back in. It is also necessary to use the chewies before bed time for at least 5-10 minutes to ensure the fit is as good as possible overnight – most of your movement will happen overnight so it’s worth getting the fit a good as possible during this period of uninterrupted wear.
If you are taking care when removing the aligners, they will not break, but over-flexing will result in splits in the aligner. This is why it is best to remove them carefully. Try to always put them in an aligner case and not wrapped in tissue or in a pocket – this is how they get lost or damaged.
Replacement aligners are not included in your treatment fee so a charge may be payable for replacements due to damage or loss. This fee will be £60 per aligner so if you lose 1 pair of aligners this will be £120. Therefore please look after your aligners!
If you lose just one aligner(s), it is usually best to move onto the next aligner in the sequence but wear it for the extra days that you would have worn the lost one and then follow the normal change-over dates after that – contact us if you are not sure what to do.
If you have any severe problems please contact reception on the number below or email Paula on firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.