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Clear aligners

All About Your New Clear Aligners

You did it: you made a lifelong investment in your smile and are now sporting brand new clear aligners. Congrats! The next step? Wear ’em—then get ready for impressive results. Questions about the process? Below, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most common clear aligner questions we see. Read on for our top tips on how to get the most out of your treatment.

How long do I have to wear my clear aligners?

Most clear aligners should be worn 20 to 22 hours a day. Remember: clear aligners only work when you’re wearing them. The most important way to support your treatment is wearing your aligners consistently.

When should I take out my clear aligners?

You should always take your aligners out to eat and brush your teeth. If you’re drinking something sugary, or something that could stain (ahem, red wine), be sure to take your aligner trays out first, and rinse your mouth with water before putting them back in.

How do I remove my clear aligners?

Your aligner trays are designed to fit snugly but be easily removable. It’s easiest to remove each tray from the back of the mouth first. Use a fingertip on your back molar to slowly pull the tray away from the tooth. Repeat this on the other side before completely removing the tray.

Cleaning clear aligners

How do I clean my clear aligners?

Thanks to their medical-grade polymer material, it’s easy to keep your aligner trays clean. Be sure to rinse them with cool water every time you remove them, and for best results, brush them lightly once a day with a toothbrush and cool water. Do not use toothpaste. All toothpaste is slightly abrasive, which can make your aligners less transparent. You can use a mild soap if you’d like. Don’t use hot water, as that can warp the material.

How long will my clear aligner treatment take?

The length of your clear aligner treatment will vary depending on your treatment needs. However, the average treatment time for in-office aligners (like Invisalign®) is 12-18 months. Your treatment will not take longer than 24 months.

Why do my clear aligners feel loose?

Your clear aligners are designed to fit snugly. They should feel tightest when you first get them. After the first 3-4 days, they should loosen up a bit. If your aligners feel very loose, however, give your dentist a call.

What if my clear aligners hurt?

Your clear aligners may take a few days to get used to. After getting your first set of trays, you may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity. You may notice that your bite feels different; you may even experience a slight lisp when you speak. The important thing to remember is that all of these symptoms will resolve—fast. By the end of your first week or two, you should be back to normal. If not, contact your dentist.

How do I keep my teeth straight after treatment?

After your treatment, you will receive a retainer to maintain your straight smile. And (no surprise here!) it’s important to wear it consistently. Even after orthodontic treatment, your teeth are always moving slightly, which is totally natural. To keep your dream smile, wear your retainer.

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