It is completely normal to have teeth that aren’t perfectly aligned. However, alignment problems such as teeth that are twisted, crooked or have gaps between them, as well as issues with an under or overbite, can spell disaster for both our dental health and the appearance of our smile.
Misaligned teeth are more prone to developing dental decay and periodontitis since they do not sit perfectly flush against one another. Some areas of teeth may be impossible to reach with a toothbrush or interdental cleaning device and it is here that bacteria can accumulate and cause dental problems to appear. Unless diagnosed and treated quickly, you can expect to experience bad breath, significant pain, abscesses, infection and even tooth loss. The implications of periodontitis can reach even further, with the condition linked to serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease and damage to the kidney, liver and lungs.
Patients who have teeth that aren’t in perfect alignment may also be less than happy with the way that their smile looks, and as such, may feel embarrassed and unattractive. Smiling with a closed mouth and avoiding drawing attention to the teeth are common traits of someone who feels self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth.
In the past, the only way to correct dental alignment problems was with orthodontic braces – a solution which involved placing metal framework on to the teeth and adjusting it regularly so that they were forcibly moved into a new position. However, today there is another option – Invisalign.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign is an innovative alternative to orthodontic braces that uses a series of clear plastic aligners worn over your teeth to direct them into a more desirable position. They are created using state of the art mapping technology which takes the initial position of your teeth, the final desired position and plans out exactly how they need to move in order to obtain the final result. This map is then used to create the series of aligners, each of which is ever so slightly different and applies gentle pressure to your teeth to encourage them to move in the right direction. Each aligner must be worn in order, for a minimum of 22 hours per day, and for the allotted number of weeks before moving on to the next aligner in the series. Failure to wear the aligners in the right order or to commit to the number of hours it should be worn for could significantly jeopardize the success of the treatment plan.
Caring for your Invisalign aligners
Caring for your Invisalign aligners is one your principle responsibilities when you choose this dental alignment solution. They must be kept clean and in the best possible condition if you are to achieve the predicted result at the end of your treatment.
Here is our guide to what you need to know about caring for your Invisalign aligners.
Clean them regularly
One of the most important things that you should be doing is cleaning your aligners regularly. If you are wearing them as directed, they are exposed to the bacteria in your mouth for at least 22 hours each day. This means that they should be cleaned just as much as regular teeth are. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and the cleaning gel supplied by our dentist and clean them at least once each day. Don’t forget you will still need to clean your natural teeth too, especially as you don’t want bacteria to become trapped between the aligner and your teeth for long periods of time.
Don’t soak them
Many people think that aligners should be soaked overnight, much like dentures. However, there is absolutely no benefit to soaking them, and you should be wearing your aligners all the time except during meals.
Don’t eat or drink anything hot while wearing them
Speaking of eating, this is about the only time you should ever remove your aligners. Since they are made of plastic, eating or drinking anything hot could cause their molecular structure to change and them to become damaged. You shouldn’t wear them to eat either so slip them out discreetly and pop them in to the container that our dentist provided.
When they aren’t being worn, store them properly
Invisalign aligners are fairly fragile and this means that they need to be properly stored when you aren’t wearing them. Your Invisalign provider will give you a case that you can carry with you that should help prevent them from being damaged or lost.
If you would like more information on the best methods for caring for your Invisalign aligners, our expert team would be happy to assist you. Please contact our clinic today with your query and let us put your mind at rest.