I absolutely love that moment when I introduce a new patient to their first set of clear aligners. After much anticipation and preparation, they’re ready to begin the journey to a brand new smile.
I’ve also been there as a patient, so my advice for everyone getting started on their smile journey is this: be good to your mouth. You're about to fit hard plastic onto your teeth for 22 hours a day, which will be quite an adjustment!
Here are my top six tips for surviving your first week with clear aligners.
- Protect your tongue. Buy some dental wax at your drug store (or try Genuine Orthowax, available on Amazon) for any rough edges, and have a bottle of peroxide-based mouthwash (Colgate Peroxyl is one example) in your medicine cabinet. Your tongue will thank you.
- No Pain, No Gain. To deal with other aches and pain in your mouth, don't forget your “biting” exercises. In addition to helping your trays fit tightly, they produce a nice massage effect, stimulating nutrient-rich blood flow to your teeth and gums.
- Leave the chewies at home. I designed Movemints to give my patients an alternative to chewie foam, to encourage them to do biting exercises throughout the day, and to help fight bad breath and dry mouth throughout the smile journey. Movemints are sugar-free and sweetened with beneficial xylitol so you can eat them with your trays in!
- Establish a routine. Its hard to adjust to your new lifestyle with clear aligners. You'll be taking them out often, which is okay; it's why so many orthodontists recommend them in the first place. Mobile applications like Invisatime help you keep track of how long you've worn (or not worn) your aligners and remind you when to change to a new set of trays.
- Don't go finger fishing. Stay safe and sanitary when you remove your trays. Use a tool like the OrthoKey, which is small enough to fit in your retainer case so you never have to worry where your hands may have been when its time to take out the trays.
- Clean and whiten? Yes please. One pump of EverSmile WhiteFoam will cleanse your trays and whiten your teeth. Keep several of these mini-bottles around, you won't regret it!
As you embark on your smile journey, strive to establish a good routine. Protect your tongue and do your biting exercises often. I know you are excited, and I'm excited for you, so email any questions (Dr. David Pechersky; firstname.lastname@example.org) or post a comment to our Facebook page.
I want to hear from you!