6 Tips on Surviving Your First Week with Invisalign Clear Aligners

I absolutely love that moment when I introduce a new patient to their first set of clear aligners. After much anticipation and preparation, they are ready to begin the journey to their new smile. As an orthodontist and former Invisalign patient, my list of Invisalign tips and tricks comes down to one simple philosophy: be good to your mouth and establish a consistent, healthy routine that you can maintain throughout your treatment!

You will be wearing clear aligners for 22 hours a day, which is quite a commitment. It's also uncomfortable, and with Invisalign pain is common. Here are six Invisalign tips to start your smile journey on the right track and experience maximum comfort during the invisible teeth alignment process.

1) Protect Your Tongue

The plastic edges of your clear aligners may irritate you. Sores are common early in the journey, and also at the beginning of new tray cycles, but give your mouth a chance to toughen up. To accelerate this toughening, learn how to use dental wax to cover Invisalign sharp edges. A dab or two will do, and you can find dental wax for Invisalign at any drugstore or online at Amazon.

Colgate Peroxyl helps treat minor irritations that occur when straigthening your teeth with clear aligners

Even if you think your mouth can hang, it helps to have a bottle of peroxide-based mouthwash like Colgate Peroxyl in your medicine cabinet. It is specially formulated to heal minor oral irritations during orthodontic treatment, and provides teeth and gum pain relief (even retainer pain relief) with a refreshing, foamy effect that really hits the spot. Keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet, and you'll be glad you did!

2) How to Reduce Invisalign Pain and Discomfort

Old fashioned sign for painless dentistry included in a blog about clear aligners

Clear aligners work by forcing your teeth into their ideal position. To be honest, it can hurt, and many will experience pain in their teeth and jaws. For my patients, I recommend chewing and biting exercises a few times a day, and every time you reinsert your invisible braces, to ensure that your teeth will track in accordance with your treatment plan.

Learn More About Invisalign Tracking

They produce a nice massage effect for your gums, stimulating nutrient-rich blood flow to your mouth, which is also a natural pain reliever. And importantly, chewing exercises help your Invisalign trays fit tightly for maximum tooth movement. You may have received styrofoam chewies in your clear aligner starter kit; these do aid in the chewing process and are recommended by many orthodontists. But, they get kind of dirty and are a bit awkward to use in public. So....

3) Use Movements When Reinserting Your Trays

It’s not always ideal or convenient to do chewing exercises during the course of your busy day. When I first started treating patients, I told them to use styrofoam “chewies” or other homegrown remedies to get a good bite, but none of these items were particularly appealing (or sanitary) for me to recommend.

I drew on my experience as a patient to create a perfect alternative, one that freshens breath and seats trays in a sanitary, low key manner. After years of perfecting its shape, I’m pleased to share Movemints, the only Mint that Fits™ your clear aligners, with patients all over the world!

Movemints are mints that fit clear aligners, helping patients perform chewing exercises to promote comfortable and effective orthodontic treatment

I created Movemints™ to give my patients an alternative to chewie foam and encourage the gentle chewing exercises throughout the day. It doesn’t hurt that Movemints taste great and fight dry mouth, are sugar-free and sweetened with beneficial xylitol. Eat them all day and with your trays in!

4) Start a Daily Invisalign Routine and Stick To It

Person writing in a journal to make a routine schedule for invisible braces

Obviously it will be a little difficult adjusting to your new lifestyle with your invisible teeth aligners. You will be taking them out often, which is okay; this is why so many orthodontists recommend them for older teens and adults.

But the flexibility can extend your treatment if you don’t wear them for the recommended 22 hours. We are big fans of TrayMinder, a mobile app that tracks how long you’ve worn (or not worn) your aligners and reminds you when to change to a new set of trays.  

Another great way to stick to a consistent clear aligner routine is to have the right Invisalign accessories for your smile journey. We've got an entire blog devoted to the best accessories, but one of our favorite "must haves" is an extra retainer case or two. Keep several retainer cases on hand for your bag, backpack, office and purse and you'll never risk misplacing or losing your clear braces.

Read: Five Cute Retainer Cases to Keep Clear Aligners Safe and Clean

5) Remove Your Clear Aligners The Safe, Sanitary Way

Stay safe and sanitary when you remove your invisible braces. A tool like the OrthoKey, small enough to fit in your retainer case, has purposeful design that makes it easy to use.

Use OrthoKey for safe and sanitary removal of your invisible teeth aligners and clear retainers

Your hands may work for you, but trays get tighter as your treatment progresses, meaning you'll have to find new angles for removal. This is where the “hook” of OrthoKey really shines, and saves you from inadvertent nail gashes if or when your hands slip while trying to pry them out.

6) Keep Your Trays Clean (and Clear)

I know that my patients are going to cheat. Finishing the last two sips of a lukewarm coffee or enjoying a glass of (white) wine with your trays in isn’t the worst thing you can do. But don’t make it a habit, and be mindful of your schedule: cheating during the last few days (or hours) of an Invisalign tray cycle gives less time for stains to compound.

EverSmile WhiteFoam cleans your clear retainers and whitens teeth at the same time!

When you notice your trays getting a little dingy and funky, use a pump or two of EverSmile WhiteFoam. You can do this before you put your trays back in (it tastes great!) or while you have them out, but keep in mind: EverSmile WhiteFoam will clean your trays and whiten your teeth while you wear your invisible braces!

For more techniques to keep your aligners fresh and clean, read Six Tips for Clean, Clear Aligners.

Create Your Routine and Stick To It!

As you embark on your smile journey, strive to establish a personal routine that you can maintain. Incorporate these Invisalign tips into your lifestyle. Protect your tongue and do your chewing exercises often to reduce Invisalign pain. Good habits are essential to relieving invisible braces pain and achieving your ideal smile! 

I know you are excited, and I'm excited for you, so if you have any questions please don't hesitate to share them in the comments section. Even better, share your own Invisalign tips and tricks with others that are about to embark on their smile journey with clear aligners. We love to hear from you!

-Dr. Pechersky

13 comments

Cora Williams

Remarkable post,
Plastic aligners can rectify tooth imperfections very effectively. Proper cleaning of aligners is important to avoid bad breath. For faster results one must use them for 20-22 hours in a day.

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Candice Smith

Informative article,
Invisalign is helpful in improving dental imperfections. You can treat crooked teeth, widely spaced teeth, Overcrowded teeth using plastic aligners. These fit perfectly on the teeth and exerts pressure on the desired area.

Walcott speer

Nice article and really helpful for understanding the different things that has to be in mind at the time of Invisalign Clear Aligners.

Alexabliss

Thanks for the information, along with that, you need to rinse your aligners every night and then gently brush them using a toothbrush. It is important to never use hot water with your aligners as this could cause their shape to change. You will also keep your aligners clean by keeping your teeth clean.

Mark Joshua

Nice tips and really helpful to understand how one can feel comfortable with Invisalign Clear Aligners.

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