Clear aligners provide an excellent alternative to the standard metal brace when it comes to rearranging teeth with minimal fuss. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a right or wrong way to use them, and getting the most out of Invisalign Weybridge is vital to success. It can also make a big difference to the overall length of treatment, and in the most extreme cases of misuse, the success of the treatment altogether can be damaged.
What are dental aligners?
Dental aligners are a sequence of highly specialised dental splints, each one designed to alter the position of your teeth slightly before you move on to the next aligner in the sequence. This division of labour allows each aligner to be lightweight, minimalist and only used for 2 weeks throughout the treatment. Furthermore, these aligners usually go completely unnoticed in public.
The great thing about aligners is that you can remove them, giving you flexibility and allowing you to take them out in an emergency. But with that comes the temptation to not wear them at all or take unnecessarily long breaks; this can have a significant effect on the overall treatment schedule.
If you take too many breaks, you can cause reversion to take place; this is when your teeth move back into their original positions. It will take your treatment out of sequence such that the shape of your aligners will eventually not match your current tooth position and can result in having to restart treatment.
Clean your aligners as thoroughly as you would your natural teeth! Thankfully, it is a very simple process. A quick rinse in flowing water will do; there is no need to brush them or soak them, but regular cleaning is highly recommended. When the aligners are in your mouth, they stop the natural flow of saliva around your teeth, which can allow bacteria to build up. Moreover, even though they are translucent, they can become more obvious if they are not kept clean!
Keep it cool
Aligners are made using 3D-printed resin technologies; the result is a tough thermoplastic with a very precise shape. If an aligner becomes hot, it can easily warp, losing its function and becoming ineffective at providing treatment.
This kind of heat damage usually occurs accidentally when an aligner is left in clothing that goes through a tumble dryer or is cleaned roughly in boiling water.
Don’t skip… replace…
Life is busy and chaotic, and occasionally, things get misplaced. When this happens, it can be tempting to try to get ahead and start using the next aligner in the sequence; however, this can have adverse overall effects and should only be done with the direct consent of the dental professional overseeing the treatment.
Most providers offer a rapid replacement service, allowing a single aligner from a sequence to be remade and shipped as a priority to minimise the amount of time spent without it. This is usually done at a reduced cost to the original aligner and sometimes included in the treatment package.