Invisalign has taken the world of modern dentistry by storm! These awesome aligners are able to straighten crooked teeth in a very discreet manner—as long you’re diligent about wearing them for 22 hours every day! However, this is often easier said than done; especially considering the challenges that some patients encounter whenever it’s time to remove their trays. Here are five helpful tips to ensure that you’re removing your aligners properly without compromising your treatment.
1. Keep Your Cool
Clear aligners can sometimes be a bit of a burden, and you won’t be a master of removing them right off the bat! That said, if you’re having trouble at first, it’s important to relax and stay calm. You won’t have better luck if you’re tensed up and stressed out, plus you’ll increase the likelihood of you injuring yourself by accident. If you’re ever starting to feel frustrated or flustered, simply pause, take a deep breath, and then try again.
2. Try to Keep Your Mouth Warm
You’ll have an easier time removing your aligners if your mouth is warm. This will cause the plastic of your aligners to feel more flexible and easier to manipulate, making them infinitely simpler to remove! Consider drinking lukewarm water to warm up your mouth before popping out your aligners, and also make sure your fingers are warm and dry.
3. Start from the Back
It might seem rational to remove your aligners starting from the front, but you should opt to start from your back teeth instead. Starting from the back greatly minimizes the risk of injury to your mouth or damage to your aligners. Lift the aligners off of your molars on each side, gradually working your way towards the front teeth. You can also start with one side and work your way towards the other.
4. Advance to Your New Trays Before Bedtime
Clear aligners like Invisalign work by gradually shifting your teeth into a straighter and healthier position over the course of a few months. You’ll occasionally have to advance to a new set of aligners to match your teeth’s progress, usually every 2 or so weeks. You should consider doing this before bedtime for two main reasons: not only will you sleep through the stage where they feel the tightest, but you’ll also have an easier time removing them in the morning when it’s time to eat and brush your teeth!
5. Use Aligner Hooks to Help You
There are actually several special tools that can assist you with removing your aligners. Pul Tools and OrthoKeys are two popular options that are widely available through retailers like Amazon. They function similarly to crochet hooks, only they’re designed for your mouth! They gently hook under the edge of your aligners and help you lift them from your teeth with no mess or hassle.
Invisalign is an exciting way to enhance your pearly whites—but you must be sure to wear your aligners often and handle them correctly, especially when it’s time to remove them! Following these tips should help to make the task reasonable easy.
About the Author
Dr. James A. Moreau Jr. has served patients and families in the Covington, LA area for several years. Dr. Moreau received his dental doctorate from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry and is a proud Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. His practice is pleased to offer many services including clear aligners like Invisalign. If you have any questions about Invisalign or would like to schedule a visit, you can contact Dr. Moreau’s practice online or over the phone: (985) 809-7645.