Here are some tips to help ensure proper use and avoid damaging your aligners.
Always Remember To
- Wear your aligners per your doctor’s instructions, usually 20-22 hours per day.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your aligners.
- Handle only ONE aligner at a time.
- Rinse your aligners when removing them from the packaging.
- Make sure you have the proper aligner—the upper for your top teeth and the lower for your bottom teeth.
- To help avoid confusion, each aligner is engraved with your unique case number, a “U” for upper and an “L” for lower, followed by the stage number.
- You may insert either the upper or lower aligner first. When inserting each aligner, gently push the aligners over your front teeth. Then apply equal pressure, using your fingertips, to the tops of your left and right molars (back teeth) until the aligner snaps into place.
- Do NOT bite your aligners into position. This may damage them. Note: If you experience sharp pain or significant discomfort, discontinue use of the aligners and contact your doctor.
- On one side of your mouth, use your fingertip on the inside of your back molar to slowly pull the aligner from your molars.
- Repeat this process on the other side of your mouth before trying to completely remove the aligner.
- Once aligner is disengaged from the molars on both sides of your mouth, you should be able to slowly work your way forward gently prying the aligner away from your teeth with your fingertips.
- Immediately rinse aligner with water, shake off excess water, and store your aligners in the protective case provided with your starter kit.
- To help prevent damage to the aligners, avoid unnecessary removal.
- Take care in removing your aligners, especially if multiple attachments are being used.
- Do not use excessive force to bend or twist an aligner to get it off.
- DO NOT use any sharp object to remove your aligners.
- Consult with your doctor if your aligners are extremely difficult to remove.
Daily Care And Maintenance Of Your Aligners
- Clean your aligners prior to each insertion. Use a soft bristle toothbrush with water and a small amount of toothpaste. You may find it easiest to clean the outside of your aligners by brushing them while they are still on your teeth, then remove your aligners to clean the inside surfaces.
- Do NOT use denture cleaners to clean aligners. Do NOT soak them in mouthwash. These products can damage the surface of the aligner, causing it to become dull and more visible.
Note: Be sure to rinse each aligner thoroughly with water after each cleaning. We also recommend that you use the Invisalign aligner cleaning products once a week, or as needed.
Proper Oral Hygiene
- Remove your aligners for eating and drinking. (You do not need to remove your aligners to drink cool water.)
- Brush and floss your teeth after each meal or snack prior to re-inserting your aligners. If you don’t have access to your cleaning system or a toothbrush, you can simply rinse your mouth, and then clean your aligners by holding them under warm running water. It’s not the best way to clean, but it works in a pinch. Be sure to thoroughly clean your aligners at your earliest convenience.
- If you have any questions regarding hygiene techniques, please consult your doctor.
- Regular dental checkups and cleaning are recommended for the continued health of your teeth and gums.
Storing Your Aligners
Two aligner cases are included in your starter kit, a blue case and a red (or orange) case. We recommend that you store your Invisalign aligners in a case when they are not in your mouth. This will help protect them from loss and damage.
Designate your blue aligner case for your “current stage.” Store the aligners you are currently using (e.g., stage #1) in this case.
When it is time to switch up to the next stage (e.g. stage #2), transfer the previous aligners (e.g. stage #1) to the red (or orange) case. Always keep the most recently used aligners in this case. If your current aligner is lost or broken, your doctor may recommend that you temporarily go back one stage and use the aligners in the red (or orange) case while a replacement is being made.
Note: Keep all of your older aligners in a clean plastic bag, or as instructed by your doctor. Keep them out of reach of small children and pets.