Originally Published Feb. 28, 2018
Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply imagine a better you, and poof, it instantaneously happens? Think about it. We would actually meet all our New Year’s resolutions. Well, snap
out of it, and get back to reality. Anything worth having takes effort. The good news is if you’ve made a commitment to straightening your teeth through Invisalign®, success is well within your reach.It may be human nature to be tempted to slack off a little when trying to reach a goal or meet a challenge. But guess what? Restarting that diet again every Monday isn’t really going to help you in the long run. The same is true for your Invisalign treatment.
Amirreza Rafaat, DDS, with Lansdowne and Herndon Smile Design in Northern Virginia recommends these six tips for getting the most out of Invisalign.
Be true to your treatment plan.
Dr. Rafaat works with you to design the treatment plan to address your specific dental issues and desired outcomes. Cheating on the plan is just cheating on yourself. Like many patients, you probably chose Invisalign because of its nearly invisible appearance, the ability to take your aligners out while eating or drinking, and the ease of brushing and flossing your teeth during the treatment process. These are all great benefits, but the ultimate payoff – a dazzling smile and straight teeth – can’t be attained unless you do your part. You can do this!
Wear your aligners up to 22 hours per day.
You can easily remove them to eat and drink and when flossing your teeth. Then just pop them back in your mouth. You can even wear them while you sleep. That’s like a six- to eight-hour bonus without even trying.
Switch out your aligners as directed.
When you get your customized set of aligners, Dr. Rafaat will give you specific instructions on when to switch to the next set. Following this schedule will keep your treatment progressing forward by allowing your teeth to gradually move in the proper sequence as prescribed in the treatment plan.
Follow through on your checkups.
Although the goal for every treatment plan is to address dental issues by moving teeth, everybody is unique. One person’s teeth may move at a faster rate than another. This distinctiveness can’t be predicted, so follow-up appointments are important. Make them and keep them. You may only need to come in every four to six weeks, but this time is well spent. Dr. Rafaat can measure the progress of the movement of your teeth and make any minor tweaks, if needed.
Good hygiene rules.
Good at-home oral hygiene is always a good thing. If you don’t have a good routine, now is a great time to develop one. Invisalign makes it easy to floss and brush your teeth. Unlike traditional brushes, you don’t have to weave floss around brackets or wires. Simply remove your aligners to brush and floss. Remember to gently brush your aligners with toothpaste, and rinse them before putting them back into place.
Straight talk about post-treatment.
In about 12 to 18 months, your treatment plan will be completed, and you can reap the reward of all your work – that amazing smile. Keep in mind that teeth naturally move all the time. Dr. Rafaat may recommend retainers to keep your teeth from shifting into their previous crooked positions. If you get into the habit of wearing your retainers right after the completion of your treatment plan, you’ll do great.
Now, all you have to do is to smile with abandon. After all, you earned it!
Amirreza Rafaat, DDS, with Lansdowne and Herndon Smile Design in Northern Virginia, welcomes new patients and is ready to help you get the most out of Invisalign.