How Your Invisalign Works

The invisible way to straighten your teeth without braces. To discuss clear braces in the Germantown TN area, please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.

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  • Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners to straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets.
  • The aligners are made through a combination of Dr. Garrett’s expertise and 3-D computer imaging technology.
  • You wear each set of aligners for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss.
  • As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position Dr. Garrett has prescribed.
  • You’ll visit Dr. Garrett about once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
  • Total treatment time averages 9 – 15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.

Invisalign Instructions (Invisalign Instructions printable)

General Soreness and Speech – Most people experience soreness for a day or two after starting each new set of aligners. This is normal.  It is a sign that the aligners are working and moving your teeth to their final destination. You may take an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen(Advil) or Naproxen(Aleve) if necessary.  On rare occasions, aligners may temporarily affect your speck slightly.  However, as your tongue gets used to having the aligners in the mouth, any minor disturbance in normal speech caused by the aligners will disappear within the first week.   Read out loud for 5 to 10 minutes for the first day or two and this will help you get your speech back to normal.  The more your wear your aligners, the quicker you will feel normal again.

Eating -We suggest that you remove your aligners when eating and drinking. It is ok to drink plain water with them in.  Remove your aligners just before you eat and/or drink as sugars and acids become trapped between aligners and teeth, which can cause tooth decay and other problems.  Make sure you brush or rinse well with water before putting your aligners back in so food and sugars are not trapped on your teeth.

 Important things to Know -You must wear your aligners 22 hours a day, unless you are told otherwise by Dr. Garrett.  You should change your aligners every 2 weeks (14 days).  Do not change sooner or your teeth will become very sensitive and your aligners will not work as they should. Dr. Garrett recommends that new stages be placed after the last evening brushing and not removed until the next morning.  If you find that you are ready to change, and you do not have the new set, do not panic! Keep wearing your current aligners until your next appointment.  If you have lost or damaged your aligners, please call us right away. You can move back to the previous set or we may instruct you to move forward, depending on where you are in treatment. But please call us so we can discuss.

 Wearing and Using your Aligners

Aligner Insertion: Make sure you have the correct aligner – upper for top teeth and lower for bottom teeth. To help you avoid confusion each aligner is engraved with your unique case # and “U” for upper and “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 the front teeth.  Then, apply equal pressure, using your fingertips, to your left and right back teeth, until the aligner snaps into place.  DO NOT BITE your aligners into place.  This will damage them. Minor discrepancies between the new aligner and the current tooth position are normal since the teeth need time to conform to the new position.  However, if there is a problem with the fit do not proceed to the next aligner stage until you are seen by Dr. Garrett.  If you have more than 2mm space between the edge of the front teeth and then end of the aligner, and the aligner will not seat more, call our office.

Aligner Removal: Using your fingers, start on one side at the back teeth and slowly work your way, pulling forward, around to the other side. DO NOT use any sharp object to remove your aligners. Immediately rinse the aligners with water, shake off excess water, and store your aligners in a case. Please do not put your aligners in a tissue or pocket as them may be thrown away or break. As you proceed to each new stage, the last two or three stages are to be saved in their corresponding zip lock packets or red case. It is rare that an aligner is unable to be removed.  A #2 crochet hook from Michael’s will assist in removing the aligner if you have short fingernails. Call our office for assistance.

Daily Care and Maintenance of Aligners: Clean your aligners after removal and prior to each insertion. Use a soft toothbrush with toothpaste and water. Rinse each aligner thoroughly with water after each cleaning. DO NOT use denture cleaners to clean aligners or soak them in mouthwash. These products can damage the surface of the aligner, causing it to become dull. Store your aligners in their blue case when not wearing them. Keep a case with you at all times.