When you think of achieving a straighter smile, you likely imagine wearing metal braces. But at M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, Inlet Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach, FL, we also offer Invisalign Destin FL, a cutting-edge tray technology that can fix concerns like spacing issues, bite imperfections, and crowding. Treatment is easy, and you can even remove the trays to eat and drink. Do you have more questions? Read further – we have the answers you need.
How Many Hours Should You Wear Invisalign?
Invisalign Destin FL (IN) is a commitment just like any other orthodontic treatment. If you invest the proper time and effort, you can enjoy a more beautiful smile and greater confidence. With that said, you’ll need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day.
We know what you’re thinking; 22 hours is practically the entire day. While this is true, the good news is you can remove your aligners to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. This means they don’t have to be in your mouth each and every minute. But you should not remove your IN aligners for more than two hours each day. Ignoring this recommendation can delay your finish date and cause you to wear your aligners for longer than originally anticipated.
The 22-Hour Rule
Each IN aligner is designed to uniquely fit your mouth and teeth. Each also uses micro-movements to gently nudge your teeth into better alignment. The small but critical shifts that take place are spread across several months or longer. This is an intentional component of IN to ensure you, the patient, remain comfortable throughout treatment.
Each new tray is designed straighter than the preceding one to gradually deliver the smile you want. The trays apply constant pressure to your teeth so they move into the desired positions. But removing your aligners for more than two hours each day can interfere with treatment in a number of ways.
Failure to Comply
The first complication, as mentioned earlier, is a delay in your results. In other words, you won’t see the cosmetic effects you expected by the target date. Generally speaking, we can identify your treatment timeline – usually between 12 and 18 months – after providing you with your first set of trays. We’ll then continue to monitor your progress with regularly scheduled checkups.
During your checkups, we’ll notice if your teeth are not sufficiently moving and ask about your compliance with the 22-hour rule. It’s important you feel comfortable speaking openly with our staff. If you have not previously followed the 22-hour rule, we may adjust your treatment plan so you have to wear your aligners for longer. If your progress has fallen too far behind, we may have a whole new set of trays made so treatment can essentially restart.
The 22-hour rule is especially critical in the first few days after receiving a new tray. This is when the aligner is at its strongest, and you’ll feel slight pressure applied to certain teeth. That pressure is perfectly normal and should even be counted as a positive sign – it lets you know the tray is working as expected. But if you remove your aligner for a significant period of time, such as for a special event, your teeth may ever so slightly return to their original positions.
This reversion likely won’t be visible, but you will experience moderate levels of pain or discomfort when you begin wearing your trays again after a long break. The only way to avoid this situation and enjoy a seamless treatment is by following the 22-hour compliance rule.
A Switch to Braces
If you stick to your Invisalign Destin FL treatment plan, and practice a little patience, you’ll have a straighter smile in almost no time. But if you struggle to keep the aligners in place, we may recommend you switch to braces instead. Braces also deliver gorgeous results, but they don’t allow the freedom and flexibility that inherently come with IN.
You cannot, for instance, remove braces to take photos, eat, drink, or brush your teeth. They adhere to your teeth 24/7 without any chance for a break. They can also rub against sensitive mouth tissues and cause pain. Don’t let this be you – stick to your goals and wear the trays designed specifically for your needs.
Tips for Maintaining Compliance
The first tip we recommend is this: be mentally prepared to commit to your aligners. This generally means developing a plan that will help you wear Invisalign Destin FL for the required 22 hours per day. Tell your friends and family about your upcoming treatment – they can help you stay on track and encourage your progress. Also keep a designated storage container or napkins available to store your trays while you eat and drink.
Remember why you chose IN in the first place. Of course, you want straighter teeth and a more even bite to improve your smile. But these effects can also boost your overall health. Straight teeth are much harder to chip or break. Your mouth will also be in better shape to eat healthy, crunchy foods like carrots, apples, and celery. These are but a few examples of the fruits and vegetables needed to maintain optimal energy levels and enjoy an active lifestyle.
Think of the Benefits
Straight teeth are much easier to clean than those that are crooked or overcrowded. Once your IN treatment is complete, you’ll enjoy shorter dental appointments and fewer oral health problems. Last but not least, your confidence will soar as you finally feel at ease with your smile. Smiling and laughing have shown in clinical studies to provide their own health benefits, including:
- Reduce stress
- Lower blood sugar and pressure
- Boost immune responses
- Release natural painkillers
Follow a Few Suggestions
Throughout treatment, we suggest you start wearing new aligners after an early dinner. You should then keep them in place until breakfast the next morning, allowing the trays to stay in place for at least 12 hours without interruption.
Again, your trays are at their strongest in the first 12 hours of use. If you wear them continually throughout this period, you can expect around half of the necessary teeth movements to have already taken place. Following this pattern can contribute to better outcomes and help you stick to your treatment plan. You should also:
- Keep your trays clean to avoid bacteria build-up
- Understand the more you wear your trays, the more comfortable you’ll be in them
- Immediately report damaged or missing aligners to our office
- Practice good oral health
- Eat a nutritious diet and drink plenty of water
- Avoid sugary foods and frequent snacking between meals
- Continue routine dental cleanings and checkups
Ways to Optimize Your Treatment
Approximately every two weeks, you’ll switch to the next aligner in your treatment series. Small tooth-colored build-ups or attachments might be used to help you achieve optimal results.
These attachments are bonded directly to one or more teeth to help the trays stay in place (don’t worry – you’ll still be able to remove your trays as needed). You can also use these attachments to track how well the aligners fit your teeth. Keep in mind you don’t want any gaps between the trays and your teeth. If you do see gaps, contact our office so we can make the necessary adjustments.
Watch What You Drink
Invisalign Destin FL trays are clear, meaning they’re also discreet. But you can discolor them by drinking any dark-colored beverage, including juices, tea, and coffee. We recommend you mostly stick to water throughout your treatment.
You can occasionally indulge in another drink, including one we just listed, by first removing your aligners and then brushing your teeth before replacing the trays. If brushing isn’t an option, at least rinse your mouth with water.
Use a Whitening Toothpaste
If you long for brighter teeth, now is the time to get them. Treatment helps increase the efficacy of whitening toothpaste by holding in place the fluoride and whitening agents. Both substances are normally washed away by saliva, but the trays keep them in contact with teeth for faster and more effective whitening results.
Change Your Trays on Time
On some occasions, we may ask that you change your trays more frequently or keep wearing them for a few more days. It’s important you comply with these requests because they’re based on your individual progress. Ignoring our recommendations will only obstruct your treatment.
A Quick and Easy Path to a Straighter Smile
IN is one of the fastest treatments available for a straighter, brighter smile. You’ll need to wear your trays for 22 hours a day, but doing so will help you finish treatment in the shortest time possible. Schedule your consultation today by contacting M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, Inlet Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach, FL.