Invisalign offers a great option for patients who want straighter teeth but don’t want highly visible traditional braces on their teeth for an extended period of time.
However, patients need to understand the commitment required for this form of orthodontic treatment to be successful. Unfortunately, patients sometimes make mistakes that compromise the effectiveness of this treatment.
Here are six mistakes to avoid that compromise Invisalign effectiveness.
- Infrequent Aligner Usage
Your treatment isn’t going to work if you don’t wear your aligners enough. You need to keep your aligners in most of the time for treatment to be effective.
Most dentists recommend that patients wear aligners at least 20 hours a day. However, some dentists instruct patients to wear aligners at least 22 hours a day for maximum effectiveness. You will need to remove your aligners at some points throughout the day for eating and brushing.
- Delay of Aligner Changes
The longer you wait before you start using your new aligner after a scheduled aligner change, the longer treatment is going to take. You need to periodically change your aligner so that your teeth continue to shift in position until they are as straight as possible.
Patients typically experience some discomfort initially in the days immediately following an aligner change. However, aligner changes are essential to progress in orthodontic treatment. You should change aligners immediately when you have a new one to get straight teeth as quickly as possible.
- Lack of Retainer Use Afterwards
Although orthodontic treatment is effective at straightening the teeth, teeth shift after patients stop wearing aligners if they do not wear retainers to maintain teeth position.
Patients wear a retainer for between 12 and 22 hours a day for the first few months after they stop wearing aligners. After a few months pass, patients only have to wear their retainer a few nights per week for their teeth to stay in place permanently.
- Neglect of Dental Hygiene
Some patients make the unfortunate mistake of neglecting dental hygiene when they’re undergoing treatment with their aligners. However, neglecting dental hygiene during treatment is counterproductive because it detracts from the appearance of the teeth.
Brushing and flossing can be more of a hassle with aligners because patients must take aligners off before they can clean their teeth. However, patients need to brush and floss after every time they eat before they put their aligners back in to keep the teeth clean and prevent bacteria from growing between the teeth and the aligners.
- Inability to Attend Appointments Promptly
Your dentist needs to examine your teeth to evaluate progress periodically throughout the treatment period.
While dentists vary in terms of how frequently they recommend appointments, most patients should see the dentist at least once every six weeks to maximize the speed and effectiveness of treatment.
Any delay when you’re due for an appointment compromises the effectiveness of treatment and will, in turn, delay the completion of treatment. Make appointments a priority to finish your treatment as quickly as possible.
- Severe Orthodontic Issues
Despite all of the developments in recent years in orthodontic care, traditional braces are still the most versatile means of straightening the teeth and regulating orthodontic problems. If your orthodontic issues are severe, you might not be able to correct them through aligner treatment alone.
A few orthodontic issues that Invisalign can’t always correct include problems with tooth position, shape, intrusion, and extrusion. Also, aligners are not typically able to correct extremely wide gaps between teeth or large midline discrepancies.
Another common issue that disqualifies patients from being able to undergo Invisalign treatment is prior dental treatment involving the placement of crowns or veneers. Dentists cannot place attachments on teeth that have undergone these dental treatments, so Invisalign is not an option for these patients.
If you’d like to find out if Invisalign can help you acquire straighter teeth, contact Beck Pearce Dental to schedule a consultation.