So you’re considering Invisalign clear aligners, or maybe you already have them. Congratulations on the first step on your journey to a straighter smile! Invisalign’s revolutionary technology has shaped modern orthodontics, and remains one of the most effective, subtle, and affordable options on the market.

Invisalign exceeds traditional metal braces in many ways, but one of the most appealing ones is the ease with which it can be incorporated into your lifestyle. While traditional metal braces require changes to be made to your diet, your oral hygiene practices, and your participation in sports, among other things, Invisalign doesn’t have to impact any of these things. In fact, life with Invisalign is practically identical to life without Invisalign — except your teeth are getting straighter!

There are a few easy steps to care for your Invisalign clear aligners and keep your straightening process on track.

When to Wear Invisalign

A woman putting her Invisalign orthodontic appliance on her teethYour Invisalign clear aligners are very easy to remove and put back in. So when should you wear them, and when should you take them out?

In order to work properly and meet the timelines that your dentist has set for you, you will need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours a day. That basically means that you should remove them only when eating, performing daily oral hygiene routines, or playing certain sports.

While traditional braces may require you to cut out foods that are sticky, chewy, or crunchy, Invisalign makes it easy — just remove your aligners when you eat, and put them back in afterwards. Your diet can remain exactly the same, so you can continue to enjoy popcorn, toffee, and corn on the cob. And since the aligners don’t have the sharp metal brackets that traditional braces have, it is safe to play sports with them in. The only time you would need to remove Invisalign for physical activity is if you play a sport that requires a mouthguard. Just pop the aligners out, put in your mouthguard, and play hard! When you’re done, your aligners can go back in.

Oral Hygiene and Invisalign

Brushing effectively around the brackets and wires of traditional braces is hard enough, but add flossing into the equation and you have a serious challenge. With Invisalign, oral hygiene is easy: Just remove your aligners and perform your regular brushing and flossing routine. Before you replace your aligners again, simply brush them gently with your toothbrush (no toothpaste necessary.)

If you brush your aligners twice a day and make sure your teeth are clean before putting in your aligners, your Invisalign aligners should stay clean. But every once in a while, it may be a good idea to use an Invisalign cleaning kit to soak your aligners to keep them fresh.

Invisalign isn’t just an effective option — it’s also an easy one! You don’t have to change your lifestyle to accommodate Invisalign. Just wear the subtle aligners and wait for a straighter smile!

Call (803) 781-9090 or contact us online to make an appointment with a Columbia, SC cosmetic dentist experienced with Invisalign.