Starting orthodontic treatment is a huge step – taking care of your clear aligners from Manzella Orthodontics might be an even bigger one. Straightening your smile is a two-way street. It’s our job to create 100% personalized, custom-fit aligners and a treatment plan to match, but it’s your job to take care of your new appliance between appointments to ensure you get the straight teeth you’re looking for.
Whether you just started treatment or you’ve been an aligner pro for a few months now, this one’s for you. Here are the five keys to creating a beautiful smile with aligners that you need to make the most of your orthodontic treatment plan.
Key #1: Wear Your Aligners as Directed
While it may seem obvious that you need to wear your appliance for your treatment plan to work its magic, you’d be surprised how often we find patients skipping crucial hours or forgetting to wear their aligners altogether. That’s why this step comes first: don’t forget to wear your aligners!
Every Manzella Orthodontics patient has a unique treatment plan and instructions provided by Dr. Manzella, but it’s essential for every patient to wear their aligners for 22 hours per day! You should only remove your aligner trays for things like meals, band practice, or vigorous exercise. At all other times of day, they should be in place and working so you can get the best results possible without adding time to your treatment plan.
Key #2: Change Your Trays On Time
When you opt for clear aligners to straighten your smile, you’ll experience a different process than traditional braces patients. Part of your job as a patient is keeping up with tray changes. That’s because you’ll go through 20-30 aligner tray sets on average throughout the course of your treatment plan.
Each set is custom-made to fit the treatment plan mapped out by Dr. Manzella, which means they gradually become straighter and straighter as your teeth shift in line. Every new set is slightly different than the previous one, and once it’s time to switch from one to another, your old tray won’t do much to improve your smile.
Remembering to change your trays as often as instructed is one of the best ways to continue seeing progress and finish treatment on time.
Key #3: Keep Your Trays Clean
Another key to creating the beautiful smile you deserve with clear aligners is to keep them clean. Neglecting to clean your aligners could result in a buildup of bad bacteria that could harm the appliance and cause bad breath. There are several ways to keep your trays hygienic.
- Be sure to rinse your aligners when you remove them to wash away saliva or other particles left over between uses.
- Don’t use toothpaste! The granular particles in toothpaste can scratch your clear aligner trays, which can harm them over time and become obvious when you wear them.
- Soak your clear aligners once a week with a vinegar-water solution. This can also improve the appearance of stains, if any are present.
Key #4: Remove Your Trays When Necessary
While we can’t emphasize enough that wearing your clear aligners for the appropriate time span every day is the best way to straighten your teeth, there are a few times when it is important to remove them.
You should never eat meals or snacks with your clear aligners in. Chewing with your appliance could harm the trays, which could make getting replacements a necessary – and time-consuming – next step. Instead, remove your trays during meals and reapply them when you’ve finished eating.
The same goes for sports or band practice. If you’re on the court or in the band room, you should remove your clear aligners until practice is over. This will keep them from breaking and prevent injury to yourself as well.
Key #5: Attend Your Appointments
This step is where we come in! Every time you visit Dr. Manzella for a check-up, you’re one step closer to finishing treatment with the straight smile you’ve been waiting for. Keeping your appointments helps keep your treatment plan on track, whereas missing appointments can add time to the process.
We understand that things come up that you can’t always control, and that’s okay! If you can’t attend an appointment, just let us know as far ahead in advance as possible so that we can reschedule your appointment and keep you on track for success.
Find Smile Success at Manzella Orthodontics
Straightening your smile with clear aligners has never been easier, and we have the experience to prove it. With 3D impressions and multiple aligner options to choose from, your treatment plan is custom-made to fit your unique needs and preferences. If you’re ready to get the smile you love, schedule your free consultation in the West Seneca or Buffalo areas today!