Inserting and removing aligners

  • Make sure you wash your hands well before touching your aligners, and use only one aligner at a time. Also, rinse your aligners well when removing them from their packaging. Follow these steps when inserting your aligner:

    • Make sure you have the proper aligner – there’s one specifically for your top teeth (engraved with a “U” for upper) and one for your bottom teeth (engraved with an “L” for lower).
    • Insert either aligner first.
    • When inserting each aligner, gently push the aligner over the front of your teeth and then apply equal pressure with your fingertips to the tops of your left and right molars (back teeth) until the aligner snaps into place.
    • Do not bite your aligners into place as this may damage them.
    • If you notice a sharp pain or have significant discomfort, stop using the aligners and contact your doctor.
  • Make sure you wash your hands well before touching your aligners, and use only one aligner at a time. Follow these steps when removing your aligners:

    • On one side of your mouth, use your fingertip to slowly pull the aligner from the inside of your back molars (back teeth).
    • Repeat this process on the other side of your mouth before trying to completely remove the aligner.
    • Once the aligner is disengaged from the molar on both sides of your mouth, you should be able to slowly work your way forward, gently prying the aligner away from your teeth with your fingertips.

    Other things to keep in mind when removing the aligners:

    • Immediately rinse the aligner with water, shake off excess water and store your aligners in their protective case.
    • Avoid unnecessary removal of your aligners to prevent damage.
    • Take care when removing your aligners, particularly if multiple attachments are being used.
    • Do not use excessive force to bend or twist an aligner; also do not use any sharp object when removing.

    Consult your doctor if you have difficulties in removing the aligners.

  • Follow your doctor’s advice regarding how often to change your aligners. Typically, you can change your aligners by yourself every 2 week unless your doctor recommends otherwise. You will return to your doctor approximately every 6-8 weeks to monitor the progress of your treatment.
  • The length of your treatment will depend on your specific needs and will be determined by your Invisalign-trained doctor. The average treatment for an adult is about 12 to 18 months and for teenagers, treatment length may vary and will be determined by the doctor.
  • You should have your doctor take a look and make sure everything is ok. However, as your Invisalign aligners gradually shift your teeth into their proper position, your gums are re-forming around each tooth as it moves. This may be what is causing this feeling.
  • If your aligners no longer fit, you should immediately contact your doctor, who will diagnose what remedial action may be needed. This may involve moving back one or two stages in treatment to a previous aligner or possible the use of some additional orthodontic treatment.
  • You will usually change your aligners every 2 weeks. However, please follow your doctor’s specific instructions regarding when you need to change your aligners as this may vary between patients.
  • It’s recommended that you store your aligners in a case when you are not wearing them to protect them from loss or damage.
  • You should contact your doctor if your have lost or broken an aligner. As your doctor may recommend that you temporarily go back one stage while a replacement is being made, it’s helpful to keep the most recently used aligners.

Cleaning aligners during treatment

  • Clean your aligners with a soft toothbrush with water before inserting them into your mouth. Your aligner should be rinsed with water after each cleaning, and it’s recommended that you use your aligner cleaning products once a week or as needed. It’s also recommended that you remember to brush and floss your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper oral health.
  • Follow these steps to help ensure proper oral hygiene during treatment:

    • Always remove your aligners before eating and drinking but you don’t need to remove them to drink cold water.
    • Brush and floss your teeth after each meal or snack prior to re-inserting your aligners. If you don’t have access to your cleaning system or a toothbrush, you can simply rinse your mouth, then clean your aligners by holding them under warm running water. Be sure to thoroughly clean your aligners at your earliest convenience.
    • If you have any questions regarding oral hygiene techniques, please consult your doctor.
    • Regular dental check-ups and cleaning are recommended for the continued health of your teeth and gums.
  • It’s recommended that you store your aligners in a case when you are not wearing them to protect them from loss or damage.
  • Your attachments are not removable. They should be cleaned as part of your regular oral hygiene regimen, by brushing your teeth.

Daily considerations during treatment

  • You should wear each aligner for 20 to 22 hours a day during your treatment for best results and a timely outcome.
  • No, you can usually eat what you want while in treatment because the Invisalign aligners are removed when eating or drinking. Thus, there’s no need to refrain from your favourite foods and drinks unless instructed by your doctor. However, it’s recommended that you floss and brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper oral hygiene.
  • Except for cool water, we recommend that you don’t drink while wearing the aligners. This is to avoid cavities and stains forming on your teeth, or warping your aligners with hot beverages.
  • You should remove your aligners to consume anything except for water. Leaving aligners on while drinking may stain them and you may risk developing tooth decay while consuming fluids with sugar in them.
  • We don’t encourage smoking while wearing aligners because it’s possible for them to become discoloured.
  • You should not chew gum while wearing your aligners as the gum may stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, including chewing gum.
  • It’s very unlikely that your aligners will ever fall out, no matter what you’re doing at the time (whether it’s sleeping, talking or laughing). Invisalign aligners are designed to fit firmly on the teeth so this should not be a cause for concern.
  • Similar to other orthodontic treatments, the Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any misarticulation or minor speech impediment caused by the aligners should disappear. Please speak to your doctor about ways to help you get used to your aligners more quickly.
  • It’s important that you follow the treatment plan developed by your doctor to ensure the best outcome. Your doctor will determine the recommended treatment duration for you depending on several considerations, including the spacing between your teeth and the need for retention.
  • It’s recommended to visit your doctor for regular visits to make sure your treatment plan is on track. If you need additional aligners due to travel periods, speak to your doctor as this is dependent on your specific case and treatment plan.
  • Invisalign treatment is available in more than 100 countries worldwide, and you can transfer your Invisalign treatment to another doctor to continue your treatment. Please speak to your current doctor about the process.
  • The aligners are made of non-toxic, medical-grade plastic and can be worn during pregnancy. If you’re concerned, please consult your healthcare professional.

Product concerns

  • While Invisalign treatment may move your teeth without the pain and anxiety of other straightening methods, some people might experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It's a sign that the Invisalign aligners are sequentially moving your teeth to their final positions. This discomfort usually goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series.
  • If you notice a sharp pain or have significant discomfort, stop using the aligners and contact your Invisalign-trained doctor.
  • Invisalign treatment is contraindicated in patients with active periodontal disease. If you have periodontal (gum) disease, you should consult your doctor before undergoing Invisalign treatment.

    Warnings with Invisalign treatment include:

    • In rare instances, some patients may be allergic to the aligner material. If this occurs, discontinue use and speak to a healthcare professional immediately.
    • In rare instances, patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE), a genetic disorder, may experience rapid local swelling of tissues including the larynx. This may be triggered by mild stimuli including dental procedures. If this occurs, discontinue use and speak to a healthcare professional immediately.
    • Orthodontic appliances, or parts thereof, may be accidentally swallowed or inhaled, and may be harmful.
  • Please speak with your doctor, as he or she may need to fully remove the stained attachments and replace them.
  • Depending on your specific treatment, some of the movements may require either “attachments” or “ridges” to help the aligner grip the teeth. These bumps or wells are where the aligner grips the attachment the doctor places on your teeth. The attachments are actually small pieces of composite the doctor affixes to your teeth that are then gripped by bumps on your aligners. The ridges are slim indentations in your aligners. Your doctor will use one or both of these features to achieved the desired movement.
  • Aligners are virtually invisible and discreet, so most people will not even notice that you’re wearing them.