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How to Care for Invisalign® Aligners & Proper Use

How to care for Invisalign aligners

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How to care for Invisalign aligners

Care Instructions for Invisalign® Aligners

Now that you’ve purchased Invisalign clear braces, it is important to use and care for them properly.

This article will cover top tips to help ensure that you know how to care for Invisalign aligners so that you can avoid damaging them. Proper care assures you of the best end result. Focused attentions on how you use and care for your aligners will not only fix crooked teeth, it gives you the confidence that you’ve made the most of this wise investment to own a beautiful smile.

Proper care for your new aligners starts with proper use.

6 Tips on How to Use Invisalign Aligners Correctly

Clear instructions on how to care for Invisalign aligners and gain straight teeth:

1. Wear your aligners per your doctor’s instructions, usually 22 hours per day. When they are not in your mouth they are not working which will hamper treatment time. Relapse can occur if not worn as directed.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your aligners.

3. Handle only ONE aligner at a time.

4. Rinse your aligners when removing them from the packaging.

5. Aligners should only be removed when brushing, flossing or eating.

6. When aligners are removed, they should always be placed in their protective case [never in a napkin, on the table, etc.]

What are Clear Aligner Attachments?

Clear aligner attachments are made of clear composite material and are placed on the teeth to help the aligners make certain movements. It is very important the attachments or “bumps” on the teeth engage the corresponding “bubbles” in the aligner. They can be applied and managed by a qualified orthodontic dentist.

You should check attachments for proper engagement with each new set. If it is not fully engaged, the attachment can possibly work against the treatment plan.

What are Aligner “Chewies”?

Aligner “Chewies” are used to aid in seating attachments and help the teeth track in the aligners. Patients should use them several times a day for the first few days with each new set as directed by the doctor.

How to Care for your Invisalign® Aligner InsertionHow to Use and Care for your Aligner Insertion

Gain the full benefits of Invisalign by following these care instruction.

  • Make sure you have the proper aligner—the upper for your top teeth and the lower for your bottom teeth.
  • To help avoid confusion, each aligner is engraved with your unique case number, a “U” for upper and an “L” for lower, followed by the stage number.
  • You may insert either the upper or lower aligner first. When inserting each aligner, gently push the aligners over your front teeth. Then apply equal pressure, using 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 position. This may damage them. Note: If you experience sharp pain or significant discomfort, discontinue use of the aligners and contact your doctor.

How to Manage Aligner Removal?

1. On one side of your mouth, use your fingertip on the inside of your back molar to slowly pull the aligner from your molars then walk the aligner out to the front and then the other side to release the aligner.

2. Immediately rinse aligner with water, shake off excess water, and store your aligners in the protective case provided with your starter kit.

How to Clean Your Aligners?

How you clean and store your aligners is a form of preventive dental care.

1. Clean your aligners prior to each insertion. Use a soft bristle toothbrush with water and a small amount of toothpaste if you like. Note: Be sure to rinse each aligner thoroughly with water after each cleaning. We also recommend that you use the Invisalign aligner cleaning products once a week, or as needed. Cleaning crystals are available for purchase at

2. Do NOT use denture cleaners to clean aligners. Do NOT soak them in mouthwash. These products can damage the surface of the aligner, causing it to become dull and more visible.

Proper Oral Hygiene When Undergoing Invisalign® Treatment

While in Invisalign® aligners treatment, oral hygiene starts with routine care.

  • Remove your aligners for eating and drinking. (You do not need to remove your aligners to drink cool 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, and then clean your aligners by holding them under warm running water. It’s not the best way to clean, but it works in a pinch. Be sure to thoroughly clean your aligners at your earliest convenience.
  • Regular dental checkups and cleaning are recommended for the continued health of your teeth and gums.

Note: Keep your previous set of aligners in a clean plastic bag, or as instructed by your doctor. Keep them out of reach of small children and pets. When traveling always bring your current set, previous set and next set in case of an emergency.

If you have any questions regarding hygiene techniques, please consult your doctor.

Expect Invisalign® Aligner Refinement

1. Scanning may be necessary during or at the end of treatment. This “refinement” is not an indication that something is wrong, but simply the doctor’s way of making adjustments in the treatment.

2. At the end of the first series of aligners, it may be necessary for a patient to wear another series of refinement aligners before the plan is completed.

Retention: Invisalign Aligners Follow-Up Care

Our patient-focused dental practice is here to ensure that you have the best outcome.

1. Following your Invisalign treatment you will. be required to wear aligners as retainers to prevent relapse or unwanted movements

2. In most cases we request near full time wear for the first 6 months [16-20 hours/day]. Following this 6 month period retainers should be worn at night for life.

3. Failure to wear retainers as directed will generally result in relapse and will then require retreatment. Failure to wear aligners as directed would void any warranty associated with this treatment.


Plymouth MN’s Smile Design Dentistry welcomes any questions that you have.

Q: Will the treatment be painful?

A: Most people experience tooth soreness for a few days after starting each new stage. This is normal. It is a sign that the Invisalign aligners are working, moving your teeth to their final destination. This soreness should gradually go away a couple of days after inserting the new aligner in the series.

If it doesn’t, promptly call your doctor.

Q: Will wearing the Invisalign aligners affect my speech?

A: Like all orthodontic treatments, the aligners may temporarily affect your speech, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp or minor speech impediment caused by your aligners should disappear.

Q: What should I do if my new Invisalign aligner doesn’t snap onto my teeth?

A: Minor discrepancies between the new aligner and the current tooth position are normal, since the teeth need time to conform to the new aligner position. In the event of significant problems with aligner fit, inform your doctor.

Q: Are there restrictions on what I can eat?

A: In general, no. Unlike traditional family orthodontics, you can usually eat and drink whatever you desire because you remove your aligners while eating. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.

Q: Is it OK to drink hot or cold beverages while wearing Invisalign aligners?

A: Except for cool water, we recommend that you do not drink while wearing the aligners. This is to avoid formation of cavities and stains, or warping of the aligners with hot drinks and hot water.

Q: Can I chew gum while wearing Invisalign aligners?

A: NO. Gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all snacks and meals.

Q: Will smoking or chewing tobacco stain the aligners?

A: We discourage tobacco use while wearing aligners because of the possibility of aligner discoloration.

Q: Why do some of my aligners have bumps or ridges on them?

A: Depending on your specific Invisalign 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 attempt to achieve the desired movement.

Q: What if I lose or break an Invisalign aligner?

A: In the event that an aligner is lost or broken, you should immediately inform your doctor. Your doctor will probably tell you to start wearing your last set or next set of aligners immediately. He or she will possibly order you a new set of aligners to replace the ones you just lost, which should arrive in a few days. The key is to not go an extended time without wearing an aligner.

Q: What if I lose or break an aligner’s attachment?

A: In the event that one of your aligner’ attachments is lost or broken, you should immediately contact your doctor.

Improve your Dental Esthetics with Proper Invisalign Care

Smile Design Dentistry can help you feel better about your smile by improving your oral health, occlusion, and dental esthetics. Invisalign Facts, Numbers and Figures, published by Olivia Rahim on August 22, 2014 states that “Approximately 20% of the population does not have an ideal bite”. You can be one of out of the fortunate 20% that makes Invisalign aligners work their best. During your initial visit, we can cover how to pay for your dental needs.


Dr. Corey Jensen and Brett Moore DDS want you to be completely pleased with your smile design investment. If you have additional questions about your Invisalign Aligners Care Instructions after reading this article, please consult with your doctor. While people of all ages use Invisalign, why not start now as a part of your anti-aging dental care?

Download How to Care for Invisalign® Aligners & Proper Use – your print copy of this post.

Call the dentists at Smile Design Dentistry for all your family dental care and follow-up needs: 763-537-1238
Dr. Corey Jensen is a lead Physician at Smile Design Dentistry in Plymouth, MinnesotaDr. Corey Jensen is a lead dentist at Smile Design Dentistry in Plymouth, Minnesota. Dr. Jensen has accumulated over 2400 additional hours of advanced education in his continued pursuit of excellence. He has received the highest distinction of “Master” in the Academy of General Dentistry and has been repeatedly recognized by his peers as a “Hall of Fame -Top Dentist” in the Mpls/St.Paul magazine.

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