Invisalign is a fairly recent arrival to the orthodontic scene–making its debut in 1997 via Align Technology. It quickly became a popular alternative to braces. Since 1997, over two million people have straightened their teeth with Invisalign. If you’re one of the lucky ones, here are some tips for making your Redding Invisalign treatment successful.

Do brush and floss your teeth.

You’ve probably seen the little sign at your dentist or orthodontist’s office that says, “You don’t have to brush all your teeth–only the ones you want to keep.” It’s a sobering thought, really. Orthodontists recommend brushing your teeth after every meal and before going to bed. Brushing removes plaque and prevents cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. You especially don’t want food or plaque to get trapped between your teeth and your aligners.

Do clean your aligners.

This should be part of your toothbrushing routine. There are several options for cleaning your aligners. Invisalign sells a special cleaning system using crystals to remove plaque from aligners. This is the best option, however, you can also brush the aligners with other solutions, such as vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Do wear your aligners for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours per day.

After all, you’re spending a pretty penny on straightening your teeth. Here’s where you’ll want to make a little sacrifice now to reap the long-term benefits of beautiful, straight teeth. If you remove your aligners too much, your treatment could take longer or your teeth could relapse into their previous crooked state. If that happens, you could end up shelling out more of your hard-earned dollars.

Don’t remove aligners for anything other than eating, brushing, and flossing.

Even though you have the option of removing your aligners, try to wear them as much as possible. Err on the side of wearing them more rather than wearing them less. Keep your goal in front of you–that of having straight teeth as soon as possible.

Don’t chew gum or smoke while wearing aligners.

Yes, there are two more occasions when it’s best to remove aligners. Gum could get stuck on the aligners–a sticky mess–and smoke can discolor them. If possible, you will want to minimize these activities as much as possible.

Do enjoy all foods.

With Invisalign, there are no restrictions on foods you can and can’t eat. All you need to do is make sure to remove all food residue from your mouth, which is why orthodontists recommend brushing your teeth and aligners after every meal.

Do smile.

After all, this is the reason you chose Invisalign, right? You wanted to show your pearly whites without showing off a mouth full of metal.

Isn’t it nice that the do’s outweigh the don’ts? That’s why Invisalign has been the chosen treatment for over two million people. As your orthodontist, we want to make your Redding Invisalign treatment as successful as possible and give you the opportunity to face the world with the confidence of a new smile.