What’s better than a set of invisible trays that straighten your smile? Dr. Lili’s clear aligners are a modern treatment option that works well for kids, teens, and adults alike – but just like with any orthodontic treatment, they come with a learning curve. Keep reading to learn these six rules for creating a beautiful smile with clear aligners from the pros at Dr. Lili & Associates!
Rule #1: Visit Our Office for All Your Check-Ups
Every time you visit Dr. Lili 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.
Rule #2: Follow Dr. Lili’s Instructions
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.
Every Dr. Lili & Associates patient has a unique treatment plan and instructions provided by Dr. Lili, 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.
Rule #3: Remember That Cleanliness Is Key
Another key to creating the beautiful smile you deserve is to keep them clean. Neglecting to clean your aligners could result in a buildup of harmful 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 apparent 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.
Rule #4: Switch Trays According to Your Schedule
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. Lili, 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.
Rule #5: 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 necessary 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 your practice is over. This will keep them from breaking and prevent injury to yourself as well.
Rule #6: Keep Your Eye On the Prize
Learning all these new rules for taking care of your appliance can sometimes feel overwhelming, but remember: it will all pay off when we reveal your brand-new smile. To get you through the difficult moments, try keeping a list of reasons you’re going through orthodontic treatment nearby. You could also try marking off the calendar days until your last scheduled aligner tray change to give yourself a visual reminder of how far you’ve come.
Whatever you choose, keeping your eye on the prize will help you get through treatment as quickly and successfully as possible.
We Make SoCal Smile
For over 20 years, our team of smile experts has provided Southern California with top-notch orthodontic care. Whether you’ve got braces or clear aligners or maybe haven’t yet started treatment, we’re here to guide you through your straight smile journey with success.
If you’re ready to find out if clear aligners are right for you, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Lili & Associates today!