Ronald L. Cooper DDS, FAGD


Invisalign is an excellent way to guide your teeth into proper alignment. Aligners can help fix crooked teeth, crowded teeth, teeth gaps, underbites, overbites, etc. Here are some tips that can help you reach your smile goals through Invisalign.

Keep Your Trays Clean & Clear

It is very important to keep your trays clean as you take them on and off regularly. Aligners are to be removed anytime you are eating or drinking, unless you are drinking cool water. Brush and floss your teeth after each meal prior to re-inserting your aligners. If you do not have access to your toothbrush, rinse your mouth thoroughly. You must clean your aligners before putting them back in your mouth to prevent bacteria accumulation. To clean your aligners, brush them with toothpaste and warm water. Aligners are not to be cleaned with mouthwash. Mouthwashes contain dyes that can alter the color of your clear aligners. For convenience with cleaning aligners, you can purchase aligner cleaning solutions, wipes, and tools. We recommend Invisalign cleaning crystals for a thorough cleaning once a week.

Wear Your Aligners for At Least 20-22 Hours a Day

Unless otherwise stated on the instructions of your aligners, you should be wearing your aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day to stay on track with your treatment plan. Sounds simple but it is not always! It can be challenging to leave aligners in your mouth 22 hours a day, especially at the beginning of your Invisalign journey. A mixture of discomfort and the inconvenience of taking aligners in and out can make it difficult for some patients to wear aligners for 20-22 hours a day. To help with building this routine, try using aligner tracking apps such as TrayMinder or MyInvisalign to keep track of your aligner wear time.

Practice Great Oral Hygiene

It is imperative to practice extra good oral hygiene while using aligners. Food residue and debris could easily get stuck and settle in your mouth if proper hygiene is not practiced while wearing aligners. Make sure to brush your teeth twice, floss after every meal, use mouthwash and keep your dental cleaning appointments. Regular dental check ups and cleaning are recommended for the upkeep of your oral hygiene.

Other Tools & Considerations

Use aligner chewies or Movemints to help the aligners settle. Aligner chewies are small plastic cylinders that are used for chewing exercises during aligner treatments. Chewies help the aligners adjust to teeth and get rid of any air bubbles between the teeth and aligners. The chewing exercise adds extra pressure that can assist with movement and seating the aligners to keep you on track with your treatment plan. It is recommended to use chewies twice a day for 5-10 minutes. As an alternative to chewies, you can purchase Movemints. Movemints are mints designed for clear aligners that freshen breath and fight Invisalign dry mouth.

Check-in With Your Dentist Regularly

To ensure you are on track with your treatment plan, keep up with your appointments with the dentist. Make sure to go in as scheduled to pick up your trays and check-in. During your visits, the dentist can gauge your progress and make any adjustments as necessary. If you notice a sharp pain or continued discomfort, consult your dentist.

Call us today to set up an Invisalign consultation with Dr. Cooper – 202-463-2090

MON-FRI 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Fridays dedicated to surgical and extensive treatments.