When a patient starts their orthodontic treatment with clear aligners, the first week is crucial for the patient and the dental professional providing them, as it sets the tone for the rest of the treatment. Here’s what a patient should expect during their first week with clear aligners, regardless of where you get them:
It’s common to experience slight discomfort or mild pain during the first few days. This discomfort is due to the pressure exerted by the aligners on the teeth to encourage them to move. Patients should be prepared for this and consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers as directed by their orthodontist.
Clear aligners can temporarily affect speech, causing a slight lisp or difficulty pronouncing certain words. Patients should practice speaking with the aligners and give themselves time to adapt.
Patients should be aware of dietary restrictions during the first week. While you can eat with aligners in, dental professionals would recommend removing while eating to prevent damage or staining. Patients should avoid hard, crunchy or sticky foods that could make teeth difficult to clean and cause damage to the aligners.
Good oral hygiene is essential for your overall well-being, but it may become just slightly more challenging with a new pair of aligners. Patients should remove the aligners to brush and floss their teeth after every meal or snack, which helps prevent food particles from getting trapped and causing tooth decay or bad breath. Cleaning the aligners themselves is also important to maintain their transparency and prevent odor. This practice should be completed using cold or lukewarm water, a soft-bristled toothbrush and soap or a designated aligner cleaner recommended by your aligner provider.
Throughout the treatment, patients should wear aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day, removing them only for eating and cleaning. Compliance with this recommended wear time is crucial for the treatment’s success, and not doing so during the first week will prolong the treatment’s expected duration.
Patients will typically have scheduled appointments with their dental professional during aligners treatment, whether that means in-person or virtually. During these appointments, the service provider will check your progress and provide new sets of aligners to continue the treatment.
Patients may begin to notice subtle changes in their teeth alignment within the first week, but it’s essential to remember that significant results will take time. Regularly documenting and comparing the changes can be motivating and help patients see the progress.
Patients should be careful not to lose or damage their aligner trays. In case of loss or damage, they should contact their dental services provider immediately for replacements.
Maintaining Aligner Transparency
Aligners are nearly invisible when they’re clean and free of stains. Patients should avoid consuming strongly pigmented foods and drinks (coffee, tea and red wine, for example) while wearing the aligners, and rinse them thoroughly after consumption.
Teeth straightening treatments with clear aligners is a gradual process, and results may not be immediately visible. Patients should be patient and trust the process, as long-term compliance is key to achieving the desired results.
The first week with clear aligners can be an adjustment period for patients. It’s essential to manage any discomfort, maintain excellent oral hygiene and follow your dental professional’s guidance closely. With patience and adherence to the treatment plan, patients can achieve the straighter smile they desire with teeth aligners in Florida, Maine, California or anywhere in between.