One of the biggest challenges of wearing Invisalign this last year has been brushing my teeth when away from the house.
I have been part of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Panel which included complementary treatment with Invisalign for myself.
The way Invisalign works is I have trays – one for the top and one for the bottom that fit over my teeth. When I have the trays in, they aren’t super obvious – you might notice when I am talking or smile really big. They aren’t super obvious to me either – once I get used to a set, I don’t even think about wearing them. The goal is to wear them 22 hours a day.
But I can’t eat or drink (other than water) with them in and before I replace them, I need to brush my teeth. On most days when I am working from home, that just means I drink my coffee a little quicker in the morning and then switch to water between meals (which I should do anyway!).
When I am traveling or have work meetings, it takes a little planning. Here are some tips that I have for managing it while wearing Invisalign:
- Taking them out – I don’t like to remove the trays in front of other people so I either take them out in the car or excuse myself to the restroom before a meal. Stopping by the restroom is a great idea since rinsing them before placing them in the case can help them stay nice and clear.
- Cleaning teeth on the go – I have a little bag that slips into my purse that has my toothbrush and toothpaste. It is usually not difficult in most situations to find a restroom after a meal that I feel comfortable brushing my teeth. Then I can pop the trays back in before heading to my next errand or meeting.
- Sparkling water – I love soda, but now that drinking it requires me to negotiate removal and cleaning, it makes me think twice about what I am drinking between meals. If I am meeting a friend for coffee, purchasing a bottle of sparkling water instead allows me to participate in the ritual (and not sit in the coffee shop taking up space without a purchase) without needing to remove my Invisalign trays.
- Don’t stress – There are some situations that are just difficult to negotiate and get the 22 hours of wear in. One of those for me is when I fly. I want to drink a cup of coffee on the plane while I binge on saved-up TV episodes on my iPad. That is just one of my favorite things to do. But brushing my teeth in the teeny-tiny airplane sink is not. A travel day for me means that I will not get my 22 hours in. I have talked to my orthodontist about it and he suggested just wearing the set of trays a few extra days. That gives me the flexibility to enjoy travel without worrying about finding a clean sink!
I am now within a few months of treatment end. It has been fun to be able to watch my teeth get straighter. What has surprised me the most is how wearing braces at the age of 45 hasn’t been a hassle.
My 11 y/o has now been evaluated for possible Invisalign treatment. I might have been cautious about having him do Invisalign vs. traditional braces before I experienced them myself because of the worries of him losing them. Now that I see that it is a simple routine, I am excited to see him get his as well!
I would encourage you to find a doctor in your area that treats with Invisalign if you or your kids are thinking about braces.
Thanks so much to Invisalign for sponsoring my treatment. All opinions expressed are my own.