There’s no denying that COVID-19 has led to some major changes in the past year. However, these changes don’t have to stand in the way of your orthodontic treatment! At Humphrey Orthodontics, we’ve worked hard to ensure you can continue to work towards your smile goals! One thing we’ve learned during this time is the multitude of ways you can stay safe and healthy with Invisalign during COVID-19.
Thanks to the innovative design of Invisalign clear aligners, patients can enjoy flexible treatment while continuing to practice social distancing. Keep reading below to learn why more patients than ever are choosing Invisalign for all their orthodontic needs!
Maintain Your Health with Invisalign
Throughout the pandemic, the CDC and other health authorities have emphasized the importance of keeping our hands away from our faces and mouth. This helps limit the spread of germs and slow the rate of infection. Invisalign patients can’t follow this recommendation to the full extent, however. Since the aligners are meant to be removed for eating, drinking anything other than water, and brushing your teeth, your hands will meet your mouth quite a few times throughout the day. That’s why it’s important to practice healthy hygiene!
Invisalign patients will find it a simple task to care for both their oral health and their aligners. Washing your hands is the first line of defense against germs and infection. This CDC video shows viewers how to do so quickly and effectively! If soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol can be used as a substitute. These products are fast-acting and significantly reduce the number of germs on the skin.
We recommend washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before removing your aligners, paying special attention to your fingernails and fingertips, since these will come into the closest contact with your mouth and aligners.
Once your aligners have been removed, they should always be placed in a clean, sealed container or left to soak in an approved solution. This protects them from germs and bacteria and prevents them from being accidentally misplaced or thrown away! Before putting aligners back in your mouth, you should wash your hands again and rinse the aligner with water. Caring for aligners this way becomes part of your daily routine in no time at all and helps protect your oral and overall health.
Invisalign is Convenient
Clear aligner treatments have been popping up everywhere in recent years, which means even those who are unfamiliar with orthodontics most likely know what they are. While the design appears quite simple, aligners are able to move the teeth in the same way as traditional braces. Both treatments apply gentle, continuous pressure to the teeth, guiding them into place over time. To produce the force necessary to move the teeth, you must wear your aligners for 20-22 hours each day as recommended by Dr. Humphrey. Additionally, each aligner is switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movements of your teeth. When you’re compliant with these guidelines, Invisalign can work just as well as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues.
Our office provides Invisalign patients with several weeks’ worth of aligners at a time, which is extremely convenient during times like these! If the current set of aligners runs out before the next scheduled appointment, we can easily arrange a curbside pick-up for the next set so you won’t need to physically enter our office. Patients who have questions can also set up a virtual appointment to speak with Dr. Humphrey and talk through their concerns. These socially-distanced options allow every patient to continue their treatment safely, conveniently, and without any delays.
Invisalign is Easy to Manage
Once you have completed your last set of aligners, your treatment may be complete. In some cases, however, we may need to schedule a revision scan to see if additional aligners are required to achieve the best final results. Temporary closings and occasional stay-at-home orders have sometimes affected our ability to see patients quickly for this type of appointment, but Invisalign aligners make it easy to manage solutions!
One example is that if you’re currently in aligners and aren’t able to get the next set right away, you can continue wearing the last set you were given. You will need to make one change, however. These aligners should be worn for only 10-12 hours a day instead of the normal 20-22 hours. Doing this helps extend the life of the aligners until an appointment is available in our Wentzville or St. Peters office. This keeps your treatment plan on track and ensures no progress is lost.
It is very important to keep continuous pressure on the teeth both during (aligners) and after (retainer) treatment is complete. Without continuous force, the teeth will eventually begin to shift back into their previous places. This can happen more quickly than you might think and can even lead to longer treatment times. This is why we recommend always keeping your aligners from the previous stage, just in case you need them while waiting for a new set to be delivered.
Fewer Emergencies with Invisalign
Traditional braces are made of brackets and wires that can be bent or broken if there is too much pressure. This can sometimes lead to orthodontic emergencies that require immediate attention. Since Invisalign aligners are just one piece and made from a durable material called SmartTrack, emergencies with them tend to be few and far between. Aligners are not indestructible, though! They can still tear, crack, or break if they are not handled with care and stored properly.
We ask that you let our team know any time an aligner is damaged or lost. If the damage is relatively minor, you can continue wearing the aligner until it is time for the next in the series. You should not use any aligner that has cracked or split in a way that prevents it from holding its shape. Besides causing potential pain, it will not be able to provide the consistent pressure needed to move the teeth. In a case like this, we may need to make a replacement or Dr. Humphrey may recommend using the next aligner in the series.
Safe and Effective Care from Humphrey Orthodontics
Invisalign clear aligners have made it easy to achieve a healthier, straighter smile, even during a pandemic! If you’re ready to learn more about this innovative orthodontic option, contact our Wentzville or St. Peters office to schedule a free initial consultation with Dr. Humphrey. We can’t wait to meet you!