Throughout my aligner journey as a Millennial, I’ve come to discover some do’s and don’ts that have really made a difference. Some have been pretty obvious, while others… not so much! Thankfully, though, I’m here to provide a guide to both so that you’re not feeling out of the aligner loop. Here are some tips to get you through this process of straightening your smile!
We all hate chapped lips, but with aligners, they seem even more difficult to avoid. Using Vaseline for taking scans helps, but for other situations, you’ll likely need to carry more moisturizer than usual. Make sure to read the ingredients since some lip moisturizers actually cause chapping. (Seems counterproductive, right?) Avoid lip balms with menthol, camphor, phenol, or really any sort of alcohol. That’s why I love Vaseline products!
Don’t whiten your teeth
While it may feel like a good idea, it’s not… yet. Your teeth are still too sensitive. You may be eager to get yourself to a perfect smile (which includes shiny and sparkling) but teeth whitener is a known sensitivity. Don’t put yourself through more pain. If you absolutely feel you have to do something, try even a gentle whitening toothpaste, like Sensodyne or Crest’s gum sensitivity with whitening. Since you’re brushing your teeth on the regular anyway, this isn’t an added step that would do more harm in the long run, like whitening strips or a gel solution would.
Do use Scope on-the-go
Invest in a travel-sized mouthwash that you can put in your purse or even your glove compartment. Another great option? The disposable picks! These work great if you have to eat while you’re out and you don’t have access to a good setup to brush your teeth. These options work as a temporary solution and can work until you can get the aligners back in. Trust me, these things will make all the difference when you’re on the go. (And also, since you have to wear your aligners 22 hours a day, you’d better get those things back in ASAP, or ouch..!)
Don’t be afraid to switch up the routine
Some aligners have been tighter than others on change day. I’ve found that the tighter the fit, the more I prefer to sleep through the initial discomfort. Switch your own routine to see what works best for you. Day, night, during work, whichever! This is all about finding what works best for you. And as an adult, we get to make our own rules, right?
Do take your medications
Whatever medications you may need, even if it’s a simple pain reliever like Tylenol, make sure you do it before you put in your aligners. Especially before going to bed. It’s super awkward otherwise! I don’t know about you, but those horse pill sized calcium supplements have been total ick when they don’t go down the right way the first time. Avoid the drama – leave out the aligners til you’ve taken pills.
Don’t get stuck on the process – think of the outcome
Moving teeth is a bit like one of those kids’ games where the picture is all jumbled up and you only have one open space to rearrange stuff. I’ve noticed that some teeth are moving to “the wrong place” but I know that it’s so that the right teeth fill it to fit and make the perfect picture in the end. It can be a little unnerving though when you start seeing things move and it’s not all perfect now. I mean, who doesn’t want some instant gratification?
Start Your Own Aligner Journey
Hopefully you feel a little more relieved with this guide! Check out my other blog posts in the meantime for more helpful tips and tricks about the aligner journey! If you’re located near the Chantilly, VA area, plan a visit with Orthodontics by Crutchfield for your own aligner journey.