a. Inserting the device: the aligners should be worn at least 22 hours a day. If they are worn for less time, damage may be done to the teeth that require the support of the aligners. The aligners must be removed with extra care by loosening them first from the back teeth and only afterward from the front teeth. You should practice with staff at the dental clinic determine the easiest way to remove the aligners and then try to remove them in exactly the same way each time.
b. Daily test: Check to ensure that the aligner fully covers the crowns of the teeth and press lightly to make sure that the aligner cannot go deeper. Floss all teeth with dental floss and if the floss does not slide through easily, the dental clinic should be informed immediately as there may be an obstruction in the movement of the teeth.
c. Initial adaptation: The first aligner (numbered L1 or U1) may cause a certain amount of pressure, discomfort, accumulation of saliva and difficult in talking, for a few days. All these symptoms will gradually disappear while becoming accustomed to the aligners. You may choose the times most convenient to you for adapting to the first aligner (you may wear it a few hours a day and/or at night and then gradually increase until it is worn 22 hours a day). Only when full time is reached does the treatment actually begin. From that time, every two weeks the aligners may be changed (to the L2 or U2 aligner) and so on. A visit to the dental clinic should be coordinated with the clinic staff.
d. Protecting aligners: All used aligners should be kept (preferably in their original boxes) in case they will be needed at any stage of the treatment.
e. What to do when the pressure "disappears"? Even though it may seem that the pressure on the teeth has "disappeared" after a few days, the force prevails and the orthodontic movement will not be completed if the aligners are changed ahead of time. Sometimes, the clinic staff will instruct you to wear them for a longer than 2 weeks, as may become necessary.
f. Cleansing: the aligners must be kept clean so that they remain transparent throughout the duration of the treatment and to prevent any bacterial layer forming on the teeth and gums. A regular toothbrush is used to clean the aligner and a domestic ultrasonic bath may be purchased from the dental clinic for soaking. It is recommended to soak the aligners for a few moments each day in mouthwash for the prevention of unpleasant odors.
g. Food: It is recommended to remove the aligners while eating; nor should one drink any hot drinks or drinks containing food coloring, such as wine, coffee, tea, cola, etc., with the aligners. Smoking is prohibited while wearing the aligners. The damage that may result is the loss of transparency and distortion of the plastic.
h. Loss of aligner: In the event of losing the aligner/s you should notify the dental clinic immediately. If no suitable solution is found, we will have to order a new series of aligners and the patient will be charged with the laboratory fee.
i. Esthetics: the aligners are supposed to be invisible from a distance of over 30 cm (a reasonable distance between 2 people). Naturally, when we look closer in a mirror we may be able to distinguish the aligner margins.
First aids: there may occasionally be sharp edges in the aligners that irritate the gums, cheeks, lips or tongue. It is possible to gently file the sharp edge/s with a nail file and if this does not solve the problem, the dental clinic should be contacted. If there is any pressure or unreasonable pain, please contact us as soon as possible, trying as hard as possible to continue wearing the aligner/s all the time.
j. How do we know that the treatment is progressing? Each aligner is intended to perform a certain movement and if this movement is indeed performed, the next aligner will fit almost exactly. If the aligner does not fit or does not position itself on the teeth, then the movement of the teeth is not occurring according to plan. You may ask the clinic staff, at any visit to the clinic, to view the simulation according to which the aligners were prepared and see which movements are expected at each stage of treatment. In this way you can also know what is expected to happen by the next treatment.
k. End of treatment: bear in mind that the treatment plan was performed on computer and at times there is a disparity in the tooth movement between planned and actual movement. In cases where the end result is not satisfactory, the dentist will order additional aligners that are intended to complete the case at the highest possible standard as planned.
l. Visits to the oral hygienist, dentist and periodontist: orthodontic treatment is a lengthy treatment. In the process, various dental problems may arise and it is therefore necessary to visit the dentist as regularly as he may recommend. We require each orthodontic patient to undergo plaque cleaning and oral hygiene inspection by an oral hygienist once in 2 months. This is mandatory for the success of treatment and to keep the teeth healthy. In many cases, during the orthodontic treatment the patient may be required to be observed by a periodontist, and he will determine the frequency of visits.