The invisible aligner market, which includes Invisalign aligners, is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2026. Why the growing popularity? Namely, aligners are an easy, pain-free way to improve your smile. The benefits of Invisalign don’t end there. Wearing aligners and straightening your teeth can also boost your confidence and help you avoid potential tooth decay. Despite the growing popularity surrounding aligners, many first-time users still make costly Invisalign mistakes.

By learning how to avoid these mistakes, you can improve your results.

Ready for a stunning, straighter smile? Keep reading to discover the top Invisalign mistakes you need to avoid!

1. Leaving Your Aligners Out

Before you can experience the benefits of Invisalign, you need to wear your aligners every day. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of taking their aligners out more often than necessary.

It’s important to take your aligners out when you’re eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. After that, you need to keep your aligners on. They won’t work to straighten your teeth if you’re not wearing them!

In fact, you should wear your Invisalign aligners between 20 and 22 hours a day. Neglecting to wear your aligners could potentially delay your treatment.

In order to avoid this costly mistake, make it a habit to brush your teeth after every meal. Once your teeth and gums are clean, slide your aligners back into place. Don’t leave them sitting out, waiting for you.

One of the benefits of Invisalign is that you take them out easily on your own. However, this benefit can also become a con if you’re not careful.

2. Eating With Your Aligners On

Some patients make the mistake of keeping their aligners on during meals. Unfortunately, food particles can get stuck against your trays. The foods you eat and beverages you drink could even stain the aligners.

If food starts sticking to your aligners, the bacteria could affect your teeth and gums. Over time, the bacteria will form into plaque—a sticky substance that will cling to your enamel.

Usually, brushing your teeth twice a day will help remove the plaque from your enamel. Failing to keep up with routine brushing and flossing, however, will give the plaque time to harden. Once plaque hardens into tartar, you’ll need a dentist’s help to remove it.

Tartar can give bacteria the chance to spread throughout your teeth. You could even develop a gum disease called gingivitis.

You’ll need multiple treatments to clear the gingivitis away. Otherwise, your teeth might spread further apart. In addition to causing spacing, gingivitis can also cause jaw pain and tooth decay.

When left untreated, gingivitis can become periodontal disease.

Don’t let it get that far! Instead, make sure to take your trays out before you eat or drink.

After you eat, brush your teeth. Otherwise, the particles on your teeth will hide behind your trays.

3. Smoking With Your Aligners

While it’s important not to eat or drink with your aligners on, it’s also important not to smoke.

Smoking impacts your body’s ability to fight infections. It can also make it more difficult for your body to fight a gum infection (like gingivitis). Once you’ve sustained that damage, smoking will only make it more difficult for your gums to heal.

In fact, you’re twice as likely to develop gum disease than a nonsmoker. The longer you smoke, the more your risk for gum disease will increase. In fact, the treatments for gum disease don’t work as effectively on smokers than others.

In addition to contributing to gum disease, smoking with your aligners can also cause discoloration. As much as you’ll try to clean them, those stains won’t clear away.

Clean aligners will keep your teeth looking at their best. Discolored aligners, however, will impact the appearance of your smile.

4. Forgetting to Clean Your Aligners

One of the big Invisalign mistakes people make is failing to clean their aligners regularly. Remember, you can develop oral health problems if your aligners aren’t clean. You could also start to notice an unpleasant smell and discoloration.

Don’t give that bacteria the chance to spread. Instead, make it a habit to clean your aligners every day.

Bacteria can build against your trays even as you’re sleeping. Cleaning your aligners and brushing your teeth first thing in the morning can help you get a fresh start to a new day.

When cleaning your aligners, make sure to start by rinsing them out. Rinsing your aligners will help you avoid saliva and plaque build-up from affecting the aligners.

Once they’re rinsed out, use an antibacterial soap to clean them. There are also aligner cleaners on the market you can use.

Brushing your aligners using a toothbrush to make sure plaque is cleared away.

Then, soak your aligners using Invisalign cleaning crystals or a denture cleaner. Give your aligners one last rinse before putting them back in your mouth.

5. Leaving Trays in the Open

When you take out your aligners to eat or drink, don’t place them on a napkin. You might accidentally throw your aligners away! Instead, make sure to store Invisalign aligners in their case.

Leaving your aligners in the open can also give bacteria the chance to build.

Instead, make sure they’re safely in their case.

6. Cleaning the Trays with Toothpaste

While it’s important to clean your aligners regularly, you don’t want to use toothpaste. Toothpaste could cause discoloration on your aligners.

One of the benefits of Invisalign is they’re hard to notice, allowing you to wear them with discretion. Discoloration, however, can make it obvious you’re wearing them.

Instead, use an unscented soap that doesn’t use color dyes.

7. Expecting Fast Results

In a single year, orthodontists prescribed Invisalign trays to 931,000 people. Some patients make the mistake of assuming their misalignment will get fixed in no time.

As a first-time Invisalign user, it’s important to remain realistic. Talking to orthodontists will help you develop a likely timeline for your treatment. The duration of your treatment will likely depend on the severity of your condition.

Set Your Smile Up for Success: 7 Invisalign Mistakes to Avoid

Ready for a brighter, straighter smile? Consider getting Invisalign! If you do, make sure to avoid these costly Invisalign mistakes.

Otherwise, these mistakes could impact your treatment.

Thinking about talking to orthodontists regarding your treatment options? Schedule your free exam with our team today!