This past year has brought about some major changes in nearly every aspect of our lives. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our community has come together like never before to build each other up and spread joy. While our “new normal” may require some adaptation, we’re happy to continue providing the high-quality orthodontic care you know and love! Helping you stay safe and healthy during COVID-19 with clear aligners is just one way we’re doing that.

In recent months, treatment with Invisalign has skyrocketed with patients here in Mobile! Invisalign has been a long-time favorite of teens and adults at Bennett Orthodontics looking for an alternative to traditional braces. However, we’ve recently realized that the clear aligners offer even more benefits than we previously knew! The flexibility the Invisalign system offers makes it an easier treatment method to navigate in these uncertain times. Let’s take a closer look at why this could be the perfect socially-distanced solution for a straighter smile!

Social distancing is easier with Invisalign
While the overall technology is different, Invisalign aligners straighten teeth in much the same way traditional braces do. Both use a continuous application of force to gently shift the teeth into the desired positions. For the custom aligners to be successful, they must be worn over the teeth for 20-22 hours each day. Each aligner is also switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This allows them to keep up with the movements the teeth are making.

We typically provide Invisalign patients with several weeks’ worth of aligners at a time. In times when we’re encouraged to practice social distancing, this is incredibly helpful! If the current set of aligners runs out before your next appointment, we can arrange curbside pickup for the next set. That eliminates the need to physically come into the office. We’re even offering virtual appointments so you can stay on top of your treatment plan from home! If you have any questions or concerns between appointments, our team is always available to help. These options help you continue your treatment while prioritizing your safety!

Bennett assistant talking to a patient

Invisalign offers simple solutions
Once you’ve run out of aligners, your treatment may be complete or it may be time for a revision scan. These scans will show us if additional aligners are required to reach your ultimate goal. Unfortunately, the stay-at-home orders and temporary closings since last March have occasionally affected our ability to see patients as often as we normally would. The good news is, this doesn’t have to affect our Invisalign patients!

For example, if we aren’t able to provide a patient with a new set of aligners right away, they can continue wearing their last set with one minor change—instead of the normal 20-22 hours, you should only wear these aligners for 10-12 hours each day. This will extend the life of the aligners until an appointment is available. It also keeps your treatment plan on track and ensures that no important progress is lost!

With any type of orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to keep some form of pressure on the teeth both during and after treatment. Without the force that aligners or a retainer provide, your teeth will eventually begin to shift back into their previous positions. Losing progress in this way may lead to longer treatment times or affect your final results. We recommend keeping the aligners from your previous set, just in case you have to wait for a new set.

Invisalign makes it easier to maintain oral health
Throughout this pandemic, we’ve been reminded by all the experts to keep our hands away from the face and mouth. This limits the spread of germs and slows the rate of infection, but it’s good advice that Invisalign patients really can’t follow! Wearing aligners means touching your mouth multiple times a day, which means it’s more important than ever to practice good hygiene habits.

This is easy to accomplish with Invisalign! The aligners are designed to be removed before eating and drinking anything other than water. They should also be taken out before brushing and flossing. We recommend that all patients wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before removing aligners from the mouth, taking special care with the fingernails and fingertips.

You already know that washing your hands is the first line of defense against germs and bacteria, but it’s also important to do it properly. If you’re not sure of the best technique, this video will show you how to wash your hands quickly and effectively! If soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer can be used as a substitute, just be sure it’s at least 60% alcohol. When used correctly, these products are fast-acting and can significantly reduce the number of germs on your skin.

Once aligners have been removed, you should always place them in a clean, sealed container or leave them to soak in an approved solution. This keeps them safe from bacteria and also prevents them from being accidentally misplaced or thrown out. Before putting aligners back in the mouth, you should wash their hands again and rinse the aligner with water. Practicing this kind of care becomes routine in no time and will also protect your oral and overall health.

Dr. Bennett explaining tips for going back to school with braces

Get safe and effective treatment in 2021 with Bennett Orthodontics
Invisalign makes it easy to stay safe and healthy during COVID-19 with clear aligners so you can achieve a healthy, confident smile! If you’ve been considering transforming your smile with orthodontic treatment, now is the perfect time to consider Invisalign with Bennett Orthodontics. Contact our office today and schedule your free initial consultation with Dr. Bennett!