How To Care For and Use Your New Invisalign Clear Aligners

Person putting Invisalign Aligner in mouth

September 3, 2021

Congratulations on beginning your Invisalign treatment and your journey in transforming your smile! Here are some helpful Invisalign instructions below.

Inserting Your Aligners

  • Gently push the aligner over your front teeth then apply equal pressure in the back molar areas (using your fingertips as shown below) to push the aligner into place.
  • Do not bite your aligners into position. This may cause damage to them.
Inserting Invisalign Clear Aligners

Removing Your Aligners

  • Use your fingertips to pull down on the inside of your right and left back molars and slowly pull the aligner off of your molars.
  • Next, grab the right and left back ends of the aligner and slowly work your way forward, gently prying the aligner away from your front teeth.

How Often Should I Wear My New Aligners?

Aligners need to be worn FULL TIME in order to effectively move your teeth. Removing your aligners to eat or clean your teeth is recommended for about 15 minutes at length. The goal is to wear them as often as possible. Patients who wear their aligners full time finish treatment faster and have better outcomes overall.

Woman smiling looking at camera


  • Attachments are made of composite and bonded to your teeth.
  • Each attachment is a special geometrical shape designed by our doctors. They help move teeth to their perfect end position.
  • Attachments can sometimes pop off, but this is rare. If this occurs we can easily replace the attachment. Call us to make an appointment for attachment replacements.
Invisalign attachments

Eating Food and Drinking With Aligners

  • Do not eat or drink sugary/acidic beverages with your aligners in place. Food and beverages can become trapped under your aligners and cause tooth damage. Colored beverages can stain your aligners. Drinking water with your aligners on is perfectly safe!
  • After you eat or drink, we recommend brushing your teeth before replacing your aligners. If you do not have time or access to brush, please rinse your mouth with water to remove food debris and then brush as soon as you get home.
  • When eating or drinking, please store your aligners safely in your Invisalign case.
Woman drinking colored drink

What is Tracking and How it Works

  • Tracking means that your teeth are fitting perfectly into your aligners.
  • Do not change your aligners until all teeth are tracking perfectly. There should be zero “air space” between the edges of your teeth and the aligner.
  • If there is an air space, please wear the aligner for a longer period of time until it fits.
  • We do not recommend progressing forward into new aligners unless you are tracking perfectly.
  • If you have worn an aligner for 2 weeks and it still does not track, please call our office to schedule an appointment.
Invisalign Tracking Examples

Changing Your Invisalign Trays

  • Wear each aligner set for 1 week. You will change into a new aligner set on the same day each week.
  • Change to the next aligner before going to bed.
  • If you experience tracking issues, stay in your current aligners until they fit perfectly.
  • As a backup, always keep your most recent aligner set.

Cleaning Invisalign Clear Aligners

We recommend cleaning your trays using a toothbrush and clear soap. You may also clean your trays with clear mouthwash. Do not use colored mouthwash as it can stain your trays. You may also use toothpaste or denture cleaner, but these may cause your trays to become cloudy; however, this is not usually a significant issue as patients change their trays weekly. 

Cleaning Invisalign Aligners

What If I Lose an Aligner?

  • Lost an aligner? Life happens. No worries! Just move forward to your next aligner set.
  • You may need to wear this set longer (2 weeks) in order for it to track properly.
  • If you do not have any future aligners, please go back to wearing your most recent aligner set and call our office. For example, if we gave you aligners #1-12 and you lose #12 please go back to wearing #11.
  • If you did not save a backup set, please contact our office immediately and we will regard it as an emergency.

Your Custom Aligner Numbers

Many times, multiple people in the same household are using Invisalign clear aligners. Your aligners may get mixed up with another user. How can you tell which one is yours without putting them in your mouth? Invisalign has customized aligners for this exact reason:

  • Your name and aligner number will be printed on each aligner bag.
  • The aligner number is also located on the back biting surface of each aligner.
  • U/L indicate upper or lower followed by the aligner number. In the example below, L14N stands for lower aligner #14.
Custom Aligner Number Example

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