Real Clear Tips — 8 Important Things To Know Before Straightening Your Teeth With Clear Aligners

Audrey Barton
4 min readNov 29, 2021

If you’re already working on improving your teeth with a set of clear aligners, or considering doing so in the future — congratulations!

You’re going to love your new smile, and having straight teeth also makes it much easier to keep up with proper dental hygiene — there will be fewer places for any bacteria to hide.

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Clear aligners are already considered by most people to be much easier than traditional braces, though they do require a certain amount of discipline.

There are a few things you can do though to make your teeth straightening adventure both easier, and more efficient.

1.Practice Makes Perfect

One of the first questions many people ask is whether they’ll be able to speak normally with their aligner.

The answer is both yes, and no.

When you pop your very first aligner tray in — you are going to lisp.

All you need to do is practice though, and you’ll be talking normally in no time… well, a few hours anyway.

Talk to yourself, your partner, get made fun of by your kids, or have a chat with your cat.

How you practice doesn’t matter, just keep talking until you get it figured out.

2. Soak While You Eat

You only get to have your aligners out for two hours each day — that’s not a lot of time.

Don’t waste it by letting them just sit there and dry out, it serves no purpose and will actually make them harder to clean.

Instead, use that time to soak them in an aligner or denture cleaner, and they’ll be much easier to clean when you’re ready to put them back in.

If you don’t have enough time or the right supplies, you can use water or watered-down mouthwash.

Photo by Peter Kasprzyk on Unsplash

3. Always Brush First

It can be tempting if you’re in a rush to just slip your aligner trays back in after a quick snack.


Aside from being terrible for your teeth, and your aligner, it’s also going to feel gross.

Just don’t.

4. Switch Before Bed

The first few hours wearing a new aligner can be unpleasant, and it’s extra important not to remove it during this time.

To get you through the worst part of each tray, switch to a new aligner just before you go to bed.

By the time you wake up, you’ll have had 6 to 8 hours (hopefully) of continuous wear, and they shouldn’t be feeling quite so tight anymore.

5. Keep Your Tray

When you switch to a new aligner, keep the old one.

You don’t need to keep them all, but having the previous tray available is super handy if something goes wrong with the new one.

If it breaks, cracks, or gets lost — you’ll need to make an appointment with the dentist.

Photo by Quang Tri NGUYEN on Unsplash

Don’t just go without a tray though, or you could lose some of your hard-won progress — pop the previous tray back in instead.

6. Orajel

How uncomfortable it is swapping trays really varies from person to person.

If you’re one of the unlucky folks who experience a fair amount of pain for the first while after swapping, Orajel may become your new best friend.

7. Don’t Stain Your Trays

It’s recommended that water is the only thing you eat or drink while you have an aligner in.

Some people get overconfident after a while, and try to sneak in some coffee or tea — it’s always a bad idea.

Clear aligners can stain more easily than you might think — and your teeth aren’t going to look good with a strange yellow-brown stain floating over top of them.

8. Bring Your Supplies

Don’t go anywhere without the supplies you need to maintain your aligners, or you’ll regret it.

Mouthwash, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, Orajel, aligner cleaner, and an aligner case.

Put them all in a bag and keep them nearby.

With these tips, you should be able to avoid many of the most common mistakes.

Some of the problems you can avoid are only minor inconveniences, but some can be expensive, embarrassing, or set back your progress.

Hopefully, if you already have clear aligners, none of these have negatively affected you already.

Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash

If you don’t have clear aligners yet but are considering them, contact your local smile makeover professionals and talk to them about your situation — they’ll be happy to help.

Invisible aligners really are a fantastic advancement in dental technology.

If your teeth are crooked, have gaps, or otherwise need some relocation, the solution is clear.