All About Caring for Aligners

Congratulations on your decision to “Put Your BEST Smile Forward!” Please read this sheet carefully and let us know if you have any questions.

Start of Treatment

  1. We will gather records (X-rays and photos) and a scan for Dr. Leland to diagnose and plan your treatment correctly. During this process, Dr. Leland moves your teeth into optimal positions on the computer and creates a treatment plan to meet your needs most efficiently.
  2. The scan submission, communication, and final aligner fabrication take 3 to 5 weeks. If the aligners return sooner, we will attempt to bring you in earlier.
  3. Attachments will be bonded to your teeth at your next appointment. Size and placement vary depending on the movements needed to place your teeth in optimal positions.
Reno Orthodontist

Treatment Progress

  • The most important variable for the success of your clear aligner treatment is your compliance with wearing the aligners as instructed. 
    • You should wear your aligners a minimum of 22 hours per day, without exception.
    • This includes faithful wear of rubber bands, if indicated, during treatment.
  • If you put in a new tray that seems to be rubbing the inside of your lip, do not worry! This is common with new trays in the beginning. Our mouths can take some time to get used to it.
    • If this is causing you pain, you can lightly take an emery board to your tray in the area that feels sharp to smooth it out.
  • Your aligners will be changed every week unless otherwise notified by Dr. Leland. The most important indicator of your readiness to change into your next aligner is the overall fit of your aligners.
  • Unless otherwise instructed, you will have an appointment every ten weeks for a check with Dr. Leland.
  • When you are ready to change, your aligners should have no visible space between the edge of the teeth and the aligner itself.
    • The aligners should always fit tight over the teeth, so no space is visible at the edges of any teeth.
    • If a gap exists, aligner chewies should be used faithfully until the aligner fits appropriately.


During treatment, we may remove excess enamel to alleviate crowding. This process is either done with a mechanical dental handpiece or manually with diamond strips flossed between the teeth.

This process will not hurt you or your enamel and may be necessary to achieve detailed and optimal results. Dr. Leland will inform you if this is necessary.

Caring for Your Aligners

  • Never eat or drink anything (except water) with your aligners in place.
  • When eating or drinking, remove your aligners and place them into the case provided for safe keeping.
    • Do not place your aligners in your pocket or napkins, as this will lead to accidental damage or discarding of the aligners.
  • Brush the inside of the aligners carefully after every meal.
    • Aligners should be “crystal clear” at all times. If aligners are cloudy, this is an indication of plaque accumulation.
    • This can damage the teeth, leading to scarring/decalcification and cavities.
  • Brush the inside of the aligners with antibacterial hand soap and a separate toothbrush. Use cool water when brushing.

Other Tips

  • If you have a rough spot on your aligner, gently use an emery board to smooth out the area.
  • If your aligner becomes lost or damaged after one week of wear, it may be OK to move into your next aligner. Please call our office if this should happen.
  • If an attachment comes off of the teeth, please call us to schedule to re-bond.


  1. Please contact us if a bracket becomes dislodged (or falls off). We will get you in to repair within the week.
  2. If any piece of appliance comes off, please bring it to the office with you to your appointment.
  3. Pain or poking? Use your wax for temporary relief. Call us, and we will schedule an appointment to adjust your appliance.
  4. If you have a question that’s NOT URGENT, please feel free to call the office at 775-900-9070. We will promptly get back to you the following business day.
  5. If this is an after-hours EMERGENCY that can not wait until the following day, please call our emergency line at 775-900-9070.