Dr. McCoy’s Clear Aligner Tips & Tricks

Dr. McCoy's Clear Aligner Tips and Tricks

Dr. McCoy's
Clear Aligner
Tips and Tricks

Dr. McCoy has compiled some really useful SureSmile and Invisalign Clear Aligner tips and tricks over the years.  

Dr. McCoy was one of the very first clear aligner orthodontists in Chicago and has been doing Invisalign treatment for over 20 years – as long as the company has been in existence!

You will find nobody has more SureSmile and Invisalign Clear Aligner experience than Dr. McCoy.

Dr. McCoy’s SureSmile and Invisalign Clear Aligner Tips and Tricks will help you to quickly get used to your clear aligners and help you learn how to care for them so that they will always be comfortable for you!

You can refer back to this page at any time to refresh your memory as your treatment progresses and your teeth move.  So, start smiling!

SureSmile and Invisalign Clear Aligner Cleaning Tips and Maintenance

This is a great short video to help you learn how to care for your SureSmile and Invisalign Clear Aligners.


Commit to wearing your SureSmile and Invisalign Clear Aligners at least 22 hours a day.

Your aligners will only move your teeth if they are worn.  Besides, patients tell us it’s more comfortable with their aligners in, so it’s easy!

Don’t change aligners unless the current one fits like a glove.

This is the single, most important, task that you have as a clear aligner patient.  

Don’t just change to your next aligner because it has been a week or ten days (we tell you the planned schedule).

The fit of your current aligner needs to be analyzed in the mirror to see if you are ready to change to the next aligner in the series.  Parents of our child aligner patients must do this fit check themselves.

When the calendar tells you that you may be ready to move into your next clear aligner, you first need to make sure your current aligner fits like a glove on every tooth before deciding to change to the next aligner in the series.  This is very important.  Failure to do this before every aligner change may delay your treatment and leave teeth behind in their planned movements.  

Look in the mirror and make sure that no space exists between the aligner and any of your teeth, one by one.  You need to check the aligner fit on every, single tooth, top and bottom and sides.

If your aligner does not fit like a glove on every single tooth in your mouth, continue to wear the current aligner for another week.  Use your V-Pro or Muchies-Vibe tooth vibrating device daily, as instructed.

At the end of that additional week, if the aligner still does not seem to fit well on every tooth, we need to know about it.

You have two options to inform us of this important issue while you stay in your current aligner.

1.  You can send us some photos using our Virtual Treatment Portal and Dr. McCoy will review the photos that you take and get back to you with an answer.  Just click the blue tab at the bottom of this page and send Dr. McCoy some photos with your aligners in your mouth.  This is a great way to save time in your busy schedule and get an answer quickly.  

2.  You could also email us to make an appointment for our staff to evaluate your issue, but Dr. McCoy can save you a trip if you use our portal because in all likelihood Dr. McCoy will tell you to continue to your next aligner.  You don’t need to come to the office to find that out.  

Always wear your current aligner to your appointment.

We can’t check if your aligners fit if you don’t bring them to every visit.  This is very important!  You are coming for an aligner fit check.  So, always bring your aligners for your fit check appointments.

Losing or breaking aligners.

If you lose or break an aligner, don’t worry.  Just start to wear the next aligner in the series.  Wear that aligner for at least a week and then, as always, you must check to see that it fits like a glove.  If it does fit like a glove, go to the next aligner.  If not, refer to the section above.  You may need to wear it another week and check again and you may need to send us photos and have us check the fit for you.

You will get used to your aligners.

Most people say that they can feel the aligners push against their teeth, especially during the first couple of days.  This is not a painful sensation but it is present (the same cannot be said about metal braces after an adjustment, which tends to be more uncomfortable for many patients).  Just wear your aligners all day, every day, and you will begin to notice that pushing feeling less and less.  Using your V-Pro or Munchies-Vibe vibrating device daily will help to quickly reduce any tooth tenderness you may feel.

Dealing with uncomfortable areas of the aligners.

On occasion, you may feel that an area of the aligner feels rough to your gums, cheek or tongue.  If this does happen, just use a nail file and gently file the area that is rough.  If it continues to bother you, trim a small amount away with small scissors and file again.  You can always come in if you can’t get the aligner comfortable.  We would love to help you!

Keeping your aligners clean and fresh.

The best way to keep your aligners clean and tasting fresh is to make sure to brush your teeth and your aligners before you put them in.  If they start to taste bad, you can soak them in clear mouth wash (colored mouth wash will stain them) and if necessary, brush them gently with a soft toothbrush soaked in your clear mouth wash.  There is a great video above that you can watch for Cleaning Tips and Maintenance.

I’m having difficulty putting aligners in or taking them out.

If one side of your aligner goes in but the other side doesn’t, take the whole aligner out again and seat the difficult side first.  The other side will then just pop right in!  The same holds for removal.  Remove from the tongue side and flip them out.  If the side you started on is difficult to get out, don’t keep struggling.  Go to the other side.  Once that side is out, the difficult side will be easier to remove.  Simple!

Thank you for beginning treatment with Dr. McCoy!

You will love your SureSmile and Invisalign Clear Aligners and your new smile!  Please feel free to contact us via email at any point in your treatment if you have any questions or concerns.


Dr. McCoy and Staff

Invisalign Treatment with Mandibular Advancement

Skip this section if you have not been told you have a small lower jaw that needs to be repositioned forward.

This informational video is for our adolescent patients who have short lower jaws that need to be slowly and gently repositioned forward in order to improve their bite, their facial balance and their profile…all possible because of Dr. McCoy’s comprehensive treatment planning that addresses every one of the issues that can be corrected in our growing patients, not just the straightening of their teeth.  It’s about attention to detail!