If you’re considering treatment with clear aligners, you might be wondering what you can and can’t do with them in your daily life during treatment. Today, our Toronto dentists (at our Bay Adelaide Dental, Brookfield Place Dental, Richmond-Adelaide Dental, College Park Dental and King-York Dental locations) share some advice to keep in mind.
What can I do with Invisalign clear aligners?
In many ways, clear aligner treatment can be a life changer. Straighter teeth and a healthier smile can boost your confidence!
While you are in treatment there are many ways in which your daily life will remain unchanged. These are things you can do while wearing your clear aligners:
DO: Eat anything you want
Because clear aligners are removable, you can keep eating the foods you love. Unlike with braces, where you have to avoid many foods, from your favourite crunchy vegetables to pizza crust, you won’t have these restrictions with clear aligners.
DO: Drink water while wearing your aligners
You do not need to remove your aligners while drinking water, which means you can drink as much water you want throughout the day. Drinking water will keep you hydrated! This is important for your health, and also because clear aligners can make some patients salivate excessively.
To keep you clear aligners pristine, you should avoid eating or drinking coloured food or beverages while wearing them.
DO: Remove your aligners to brush, floss, drink and eat
Being able to remove your aligners to brush, floss, drink and eat has its advantages as well as its challenges. You can (and should) also take your aligners out to eat or drink anything other than water.
Because you can remove your aligners you’ll be able to brush and floss your teeth. It is important to remove food particles that can easily lead to bacteria that get stuck between your teeth and your aligners.
You will need to wear your aligners for 22 hours every day, which means you will need to schedule your meals into the two hours of time that you can have your aligners off each day. You’ll soon be scheduling your meal times, cutting back on snacking, and brushing like a pro.
DO: Change to your next set of aligners before bed
You may feel some minor discomfort for the first day or two when you switch to a new set of aligners, as your teeth shift positions. While this is totally normal, it can still be uncomfortable.
It is recommended that you switch to your next set of Invisalign clear aligners before going to bed at night, so you’ll sleep away those first few hours of discomfort.
What can't I do with clear aligners?
There are a few changes and adjustments you'll have to make to your daily life during your Invisalign clear aligner treatment. Here are a few little things you can't do with your clear aligners:
DON'T: Clean your aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste
Though you need to keep your aligners clean, you shouldn’t use your regular toothbrush and toothpaste on them as they are too abrasive and could scratch the plastic.
Instead, soak them in a special solution meant for clear aligners, denture cleaner or rinse them with water.
DON'T: Forget to brush and floss your teeth before each wear
While wearing clear aligners bacteria and food particles will be caught between your teeth and the aligners until the next time you brush. Getting into a regular routine of brushing and flossing your teeth after you eat or drink, and before each wear, will help to keep your teeth and aligners clean.
Excellent oral hygiene is critical to your treatment plan.
DON'T: Drink coloured drinks while wearing your aligners
Coloured drinks such as pop, wine and fruit smoothies will stain the clear, transparent plastic of your clear aligners - yuck.
If you want to drink any beverages other than water, you’ll need to remove your aligners, drink up and brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in.
Creating a regular food and drink schedule for the day will help you to maintain a schedule of two hours per day and will keep you on track with your treatment plan.
DON'T: Forget to wear your aligners
Your self-discipline and commitment to the treatment will be a huge part of your success with your Invisalign clear aligners.
You’ll need to wear them for 22 hours each day for your treatment to work as prescribed and your orthodontic issue to be successfully resolved. So, don’t forget to put your aligners back in each time you take them out!
DON'T: Skip check-ins with your dentist
Though you won’t have to attend appointments to have tightening adjustments as you would for braces, it’s still important to check in on your progress with your dentist.
These appointments will give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have, address concerns about your treatment, and make sure you are on track to complete your treatment successfully and on time, or adjust course if needed.