Are you considering treatment with Invisalign clear aligners? You might be wondering what you can and can't do with them in your daily life during treatment. Today, our orthodontist in Okotoks shares some advice to keep in mind.
What can I do with Invisalign clear aligners?
Treatment with Invisalign clear aligners can change patients' lives in many ways. However, your daily life will remain unchanged throughout your treatment in many ways. Here are some things you can do with clear aligners:
DO: Eat anything you want
Since clear aligners are removable, you'll be able to keep eating the foods you love. While you'll need to avoid many foods while wearing braces - from your favourite crunchy vegetables to pizza crust, you won't have these restrictions with clear aligners.
DO: Remove your aligners to brush, floss, drink and eat
You'll likely find there are both advantages and challenges to being able to remove your clear aligners to brush, floss, drink and eat.
Since you won't have brackets or wires to contend with, you'll easily be able to carefully brush and floss (and get all those tiny food particles that can easily lead to bacteria that get stuck between your teeth and your aligners). You can (and should) also take your aligners out to eat or drink anything other than water.
However, you must fit your meals in the two hours of time that you can have your aligners off every day. Because you'll need to wear your aligners for 22 hours every day, you'll soon be scheduling your meal times, cutting back on snacking, and brushing like a pro.
DO: Drink water while wearing your aligners
While you shouldn't eat or drink coloured food or beverages while wearing clear aligners, you can drink water, which will help you stay hydrated. This is important for your health and also because clear aligners can cause some patients to salivate excessively.
DO: Switch to your next set of aligners before bed
You might feel some minor discomfort for the first day or two when you change to a new set of aligners, as your teeth move positions.
Though this is completely normal, it can still be annoying. One way to address the issue is to switch to your next set of clear aligners before heading to bed for the night, so you'll sleep away those first few hours.
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 clear aligner treatment. Here are a few little things you can't do with clear aligners:
DON'T: Forget to wear your aligners
Your self-discipline and commitment to the treatment will be a huge part of your success with 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 to eat, drink, brush, floss or do activities such as playing sports or practicing a musical instrument.
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
Excellent oral hygiene is critical to your routine now - even more so that you’re wearing clear aligners, as any bacteria or food particles will be caught between your teeth and your aligners until the next time you brush.
That’s why you’ll want to brush and floss your teeth before each wear, and every time after you eat or drink anything other than water.
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 aligners - yuck.
If you want to drink any beverages other than water, you’ll need to remove your aligners, drink up (keeping in mind your food and drink schedule for the day) and brush and floss your teeth before putting your clear aligners back in.
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.