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 Prince George dentists at Family Dental Care - Specialty share some advice to keep in mind.
What are the things that I can do with clear aligners?
Clear aligners make a huge difference in the teeth altering process. But there are things that you must keep in mind while you are wearing clear aligners. These are things you can do with clear aligners:
DO: Eat any foods you choose
One of the ways that clear aligners might be preferred is because you are able to continue to eat all of the foods that 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: Remove your aligners anytime you brush, floss, drink or eat
Being able to remove your aligners to brush, floss, drink and eat has its advantages as well as its challenges.
Because you won’t have brackets or wires to contend with, you’ll easily be able to carefully brush and floss (and get all those little 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.
But, you must fit your meals into the two hours of time that you can have your aligners off each day. Because they need to be worn 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 you are wearing your aligners
Though you shouldn’t eat or drink coloured food or beverages while wearing your clear aligners, you can drink water, which will keep you hydrated. This is important for your health, and also because clear aligners can make some patients salivate excessively.
DO: Change to your new set of aligners before you sleep
When you need to switch to a new set of aligners you may feel some discomfort for the first day or so as your teeth shift positions.
While this is totally normal, it can still be annoying. One way to address this is to switch to your next set of clear aligners before going to bed for the night, so you’ll sleep away those first few hours.
What about the things that I can't do with 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: go without wearing your aligners
Your success with clear aligners will greatly depend on you. 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.
It is important to remember 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: Use a toothbrush or toothpaste to clean your aligners
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 care for your teeth before and after wearing your aligners
It is imperative to keep a focus , 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 things that can stain your aligners
Avoid any and all coloured drinks such as pop, wine and fruit smoothies, these drinks can leave unsightly stains on the clear, transparent plastic of your aligners.
If you want to drink any beverages other than water, it's important 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: Miss your dental visits
One of the nice things about clear aligners is that unlike braces you won't need regular appointments to tighten the braces. Even so, 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.