What I Can Do With Clear Aligners
When you choose to undergo orthodontic treatment you are changing your appearance permanently which can contribute to a change in your confidence. along with changes to your appearance you are also going to need to adjust to the many lifestyle changes that may occur. Here are some of the things that you can do when you have clear aligners.
Eat Your Favourite Foods
You are able to take your aligners out to eat which means that you don't need to sacrifice any of your favourite foods. 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.
Take Out Your Aligners for Eating, Drinking & Oral Hygiene
While there are a number of advantages to being able to remove your clear aligners to properly clean your mouth and teeth, there are a few disadvantages as well.
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 are also able to remove your aligners to eat the foods that you want to which means you can eat everything that you did before orthodontic treatment.
A downside, however, is that you will need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day which means that you need to be conscious of how long you have your clear aligners out for. 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.
Drink All the Water You Want
You will need to take out your clear aligners before eating or drinking. The only exception to this rule is water, so go ahead and hydrate. This is important for your health, and also because clear aligners can make some patients salivate excessively.
Change Aligners Right Before You Sleep
One thing that you may notice is that you experience a certain amount of discomfort when you need to change to your new set of aligners.
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 Not To Do With Clear Aligners
Now that we've gone over some of the things that you should do when you have clear aligners, here are some of the things that you absolutely shouldn't do:
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 for 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 Use a Tooth Brush 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, or denture cleaner or rinse them with water.
Don't Forget to Clean Your Teeth Before Putting Your Aligners Back in
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 Anything But Pure Clear Water With Your Aligners in
If you drink coloured beverages you can risk staining your clear aligners which can give them an appearance of being unclean.
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 Your Routine Dental Visits
While tightening appointments aren't necessary with clear aligners, you will still need to visit your dentist or orthodontist for regular checkups to make sure that your treatment is on track and that you have no potential concerns.
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.