Clear aligners have become a popular option for straightening teeth. And because they're clear, they're barely noticeable when you're wearing them. But are they convenient for daily activities such as eating and drinking? Are they difficult to care for?
Learn about the cleaning and care instructions for Invisalign for optimal oral health.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional metal braces. It's an orthodontic treatment that moves your teeth into proper alignment using a series of removable aligner trays. Each set of aligners is custom-made to move your teeth little by little. You switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks, gradually moving towards the projected final position of your teeth.
Clear aligners offer many benefits over traditional metal braces, including being virtually invisible and comfortable to wear. You can also remove them when you eat and brush your teeth, giving you more freedom and flexibility with your oral care routine and diet.
Clear aligners are a popular choice for people who need orthodontic treatment but prefer not to have their braces on display. The discrete nature of the treatment makes it popular among adults who may feel self-conscious about wearing conventional braces in professional environments or social situations.
Remove Your Aligners to Eat and Drink
Aligner treatment is different from traditional braces. You can eat with the aligners because they’re removable, but can you eat or drink with your aligners in? Other than drinking water, the answer is no!
If you don't remove your aligners before eating, food particles could get stuck inside the tray and cause bad breath or other complications.
Unlike traditional metal braces, you take out your aligners to eat, drink, brush and floss your teeth. As long as you put them back in your mouth after each meal or snack, they'll continue to gently shift your teeth into the desired position. If you don’t, you might experience discomfort later. You also won’t see the best results if you don’t wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day.
Clear aligners allow you to eat all your favorite foods. The only thing you have to be careful about is sticky foods that could damage or warp your aligners.
While you can eat and drink whatever you want during your treatment with clear aligners, it might be worth considering the impact certain foods and drinks have on your teeth and your overall oral health before enjoying them.
Brush and Floss Before Putting Them Back In
While you can remove the aligners at mealtime, the most important thing to remember is that you have to brush your teeth before replacing them. Don’t put them back in immediately after you finish eating.
If you don't brush your teeth after a meal and before putting on the aligner trays, bits of food will get trapped between the aligner and your teeth. If this happens often enough, it can cause cavities and other damage.
You also need to brush your teeth before putting on your aligners in the morning because bacteria build up on your teeth while you sleep. Brushing will help prevent plaque buildup during treatment.
How To Care for Your Aligners
The most important thing you can do to keep your trays in good shape is to wear them as recommended. They’re called aligners because they do the work of aligning your teeth. If you miss wear time, your teeth won't move as planned.
The material used to fabricate the aligners is durable, so there's no need to baby them. Still, they can be broken or lost if you don't care for them.
Clear aligners are easy to care for and can be cleaned with products you probably already have in your home. It’s essential to remove plaque and tartar that build up on your teeth and aligners to maintain good oral hygiene and fresh breath.
- Rinse your aligners after removing them from your mouth with lukewarm water. Do not use hot water, which could warp the plastic.
- Brush your aligners using a toothbrush with soft bristles, clear anti-bacterial soap, or mild liquid detergent. Be sure to brush all surfaces of the trays, including the biting surface, inside, and edges. If the trays have visible buildup, try soaking them overnight in a denture cleaning solution or white distilled vinegar diluted with water according to package directions.
- Rinse your aligners under cool water before placing them back in your mouth.
- Brush your teeth before putting the aligner back into place, so that food particles don’t get trapped between the tray and your teeth during wear.
- Wash your hands before handling your aligners.
Learn More About Treatment with Clear Aligners in Suwanee
Clear aligners give you the freedom to eat the foods you want while straightening your smile. You'll also make fewer visits to the dentist's office and get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Suwanee Family Dentistry provides complete family, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatments, including aligners. To schedule an appointment with our friendly team, contact us today at 678-714-2380.