Are you considering clear aligners for your orthodontic treatment? Today, our Richmond Hill dentists share the things you can and can't do during clear aligners treatment.
What Can I Do With Clear Aligners?
There are many ways that clear aligner treatment could change your life. However, there are lots of aspects of your everyday life that will stay the same during your time with clear aligners. Here, we have listed some things you are able to do with clear aligners:
DO: Eat all of your favourite foods
Since you can remove your clear aligners, you can continue eating all of the foods you enjoy most. Unlike braces, which require you to avoid certain foods, such as pizza crust and your favourite crunchy vegetables, with clear aligners you won’t have any of these limitations.
DO: Take your aligners off to brush, floss, eat, and drink
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 with your aligners on
While we don't recommend eating or drinking coloured beverages or food when you have your aligners on, you are still able to drink water, which will help you stay hydrated. This is essential for your health and is important because clear aligners can sometimes make patients salivate more than usual.
DO: Switch 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 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 Can't I Do With Cleatt Aligners
You will need to make a few changes to your everyday life during your treatment with clear aligners. Below we have listed several things you won't be able to 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: Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your aligners
While you do have to keep your aligners clean, don't use a normal toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the aligners, as they're too abrasive and could scratch the clear plastic. However, you can clean your aligners by soaking them in denture cleaner, the special solution designed for clear aligners, or by rinsing them with water.
DON'T: Skip brushing and flossing your teeth before putting your aligners on
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 with your aligners on
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: Forget 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, make sure you are on track to complete your treatment successfully and on time or adjust the course if needed.