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Little Things You Can & Can't Do with a Clear Aligner

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 while you are undergoing treatment. Here, our Winnipeg dentists share some advice to remember.

What can I do with clear aligners?

Treatment with clear aligners can be life-changing in many ways. But there are many ways in which your daily life will stay unchanged while you undergo treatment. In this post, we'll share things you can do with clear aligners:

DO: Eat anything you want

Since your Invisalign clear aligners will be removable, you'll be able to keep eating all the foods you love. With braces, you'll have to avoid many foods from your favourite crunch vegetables to pizza crust. However, you won't have these restrictions with clear aligners. 

DO: Remove your aligners to brush, floss, drink and eat

You'll notice both advantages and challenges with being able to brush, floss, eat and drink. 

Since you won't have wires or brackets to contend with, you'll easily be able to brush and floss carefully (and clear away 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 remove your aligners to eat or drink anything other than water. 

However, your meals must fit into the two hours of time that you can have your aligners off every day. Since they'll need to be worn for 22 hours each day, you'll soon be scheduling your meal times, cutting back on snacking and brushing like a pro.

DO: Drink water while wearing your Invisalign 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 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 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.

Do you have questions about what you can and can’t do with an aligner that weren’t answered here? Contact our Winnipeg dentists today to book a consultation.

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