Are you considering clear aligners for your orthodontic treatment? In this blog, our Halifax dentists share some of the things you can and can't do during your clear aligners treatment.
What You Can Do With Clear Aligners
In many ways, clear aligner treatment can be a life-changer. But there are many ways in which your daily life will remain unchanged during treatment. These are things you can do with clear aligners:
DO: Eat all your favourite foods
Since you can remove your clear aligners, you can continue eating all of the foods you enjoy. Unlike with braces, where you can't eat certain foods, from the crunchy vegetables you love to pizza crust, you don't have any of these limitations with clear aligners.
DO: Take your aligners out 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 brush and floss (and get all of the little food particles that can easily get stuck between your teeth and aligners and cause bacteria). 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 for 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 aligners on
While you should not consume coloured food or beverages when you are wearing your clear aligners, you are able to drink water, that can keep you hydrated. This is essential for your overall health, and also because clear aligners can make several patients excessively salivate.
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 You Can't 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
A major part that contributes to the success of your clear aligners is your self-discipline and commitment to your treatment. You need to wear the aligners for 22 hours every day in order for them to work as prescribed and for your orthodontic issue to be treated successfully.
So, it's critical that you don’t forget to put your aligners back on every time you remove them to drink, eat, floss, brush, or participate in activities such as practicing a musical instrument or playing sports.
DON'T: Use a toothbrush and 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: Skip brushing and flossing your teeth before every 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 need to attend tightening and adjustments appointments as you would have to do with braces, it’s still essential to visit your dentist so they can check in on your progress.
These visits provide you with the chance to ask your dentist any questions or concerns that you have about your treatment. This also gives your dentist the opportunity to ensure your treatment is on schedule and will be completed successfully on time, as well as to make adjustments to the course of your treatment as required.