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

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Are you thinking of treating your orthodontic condition with clear aligners? You probably have a lot of questions. Today, our Comox dentists list some things you can and can't do with clear aligners.

Things You Can Do With Clear Aligners

Clear aligner treatment could change your life in many ways. But there are many ways in which your daily life will stay the same during treatment. Here are some things you can do with clear aligners:

DO: Eat all of the foods you love

Because clear aligners are removable, you can keep eating all of your favourite foods. Whereas with braces, you would have to avoid many foods, such as crunchy vegetables and pizza crust. You won’t have these restrictions with clear aligners.

DO: Take your aligners out before brushing, flossing, and eating

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 clean away the food particles that could easily allow bacteria to get stuck between your teeth and 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 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 your aligners on

While 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: Switch to the next set in your series 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.

Things 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 put your aligners on

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 participate in activities such as playing sports or practicing a musical instrument.

DON'T: Use toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean your aligners

While you have 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 putting your aligners back 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 consume coloured beverages while wearing your aligners

Coloured drinks such as pop, wine, and fruit smoothies will stain the clear, transparent plastic of your aligners - gross.

If you want to drink any beverages other than water, you’ll have to take your aligners out, drink up (remembering your food and drink schedule for the day), and brush and floss your teeth before putting your clear aligners back in.

DON'T: Forget to check in with your dentist

While you won’t have to attend tightening and adjustment appointments as you would for braces, it’s still important to see your dentist so they can check in on your progress.

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 on time, or adjust the course if needed.

Contact our Comox dentists today to schedule your clear aligners consultation and find out if this transparent orthodontic treatment is an option for you.

Looking for a healthy smile? Contact the Comox Valley Dental team today!

(250) 339-9848