Of all the ways available to straighten and beautify your smile, Invisalign is arguably the most convenient. The aligners are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces, and they are just as effective for minor to moderate dental realignment. They can be taken out to eat, so you are still able to enjoy all your favorite foods without having to worry about breaking a band or a bracket coming loose, as with metal braces.
However, Invisalign requires a degree of responsibility that makes them more suitable for teenagers and adults than for younger children. This is especially true when it comes to eating and drinking with Invisalign. Below are some tips to help you get the most out of your experience with dental aligners.
Always Remove Invisalign Before Eating
Eating with your aligners in can result in food getting stuck inside them. If this happens, you won’t be able to use them anymore, since the stuck food would alter the shape of your aligners, and prevent them from working properly. Brush your teeth thoroughly after eating to remove any bits of food that might interfere with the correct fit of your Invisalign trays.
Keep Track of the Time
With very few exceptions, the only time you should be removing your Invisalign braces is to eat, drink, and clean your teeth. To be most effective, they should be worn for 20-22 hours every day. That leaves only two to four hours per day to eat and clean your teeth and aligners after eating. It’s a good idea to set a timer to help remind you when you need to put your aligners back in. Keeping them out for too long can prolong the time it takes to reach your alignment goal.
Take Proper Care of Your Invisalign
Your aligners should be rinsed with water after you eat the last meal of the day. You can brush them with a soft toothbrush and a mild soap or non-corrosive toothpaste as well. This can remove any residual plaque or food buildup. If your aligners become damaged or cracked, do not continue to use them. You’ll need to get a replacement made since keeping damaged aligners in your mouth can cause further misalignment of your teeth.
Put Trays in their Protective Case While Eating
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for Invisalign users to lose their aligner trays when they remove them to eat. They are expensive to replace and losing them can cause a delay in your dental work, so it is a smart move to never set them down anywhere except inside their case.
Be sure to bring a case with you if you are going out to eat at a restaurant, or you risk setting them on the table and forgetting them there, or having them thrown away by the restaurant staff. Do not put your aligners in your pocket or purse without a case, since they can collect germs and become scratched or damaged.
Be Mindful of Beverages
You may have to learn new habits and make some adjustments in your daily routines in order to adapt to eating and drinking with Invisalign. This is particularly true if you are accustomed to sipping tea, coffee, or soft drinks throughout the day. You should never drink hot drinks with your aligners in, since the heat can cause them to soften and change shape.
Soft drinks tend to be quite sugary and acidic, which can cause tooth decay. Dark-colored beverages like red wine and some fruit juices can stain your aligners and cause your teeth to appear discolored. Drinking a lot of water not only prevents the above problems, but also helps to clean and freshen the mouth and keep you hydrated.
While you don’t need to give up other drinks altogether, it is a good idea to swap them out for water whenever possible, and to rinse the mouth and your aligners with water after drinking anything else.
Read also: How to Care for Your Invisalign
If you are considering getting Invisalign in Lafayette, LA, contact Gina Liggio Maestri, DDS Family Dentistry to make an appointment. Dr. Maestri is a gold Invisalign provider who has served the Acadiana area for over a decade and can help determine the best treatment plan to give you the smile you’ve always deserved!