Clear aligners are arguably the easiest and most discreet solution for straightening teeth that are crooked, twisted, gapped, and even overlapping. Not only will they improve the appearance of your smile, but they will also – provided you take care of your teeth properly at home - make your teeth cleaner and healthier long-term.
To help you understand a bit more about invisible braces and how they can benefit your oral health, here are our top do’s and don’ts for clear aligners.
Do… change your aligners as per your treatment program
When life gets busy it can be easy to become forgetful. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you remember to change your aligners at the intervals directed in your treatment program. If you wear the same aligner for too long your treatment will stall, the aligner itself could distort from overuse and you could be at risk of more severe orthodontic problems than you already have.
Do… brush and floss like you would do usually
Oral hygiene is just as important when using a clear aligner solution as at any time. In fact, some providers would argue that it is more so since the aligners sit over the top of the teeth, meaning that any bacteria/plaque is trapped between the aligner and your teeth.
Do… wear them for at least 22 hours each day
Invisible aligners only work effectively if you wear them exactly as directed. This means for a minimum of 22 hours each day, only removing them for eating and cleaning. You do still have to wear them overnight. Failure to do this can compromise the effectiveness of your treatment program.
Do… trust the process
It may seem impossible that such a small piece of plastic can move your teeth. However, invisible braces have been proven to be just as effective as conventional orthodontic braces and they have far more benefits in terms of comfort, appearance and ease of use. You won’t see results immediately, but be patient and eventually, your new and improved smile will start to emerge.
Don’t… clean your aligners with toothpaste
One of the most common errors made by patients, particularly at the start of their treatment, is to clean their aligners with toothpaste. Unfortunately, doing this can actually damage them since most contain mild abrasives that will cause microscopic defects. These defects can cause your invisible aligners to become dull and unattractive, and there is the risk that plaque will accumulate in the abrasions, making it harder to keep clean and transferring bacteria into your mouth. Instead, use the cleaning solution provided to you by your provider.
Don’t… leave your invisible aligners out in the open
It’s important to take your aligner case out with you so that you don’t leave them out in the open when you take them out for eating or for cleaning your teeth. Doing so will leave them exposed to environmental bacteria, which will then be transferred into your mouth when you pop them back in, putting you at risk of getting sick. Instead, practice great oral hygiene by carrying your aligner cases and rinsing your invisible braces before you put them in your mouth again.
Don’t leave your aligners in direct sunlight either
If you do forget your case and need to remove your aligners, take care not to leave them in direct sunlight. The temperatures that they can reach can cause them to warp, rendering them useless.
Don’t… drink anything other than water when wearing your aligners
It’s absolutely fine for patients wearing to enjoy a drink while wearing their aligners. After all, good hydration is important for our overall health and wellbeing and drinking regularly can help to flush decay-causing bacteria away. However, you shouldn’t drink just anything when you wear invisible aligners. Sugar-based drinks have been proven to cause staining and even damage to the aligners themselves. Stick to water and drink plenty.
For more information about clear aligners, please call our dental office in Corpus Christi at (361) 245-5400 to speak with the team at Boss Dental today.