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

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

If you're thinking about treatment using clear aligners, you may also be wondering what you are and aren't able to do with them in your daily life. Today, Dr. Cheba, provides some advice to keep in mind when making your decision.

What can I do with clear aligners?

Clear aligners can be a life changers in so many ways. However, there are also a number of ways in which your day to day life will stay unchanged. Here is what you can and can't do with clear aligners:

DO: Eat anything you want

Because clear aligners are removable, you can keep eating all the foods you love. While with braces you have to avoid all sorts of food, you won't have any restrictions while receiving clear aligner treatment.

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

There are many advantages to being able to remove your aligners to eat, drink, brush, and floss. There are a couple challenges as well though.

Since you won't have brackets or wires to work around, brushing and flossing diligently is much easier than with braces. Although you need to make sure you brush and floss away food particles and bacteria to make sure they don't get stuck between your teeth and aligners.  You should also take your aligners out when you eat or drink anything besides water. 

Because your aligners need to be worn 22 hours every day, you need to fit your meals into the 2 hours of time you are able to have your aligners off each day. As you adjust, you ben scheduling meal times, cutting back on snacks, and cleaning your teeth like an expert.

DO: Drink water while wearing your aligners

While you should avoid coloured drinks and foods while wearing your aligners, you can drink water. This drink is important for your health, keeping you hydrated and helping account for the extra salivation some patients with clear aligners experience.

DO: Change to your next set of aligners before bed

When you switch to a new set of aligners, you may feel discomfort for the first day or two and your teeth change their position.

While this is normal, it is certainly annoying. You can address it, however, by switching to a new set of aligners before going to bed. This way you can sleep through to first few hours of dental discomfort. 

What can't I do with clear aligners?

You'll have to make a few adjustments to your daily life while undergoing clear aligner treatment. Here are a few things you aren't able to do with clear aligners:

DON'T: Forget to wear your aligners

Your commitment to your treatment will have a big part to play in how successful it is. You will need to wear your clear aligners for 22 hours a day for the treatment to work as prescribed and for your orthodontic issues to be successfully resolved.

You must remember to put your aligners back in each time you take them out to do activities  like brush, floss, eat. drink, play musical instruments, or play sports. 

DON'T: Clean your aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste

Although you should absolutely keep your aligners clean, don't use toothpaste and a toothbrush to do so. your aligners could get scratched or damaged. You should soak your aligners in a special cleaning solution designed for clear aligners or rinse them with water.

DON'T: Forget to brush and floss your teeth before each wear

Good oral hygiene is very important while you have clear aligners/ Bacteria or bits of food can get caught in your aligners until the next time your brush, potentially impacting your oral health. 

Because of this, you should brush and floss before and after each wear of your clear aligners and after you drink or eat anything besides water.

DON'T: Drink coloured drinks while wearing your aligners

Pop, fruit juice, smoothies and other coloured drinks can stain the transparent plastic of your aligners - making your teeth appear discoloured when you ear them.

You should always removed your clear aligners before drinking any liquids besides water and make sure that you brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in.

DON'T: Skip check-ins with your dentist

Although you won't need to attend regular appointments for tightening like with braces, it is still important to check in on your progress throughout your treatment with Dr. Cheba. 

These appointments will let you ask him any questions you might have, bring up any concerns about your treatment, and make sure you're on the right track.

Dr. Cheba is more than happy to answer any questions about clear aligners which weren't answered here. He is here to help his Calgary patients through the clear aligner treatment process.

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