Table of contents
1. Brush and floss before inserting aligners
2. Clean your aligners regularly
3. Wear aligners as directed
4. Take aligners out before eating
5. Drink water to stay hydrated
Invisible braces, commonly referred to as clear aligners, are a well-liked substitute for conventional metal braces. They can be taken out for eating, brushing, and flossing and are essentially invisible. However, wearing clear aligners requires extra care and attention to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Here are 10 tips to help you keep your smile healthy while wearing clear aligners:
Brush and floss before inserting aligners
Before inserting your clear aligners, it's essential to brush and floss your teeth. This will remove any plaque or debris that could get trapped between your teeth and the aligners. Not only will this help keep your teeth and gums healthy, but it will also make it easier to insert and remove the aligners.
Clean your aligners regularly
Clear aligners need to be cleaned regularly to remove plaque and bacteria. You can clean them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild soap or clear aligner cleaner. Avoid using toothpaste, as the abrasive particles can scratch the aligners. Rinse the aligners thoroughly with lukewarm water before inserting them back into your mouth.
Wear aligners as directed
It's essential to wear your aligners as directed by your orthodontist. Typically, you should wear them for at least 22 hours a day and only remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing. Skipping wear or not wearing them for the recommended amount of time can slow down the treatment process and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Take aligners out before eating
Clear aligners should be removed before eating or drinking anything other than water. Food particles and liquids can get trapped between the aligners and your teeth, leading to plaque buildup and bad breath. It's also important to brush your teeth and clean your aligners before reinserting them.
Drink water to stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is an important aspect of maintaining healthy teeth and gums while wearing clear aligners. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out bacteria and food particles from the mouth, preventing plaque buildup. Additionally, saliva production increases when you are hydrated which helps to neutralize acids in the mouth and wash away food particles. It's recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day while wearing clear aligners.
Avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods
Some foods can damage or dislodge clear aligners. Hard, crunchy foods like popcorn, nuts, and ice can crack or break the aligners. Sticky foods like caramel and gummies can pull the aligners out of place. It's best to avoid these foods while wearing aligners and opt for soft, easy-to-chew options instead.
Be mindful of sugar intake
Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, and it's essential to limit your intake while wearing clear aligners. Sugar can get trapped between the aligners and your teeth, leading to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Opt for sugar-free gum or mints instead of sugary snacks.
Keep regular dental check-ups
While wearing clear aligners, it's essential to keep regular dental check-ups. Your dentist or orthodontist will check for any issues with your teeth or gums, such as tooth decay or gingivitis, and make adjustments to your aligners as needed.
Use an interdental brush
An interdental brush is a small brush that can be used to clean between the teeth and the aligners. It's handy for cleaning the back teeth where food particles can get trapped. It's a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy while wearing aligners.
Use a water flosser
A water flosser is a great way to clean between the teeth and the aligners. It uses water to remove plaque and food particles from the teeth and gums. It's also useful for cleaning hard-to-reach areas.
How often should I clean my clear aligners?
It is recommended to clean your invisible aligners at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear aligner cleaning solution.
Can I still brush and floss my teeth while wearing clear aligners?
Yes, it is important to continue brushing and flossing your teeth as usual while wearing clear aligners to maintain good oral hygiene.
Can I eat and drink while wearing clear aligners?
It is best to avoid eating and drinking anything other than water while wearing clear aligners to prevent staining or damage to the aligners.
How long should I wear my clear aligners each day?
It is recommended to wear your clear aligners for at least 22 hours a day, only removing them for eating and cleaning.
Are there any foods or drinks that should be avoided while wearing clear aligners?
It is best to avoid consuming foods or drinks that are high in sugar or can stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored juices while wearing clear aligners.