Caring For Your Aligners

Living With Invisalign

Most people dream of having a beautiful, straight smile. When people are able to smile freely without embarrassment, they often feel happier and more confident. However, people associate straight teeth with having to wear bulky metal braces. Luckily, they can choose Invisalign as a discreet alternative.

While they’re much more attractive than traditional metal braces, some patients experience issues with their aligners. It’s crucial to know how to troubleshoot problems that may arise.

toothbrushes & Invisalign aligners.

Guarantee a Successful Treatment

Invisalign aligners are supported by over 20 years of innovation. They don’t contain any metal wires, and they’re removable, making them much easier to clean and care for than traditional braces.

Even though your aligners are simple to care for, it’s crucial that you follow all of Dr. Sheehan’s instructions if you want to maximize your results from treatment.

Explore our guide, detailing some valuable tips on caring for your aligners.

Invisalign clear aligners.

Tips for Your Invisalign Diet

Invisalign is an extremely popular treatment for the advantages it provides over metal braces. In addition to being virtually invisible and easy to remove and clean, Invisalign makes it much more comfortable to eat the foods you love.

Unlike traditional braces, patients can remove their Invisalign aligners, allowing them to eat or brush their teeth in comfort. Discover some tips on managing your diet with Invisalign.

Young friends at the movies with popcorn.

My aligners aren’t fitting properly

Invisalign trays are meant to fit snugly against your teeth and shift them in small increments. Each set of clear aligners are custom made to fit your teeth perfectly as they straighten. If you notice that your aligners aren’t fitting properly, this may be a sign that you’re not wearing them consistently or in the right order.

In cases like these, Dr. Sheehan will suggest you come in for an evaluation. She may tell you to either skip ahead to the next tray or wear the previous one.

I’ve lost weight since I started wearing my aligners

For optimal results, you’ll need to wear your clear aligners is 22 hours a day. Since you have to take out your aligners to eat, this only leaves you with a total of two hours to eat throughout the day. Having limited time to eat may result in you eating less frequently and smaller quantities.

If you notice yourself losing an alarming amount of weight, Dr. Sheehan recommends setting aside specific times to eat and consuming nutrient-rich meals or protein shakes during these times.

I’m starting to notice stains on my aligners

Since your Invisalign aligners are clear, they’re likely to become stained based on the food and beverages you consume. Learning how to clean them properly and how to prevent stains altogether will ensure your aligners remain completely clear.

If you’re noticing stains on your aligners, try brushing them or soaking them in dentist-approved solutions. This will pull out the plaque build-up without harming your aligners. Avoid eating or drinking anything besides water while wearing them, and brush your teeth immediately afterward.

Enjoy Your Favorite Foods with Ease

Traditional braces cause a lot of grief for those who wear them, and one of the most annoying aspects is trying to keep food from getting lodged in the wires. Fortunately, Invisalign eliminates this issue by making their aligners removable. When used correctly, this prevents small pieces of food and other bacteria from getting stuck under your aligners and causing an infection.

It’s recommended that you wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day, only removing them to eat, drink, and clean. It should be noted that you might have to alter your eating habits to eliminate continuous snacking throughout the day.

While it may be difficult to adjust to at first, you’ll find that eating with Invisalign is way more manageable than with traditional braces. Best yet, you can eat your favorite foods without restriction.

Keeping Your Aligners Clean

The easiest way to ensure that your aligners stay in optimal shape is to remove and clean them every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. One way to do this is by soaking them or lightly brushing them with a mild soap. Remember to clean them after you eat as well.

Another excellent tool is the Invisalign Cleaning System. It involves placing your aligners in a case that’s filled with warm water and cleaning crystals. You’ll gently shake the case for approximately 20 seconds to activate the crystals. Then, let them sit for 15 minutes. Once you’re all done, rinse off the aligners and reinsert them.

Common Issues

Unfortunately, some patients choose not to follow care instructions, which ultimately wastes time and money. Please keep the following tips in mind:

  • Don’t take your aligners out more than 4 hours a day
  • Don’t leave your aligners in the open when you aren’t wearing them
  • Don’t use toothpaste, mouthwash, or any rough, colored soap on your aligners
  • Don’t eat or drink with your aligners in (water is allowed)
  • Don’t put your aligners back in until after you’ve brushed your teeth

Making the Most of Invisalign

Although wearing Invisalign may seem like a lot of work at first, the end results will be worth it. Taking care of your aligners and wearing them consistently will leave you with a beautiful smile after your treatment is complete.

Dr. Sheehan has successfully provided Invisalign to many of her patients and encourages you to contact her if any issues arise with your aligners or teeth.

Foods and Habits to Avoid

You can eat whatever you want with Invisalign, but some foods pose a threat to the health and appearance of your smile. Since Invisalign is a treatment that depends on excellent care for your teeth and proper use of the aligners, these are foods and habits you may want to avoid to preserve your smile.

  • Tobacco

Whether you smoke it or chew it, tobacco is arguably the worst thing you can put in your mouth when it comes to your oral health. In addition to vastly increasing your chances of developing diseases, tobacco use stains your teeth and leads to additional dental problems.

  • Foods and Beverages that Stain Your Teeth

Certain foods and drinks are highly likely to stain your teeth when you consume them on a regular basis. These include beverages like coffee, wine, soda, and tea, and foods such as beets, cherries, and blueberries. Since you’re wearing Invisalign to produce a smile that you can be proud of, many patients choose to avoid foods and beverages that cause staining.

  • Hard Snacks

It may be a good idea to avoid hard foods including popcorn kernels, hard candy, and others that are particularly hard in texture. These kinds of foods put strain on your teeth and can potentially cause permanent damage during your Invisalign treatment.

  • Chewy Snacks

Chewy foods like taffy, caramel, and similar soft snacks are particularly bad for your teeth. Not only do they stick to your teeth, making them difficult to clean, but they also leave sugar behind which can quickly lead to tooth decay.

Eating and Drinking With Invisalign

Since Invisalign requires patients to wear their aligners for 20-22 hours each day to work properly, patients may have to adapt to new eating habits. These tips can help you get used to eating and drinking while undergoing Invisalign treatment:

Clean Your Teeth Before Reapplying Aligners

One thing that may take some getting used to is that it’s crucial that you brush and floss your teeth each time you eat before replacing your Invisalign aligner.

Remove Your Aligners Before Eating

Although it may be tempting to eat with your aligners in, it’s important to remove them every time you have a snack or meal. The main reason for this is that your aligners are custom made to realign your teeth, but they’re still somewhat fragile and may sustain damage if you chew on them.

You Can Drink Water With Your Aligners In

Staying hydrated is vital for your health and appearance, and you can feel free to drink as much water as you want without removing your aligners. Remember to remove the aligners if you consume other beverages though.

Visit Dr. Sheehan to Experience Invisalign for Yourself

There are good reasons for the popularity of Invisalign. Patients love that it’s comfortable, removable, and almost completely invisible. Plus, it can produce great results for your smile. To experience the benefits of Invisalign for yourself, simply contact Dr. Sheehan for a consultation in Waterford. We look forward to transforming your smile.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can Invisalign help with?

Invisalign is used to treat a variety of orthodontic issues that can impact your health, as well as your smile. During your consultation, Dr. Sheehan will thoroughly examine your teeth and determine if Invisalign will be an effective treatment for you.

Typically, we use Invisalign to correct the following orthodontic issues:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Open bite

How do I maintain my Invisalign aligners?

Invisalign aligners are much easier to keep clean than metal braces. All you need to do is brush your aligners every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. To prevent damaging your aligners, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid abrasive cleaning solutions.

It’s also crucial that you remember to take out your aligners before meals and brush your teeth before putting them back in. This will prevent food crumbs and bacteria from getting trapped in your teeth and causing an infection.

Can you drink alcohol while wearing Invisalign?

You can drink alcohol as long as you remove your aligners and clean your teeth before putting the tray back in your mouth. If you don’t, your aligners could become sticky.

Can you drink coffee while wearing Invisalign?

Yes, if you remove your aligners you can drink coffee. Brush your teeth before putting your aligners in to make sure your aligners don’t become stained.

What can’t I drink and eat while wearing Invisalign?

Because your aligners are removable, you can eat anything you want to. Clean your teeth before putting your aligners back in to ensure your aligners don’t become broken or stained.

What is the Invisalign tier level?

The Invisalign tier level is a system that categorizes providers by their experience. The more successful cases a provider has completed, the higher their rank will be. This makes it easier for you to choose an Invisalign provider who can give you the smile you want.

Dr. Amanda Sheehan is a certified Invisalign Platinum Provider, meaning that she’s experienced enough to regularly treat patients using clear aligners. She’s maintained this status by continuing to help patients to love their smiles every year.

Can I do Invisalign without a dentist?

No, the Invisalign system is only available through certified providers such as dentists or orthodontists. Treatment through a dentist’s office ensures your smile is safe and going according to plan throughout the whole process.

While there are at-home aligners that have become available recently, they’re not recommended because they can lead to serious risks. Virtual aligner check-up appointments can’t provide a thorough enough examination to detect potential problems.

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