Invisalign® is a type of orthodontic treatment that can correct a range of malocclusion issues, but unlike braces, it offers removable, clear aligners that gradually correct problematic bites. While it requires patients to alter some habits and develop new routines, there are also several habits you should avoid and correct. Gainesville orthodontist at Studio32 Orthodontics discusses five bad habits to avoid while wearing Invisalign®.
Contact us to learn more about available options for your orthodontic treatment and to schedule a consultation. In the meantime, check out our Invisalign® FAQs and Invisalign® 101 pages for more information.
Eating With Invisalign®
One of the best aspects of your Invisalign® aligners is they are entirely removable, and there are specific times when you should remove them. One of these times is during mealtimes. Those with traditional braces must avoid several foods (including sticky, chewy, and hard foods) due to the damage they may cause to the orthodontic appliances. With Invisalign®, however, you can eat any foods you'd like. The catch is that you must take out your aligners before eating anything — every time. Eating with them can damage the aligners and cause them to stop functioning as they should, which might derail your orthodontic treatment. Contact us for more information about the do's and don'ts of treatment with Invisalign® and to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist in Gainesville.
Drinking With Invisalign®
Food isn't the only thing you have to be conscientious about while wearing your Invisalign® retainer. You should also think about the drinks you consume. The only beverage you can consume while wearing your aligners is water. If you don't first remove your aligners before enjoying a soda or any other beverage, the trays will quickly become discolored and stained. Any food or drink that can stain your teeth can likewise stain your aligners. Not only is water the healthiest option when it comes to choosing what to drink, but it's also 100% safe for your aligner trays. We recommend that patients with aligners also avoid highly-acidic sports drinks and fruit juices, such as cranberry juice, as these can discolor teeth, make teeth prone to staining, and soften tooth enamel.
Leaving Your Aligners Laying Out
Taking your aligner trays out before eating or drinking anything other than water is a great practice. But, when you take your trays out of your mouth, don't leave them lying out in the open. Leaving your Invisalign® trays out, whether it's on a napkin, table, food tray, or even on your lap, is a highly risky choice. When you aren't wearing your aligners or cleaning them, you should put them in their case. Not only does leaving them out expose the trays to bacteria and airborne particles, but it also makes them easier to lose. In addition, should you leave them out, you might damage them by accidentally stepping on them or crushing them with something, you might leave them behind, or you could accidentally throw them away, which might constitute an Invisalign® emergency. So, make sure to bring your aligner case with you everywhere you go!
Moving The Trays Around With Your Tongue
When you're well into your treatment plan with Invisalign® trays, it's not uncommon for your aligners to fit a bit more loosely than they have in the past. Because of this looser fit, you might feel the urge to wiggle the trays around in your mouth with your tongue. For some patients, this can be an unconscious habit that develops over time, but it's important to make an effort to avoid this. The first reason why you shouldn't move the aligners around with your tongue is the potential for your tongue to become injured in the process. While wiggling them around, your tongue can quickly become irritated and sore. The second reason to avoid developing this bad habit is that moving them around constantly might alter the precise shape of your aligners, making them less effective for straightening your teeth.
Wearing Invisalign® Without Brushing
Regular brushing and flossing are required for everyone to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. But for patients using aligner trays, brushing is particularly important for their orthodontic treatment. If you don't properly clean your teeth before putting your aligners into your mouth after eating, for example, leftover food particles from your meal could become trapped against and in between your teeth inside of the trays. This results in more bacteria and a higher chance of tooth decay developing. To achieve the best outcome from your treatment with Invisalign&rge;, you should avoid these bad habits and form new, healthier ones!