Whether you have already started your Invisalign journey or are considering taking the next steps to getting straighter teeth, then you no doubt have a lot of questions that need answering.
The experts at Sharrow Dental take you through and answer some of the many questions that patients have regarding Invisalign Essex; from what you can and cannot do and things you need to avoid to some of the more abstract questions that you don’t want to ask your dentist.
Can I wear My Aligners… In a swimming pool?
Yes of course. Your Invisalign trays are custom-tailored to your mouth and should fit comfortably whilst enjoying activities and exercise in places such as swimming pools.
Whilst playing sports?
Most non-contact or low impact sports are absolutely fine for wearing Invisalign. However, if you are participating in a contact or high impact sport such as hockey or rugby then it is advisable to take out your aligners and protect your teeth with a mouth guard or gum shield.
When I am eating?
No. Invisalign is designed to be worn all of the time except when you need to eat or brush your teeth. If you are going to eat something, they can be removed quickly and discretely and placed into their storage case so that you can go about enjoying your food.
Whilst you do need to remove your aligners to eat, drinking water with them on is absolutely fine. However, other drinks including alcoholic beverages, soda, tea, coffee and juices have various properties such as being acidic, high in sugar, hot or can cause staining that can damage, warp and compromise the aligners not to mention cause harm to your teeth. Therefore if you are drinking something other than water you must remove your aligner tray and ensure that after you finish your drink, you rinse your mouth before you put them back in.
Smoking is of course a bad habit that everyone should try to avoid. For those undergoing Invisalign treatment the trays must be worn for at least 22-hours a day for them to work effectively to the desired timeline. This leaves around 2 hours a day for eating, drinking and cleaning, but if you smoke then the retainers must be removed, and this can greatly increase the time spent without them in. If they are left in or the teeth and mouth aren’t cleaned after each time you smoke then the aligners can quickly discolour, lead to an increased risk of gum disease and cause bad breath.
How Do I Keep My Aligners…
Invisalign trays do not require tons of special cleaning products or techniques, but they should be thoroughly and regularly cleaned in order to maintain good oral hygiene and keep them looking their best. This includes regular brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush, separate to the one you brush your teeth with followed by a rinse with warm water. Ideally this will be done twice a day, morning and night in line with your usual teeth brushing routine. Avoid using toothpastes, coloured or perfumed products as they can damage and discolour the trays.
They should ideally be soaked once a day if possible, with Invisalign cleaning crystals or a denture cleaning tablet which takes just 15 minutes and helps to remove, food, germs and bacteria to keep the aligner pristine and smelling fresh.
From getting damaged?
Be sure to remember to remove them before you eat, chew or bite into anything.
Take your time when removing them to ensure that too much pressure is not being applied that can cause the material to crack or break.
Keep them away from direct sunlight, hot liquids and warm surfaces such as radiators or heat sources that could cause them to warm and lose their shape.
Don’t grind your teeth, chew or mess around with them.
Keep them safely stored in their case at all times when they are not in your mouth.
Can My Aligners be…
Removed for an event or special occasion?
One of the many perks of Invisalign is that they are easily removable and can be taken out. However, the treatment only works if you wear the aligners and it is recommended that they are worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day, taking them out only to eat, drink, and clean your teeth. However, if you have a one off special occasion such as a birthday, wedding or graduation, then having them out of your mouth for a few hours will be fine. Just be sure to put them in again as soon as you can and don’t make a habit of doing it every day.
Thrown away once I move onto the next set?
When you are given your Invisalign trays they come in numbered sets that need to be worn consecutively in the order directed, usually for around 2 weeks at a time. Once you have completed the agreed time with a set it is important that you don’t get rid of them. In the event that you lose or break an aligner, this can give you a much needed back up whilst a new one gets made, which can take some time. Be sure to give them a good clean or soak and store them properly so that you can use them again if needs be.