5 Tips on Caring for Your Smile During Clear Aligner Treatment
Getting the Most from Your ClearCorrect Experience
Clear aligner treatment provides an option for many patients who want straight teeth and a well-aligned smile but want to avoid the discomfort and hassle of braces. While clear aligners are convenient, there are still a few things you should keep in mind during your treatment.
Follow these tips on caring for your smile to make the most of your ClearCorrect experience.
1. Don’t eat with your aligners in.
One of the most important factors when comparing braces vs. clear aligners is that clear aligners are removable. This means you can take them out when it’s time to eat, so you can avoid dietary restrictions. You won’t have to worry about hard or sticky foods lodging between the wires and brackets of braces.
It’s super important you remember to take them out every time you eat, even if it’s just a small snack. Chewing with your aligners can deform them, negatively impacting your treatment. The foods you eat can also discolor your aligners, which defeats the purpose of having “clear” aligners! You can also get bits of food stuck behind them, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
2. Drink plenty of water during clear aligner treatment.
While you always need to take out your aligners to eat, you can enjoy a cool drink of pure water without doing so. Water doesn’t affect your clear aligners, and there’s no need to worry about any residue getting caught underneath them.
In fact, drinking water frequently helps maintain your oral hygiene during treatment. Water helps wash away any bits of food left behind from previous meals or snacks. It also helps remove acidic residue from bacteria, which can build up over time and lead to tooth decay.
Staying hydrated also promotes saliva production. Saliva plays a key role in managing bacteria levels in your mouth due to its natural antibacterial properties. Keeping water on hand and drinking regularly throughout the day can keep your smile healthy during your ClearCorrect treatment.
3. Rinse your aligners every time you take them out.
Your cosmetic dentist will provide clear instructions on how to take care of your aligners, and it’s important that you follow them. One of those instructions will be to rinse your aligners every time you remove them and before putting them back in. This helps remove bits of food and bacteria, along with anything else that might get on them.
When you rinse the aligners, use lukewarm water. Hot water can warp the plastic. This will impact your treatment, as your ClearCorrect aligners are carefully shaped to provide the precise pressure that will guide your teeth into the desired position.
4. Brush and floss after eating and drinking.
On top of cleaning your aligners before putting them back in, you should also brush and floss after eating. You don’t want bits of food or drink stuck behind the clear aligners. They will become trapped, so even drinking water and natural saliva production won’t remove them.
This is also true for any drink other than pure water. The sugar and acidity found in soda, juice, coffee, tea, and even sparkling water can all get stuck behind your aligners. Don’t drink these beverages with the aligners on, and brush your teeth after consuming them—the same way you would after eating a meal or a snack.
5. Don’t skip wearing your aligners.
Clear aligner treatment has less of an impact on your self-confidence and social life than traditional braces. However, some patients still worry about them. Whether it’s a night out or even at school or work, they’re tempted to leave them off for long periods of time. This is a surefire way to negatively impact your treatment.
The general guideline is that you should wear your aligners for at least 22 hours each day. This means the only time you should take them out is while eating or brushing and flossing your teeth. Leaving them off for longer periods of time sets your treatment back.
Your ClearCorrect aligners apply steady pressure to your teeth. This eventually moves them into the correct position. However, it doesn’t work if you don’t wear the aligners. Skip wearing them too much, and you could find yourself having to extend your treatment timeline.
Is ClearCorrect right for you?
With the right care, clear aligner treatment can be a smooth and comfortable process. You may be able to achieve a straighter smile without the hassle of braces. Dental Care Associates of Buffalo is your Buffalo dental clinic for ClearCorrect treatment. Schedule a consultation today to find out whether ClearCorrect is right for you.