Invisalign is supposed to be worn 20 to 22 hours a day. That leaves patients with approximately three to four hours for meals, snacks, drinks, and cleaning. This might not seem like a lot of time, but if you budget your time thoughtfully, you can follow that all-important rule about Invisalign and eating: Always remove your aligners anytime you put a food or beverage in your mouth. Here’s how to make it happen.
Keep the Consequences in Mind
It might seem like eating one piece of fruit or cake can’t make a difference in the quality of your Invisalign trays – but any food and drink at all can have a negative impact.
- Drink disaster: Beverages like coffee, tea, wine, beer, or colas can stain your teeth – they can do the same to Invisalign trays. Any hot liquids can also distort the aligners.
- Food faux pas: Biting and chewing with Invisalign in place could damage trays. One wrong bite could crack or compromise the trays.
- Cavity convoy: Teeth develop decay when food and bacteria are caught along the enamel. If you eat with aligners in, the trays will trap food and bacteria and keep them snug against your teeth, encouraging cavities and infections.
- Aligner absolutes: You don’t want noticeable, stained, smelly trays – remember this when you are tempted to take a quick drink or have a small taste. Always remove your aligners before you eat or drink anything or you will be left with ineffective, noticeable Invisalign or Invisalign Teen.
Avoid Making Excuses
Invisalign is only as successful as your dedication to your treatment. Anything that goes awry along the way will throw your entire treatment off track and extend the amount of time you undergo dental care, so avoid making excuses.
Each set of Invisalign aligners may only be worn for a few weeks at a time, but this is no excuse to slack on the care of the trays or following the rules. It’s so important to take care of the nearly invisible appliances that are transforming the shape of your teeth and smile.
Make Good Use of Your Smartphone
Timers and alarms on a smartphone come in handy for Invisalign wearers. Give yourself 30 to 45 minutes for a meal. You’ll discover you have plenty of time to enjoy your dish and any company you have without rushing to get your trays back in your mouth. You may even finish eating before your timer rings.
Stay the Course
Follow the rule of wearing Invisalign around the clock except during meals and give yourself time to adjust to the treatment. Think about it: Wearers of conventional braces have their brackets and wires in place 24/7 without exception. It’s complex for them to brush and floss, so you have that advantage, but there is no chance their treatment ever takes a backseat. It’s working all the time.
Your responsibility as an Invisalign patient is to make sure your trays are doing their job as much as possible too. Contact Dr. Alana Macalik, certified Invisalign provider in Arlington, TX, to find out if you’re a good candidate.