Dental problems are among the most common health concerns worldwide. While many issues can be resolved with simple at-home care, others may require more extensive treatment, such as dental aligners. At ICD Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL, we offer Invisalign to patients who are looking for an effective, yet discreet, way to improve their smile. This orthopedic treatment uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to gradually straighten teeth.
What Should You Avoid During Invisalign?
There are some things you should avoid in order to prevent damage to your aligners or staining of your teeth. Here’s a quick overview of what to avoid during your treatment:
When it comes to our oral health, sugary drinks can be one of the worst offenders. The sugar in these drinks can quickly lead to tooth decay, especially if we’re not diligent about brushing and flossing afterward.
If you take sugary drinks while wearing clear aligners, the damage to your teeth can even be more extensive. That’s because sugar can get trapped in the aligners/braces and create a breeding ground for bacteria. As a result, you may start to experience tooth decay, bad breath, or other dental problems.
Coffee, Tea, and Wine
Coffee, tea, and wine can all stain your aligners. The main culprit is tannin, a type of compound found in these beverages. Tannins are highly pigmented and can bind to thermoplastic material in the aligners, causing permanent staining. In addition, coffee and tea also contain caffeine, which can further exacerbate the staining process.
Wine is also highly acidic, which can break down the aligners and cause them to discolor. To avoid staining your aligners, it’s best to avoid these beverages altogether. If you must drink them, be sure to brush your teeth afterward and rinse your mouth completely.
From getting stuck in brackets to staining teeth, the list of ways that food can affect your oral health is long. However, if you’re lucky enough to have clear aligners, you may think you’re safe from the hassle of food-related dental damage. Unfortunately, that is not the case as clear aligners are also susceptible to staining and damage.
For instance, chewy foods can tug at aligners and potentially break them. Sticky candies can pull the aligners and weaken their structural integrity. Although the damage may not be immediately apparent, over time, these habits can cause your aligners to become stained and cloudy. So if you want to keep your aligners looking their best, it’s critical to be mindful of what you’re eating. Avoid chewy foods like caramels and jelly beans, and steer clear of sticky candies like taffy and gummies when wearing clear aligners.
Hard foods can also cause your teeth to shift out of alignment, leading to a longer treatment time. Crunching down on hard foods can put unnecessary pressure on your teeth and gums, thus weakening the aligners.
Biting into hard objects can cause chips or cracks in your aligners. If you must eat hard foods, we recommend removing your aligners first. This will help protect your investment and ensure that you get the most out of your treatment.
Smoking can damage your aligners in a number of ways. The chemicals in cigarettes, including nicotine and tar, can discolor your aligners, making them less effective at doing their job. In addition, the heat from smoking can warp the aligners, making them less comfortable to wear.
Smoking can contribute to gum disease, which can make it more difficult to wear aligners. If you are a smoker, it’s crucial to take extra care of your aligners to avoid these problems. Be sure to brush your teeth after smoking to remove any residual nicotine or tar, and try to avoid exposing the aligners to direct heat.
Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
The device works by gradually moving your teeth into the desired position. You will wear each aligner for about two weeks before moving on to the next in the series. As you progress through the aligners, your teeth will gradually shift into place.
Are Clear Aligners Comfortable?
Clear aligners are made of soft plastic that is custom-made to fit your teeth. They are also much thinner than traditional metal braces, so they are less likely to cause discomfort. They also have no wires, which means they are less likely to poke or scratch your gums. Overall, clear aligners are a comfortable and convenient option for straightening your teeth.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
Treatment usually takes about six months, though more major dental issues can require wearing the aligners for up to 12 months. That being said, there are ways to reduce the amount of time you need to wear aligners. For instance, avoiding the habits discussed above can help the treatment progress more quickly. We’ll be able to determine the exact length of time you’ll need to wear aligners during your consultation.
How Often Do You Need To Wear Your Aligners?
You should be wearing your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day to ensure that your treatment is effective. This may seem like a lot, but it really only breaks down to wearing your aligners while you are awake or sleeping, and taking them out for meals. Of course, there are also situations where you will need to take them out, such as when brushing your teeth or engaging in extreme physical activities such as full-contact sports.
Also, if you experience any discomfort, you can remove your aligners for a short period of time until the discomfort goes away. This usually happens in the first few days after changing to a new set of trays.
Do You Still Need To See the Dentist for Regular Cleanings While in Treatment?
Yes, you should continue seeing the dentist for regular cleanings every six months even while you’re in treatment because plaque and tartar can still build up on your teeth. Regular cleanings help prevent gum disease and keep your smile healthy and sparkling throughout treatment and beyond.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
Both adults and children can be good candidates for this treatment, but we will need to examine your oral health during your consultation to be sure. Once we are satisfied that aligners are right for you, we will scan your dental formula and print 3D models of it.
The aligners will be custom-made to fit your teeth, and you will need to wear them for 20-22 hours each day. Clear aligners are ideal for correcting many issues, including:
When teeth are overcrowded, they can become crooked and misaligned, making it difficult to show off your full smile. In addition, teeth overcrowding can also affect your speech, as misaligned teeth can make it difficult to produce certain sounds. Additionally, teeth overcrowding can make chewing more difficult by getting in the way of your bite.
Overcrowding often occurs when there is not enough space in the mouth for all of the teeth, which can be caused by genetics or by early loss of baby teeth. If you have overcrowded teeth, consider wearing clear aligners.
Teeth overbite can have numerous effects on your mouth and jaw. Most notably, overbites can cause the jaw to misalign, which can lead to pain and difficulty chewing. In addition, overbites can also cause wear and tear on the teeth.
Perhaps the most serious consequence of an overbite is that it can make it difficult to breathe, particularly at night. This can lead to sleep apnea, which can have a significant impact on your overall health.
A crossbite usually happens in the front of the mouth when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. If not treated, a crossbite can cause the jaw to misalign, affecting your appearance.
Crossbites are usually first noticed in childhood when the permanent teeth come in. If you suspect your child has a crossbite, bring them to us for an evaluation. A crossbite can be corrected with clear aligners in most cases.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, so you can straighten your teeth without everyone knowing. Other benefits of these aligners include being able to remove them for cleaning, eating, and drinking. There are also no wires or brackets to irritate your mouth and gums. Don’t wait another day to get started on your journey to a straighter, more beautiful smile. Contact ICD Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL, today to schedule your consultation.