Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – Invisalign offers a great way to straighten your smile discretely. Patients love it and often choose it because it allows them to get the smile they’ve always wanted, without anyone even realizing it. But just because your Invisalign aligners start out virtually invisible, doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way.
“Invisalign is wonderful for my patients, but I give them a list of guidelines to follow for a reason,” says your Minneapolis orthodontist. “Even though patients only wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, that is still plenty of time to damage them or stain them if you don’t follow what your orthodontist suggests.”
The aligners are removable, and they should be taken out when eating or drinking. Water is fine to drink with the aligners in, but patients should never drink a beverage that could potentially stain the aligners while still wearing them. That means you should avoid drinking dark sodas, tea, coffee or wine while wearing your aligners.
“It’s a safe bet that if there are beverages or foods that can cause staining to your teeth, they can do the same to your aligners,” says your doctor. “The aligners are made of plastic, which can be porous, allowing the staining elements to set in. While it might not be to a great extent, it can still make your aligners much more noticeable than they otherwise would be.”
Another reason to avoid consuming beverages other than water while wearing your aligners is that tartar can build up on the aligner’s surface. The tartar or other debris can pick up staining. Your aligners will require cleaning while in treatment, but you’ll want to pay even closer attention to proper cleaning if you consume a beverage other than water while wearing them.
When cleaning the aligners, it’s important to follow the recommendations of your orthodontist. There are specially made cleaning products that can be used, or you can brush them with a soft-bristled brush and a mild detergent. Never use toothpaste to clean your aligners as many toothpastes contain abrasives. These can damage the aligners, creating scratches that allow debris to get trapped, leading to discoloration and bad odor over time.
“You don’t have to give up your favorite beverages while in orthodontic treatment,” says your doctor. “You can simply pop your aligners out while you enjoy your cup of coffee or glass of red wine, then place them back when you are finished. It’s always a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water before placing the aligners back, however, to remove any sugars or other debris that could get trapped against the teeth when the aligners are put back in.”
When you invest in orthodontic treatment, you want to ensure you have amazing results. Invisalign can do just that, but it’s important that you follow all guidelines from your orthodontist while in treatment.
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