The Do's and Don'ts of Eating With Aligners

Do Drink Water - It is ok to drink cold and room temperature water while wearing aligners. You want to refrain from drinking hot water. Hot or boiling water can melt or change the shape of the aligners. Remove aligners when sipping tea and coffee.

Do Return Aligners to Their Protective Case While Eating - When you remove your aligners to eat your first thought may be to wrap your aligners in a napkin or to put them into your pocket. Aligners need to always be kept in their protective case. Aligners are light weight and can easily be thrown into the trash when wrapped in a napkin. It is also possible to crack or break the aligners when stored in a pocket or purse. To keep aligners safe, always put them in their protective case.

Do Brush Your Teeth After Eating - After eating it is important to brush your teeth before putting the aligners back into your mouth. When eating, small particles of food can be left behind in teeth and gums. Putting the aligners back into your mouth before all food particles are brushed away can trap the food between the aligners and teeth. The trapped food could cause cavities. If you are unable to brush before putting the aligners back into your mouth, the next best thing is to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

Do Clean Your Aligners - While it is important to clean your teeth after eating, it is just as important to clean your aligners every day. Ideally aligners should be cleaned every time they are taken out of your mouth to eat or drink. If that is not possible to do, at least two times a day is preferred. To clean the aligners, use a toothbrush and liquid hand soap. Some toothpaste can be too abrasive and cause your aligners to be cloudy in appearance. Gently brush and rinse the aligners before putting them back into your mouth.

Do See Your Dentist Regularly - During orthodontic treatment, you will be seeing your orthodontist often. It is still important to continue to see your dentist regularly for cleanings. Aligners can trap bacteria on the surface of the teeth and gums. Dental cleanings will help prevent cavities that can be caused by the aligners.

Don't Eat Food While Wearing Aligners - Any type of food whether it is soft, hard or crunchy could damage the aligners. Beverages, other than water, can cause discoloration to aligners. To prevent aligners from breakage or discoloration it is important to always take the aligners out of your mouth and put into their protective case while eating or drinking anything other than water.

Don't Forget to Put Aligners Back In - Aligners only work when in your mouth. While it is easy to take the aligners out to eat and get distracted by life, it is important to brush or rinse then put aligners back into your mouth. Aligners should be worn 22 hours a day. You should only take aligners out to eat, drink or brush your teeth.

Don't Leave Aligners Within Reach of Pets - It is important to keep aligners, even when they are in their protective case, away from animals. We love our pets just as they love us. They may not be able to resist the smell of our saliva and may want to sniff or chew on the aligners.

If you have any questions regarding aligner treatment, Dr. Hughes and the team at Lakewood Park Orthodontics are available to answer your questions.