Dental malocclusions or misalignments are more common than most people think. But for years, the only viable treatment to correct crooked teeth, gaps, or bite issues is traditional metallic braces. As metal braces are quite uncomfortable and unpleasant to look at, patients of all ages despised getting them. Although childhood orthodontic interventions were common and children were forced to wear traditional braces, adults who needed dental correction refrained from getting it.
But with the advent of invisible braces, more and more adult patients opened up to the idea of getting corrective treatment. Invisible braces or clear aligners generally involve a set of aligner trays made of clear, soft, and hypoallergenic plastic that fit right over the patient’s teeth. The aligner trays are made to measure and provide gentle and consistent pressure over the teeth, pushing the teeth into the right position. Over the course of 3 to 18 months, most patients will see visible results and enjoy better dental health.
Even though clear aligners are discreet, and comfortable and pose less of an issue when it comes to maintenance, there are a few dos and don’ts involved when undergoing the treatment. Keeping your food habits in check is one of them. Let’s learn more about it in this blog.
How to eat better during clear aligner treatment
One of the perks of clear aligners is that the wearers are allowed to eat what they wish as there are virtually no diet restrictions. However, for faster and better results, it is important to follow some healthy eating habits. Here are some of the food habits that will help you maintain your treatment progress and keep the aligners clear.
If you like getting a cup of coffee to kick start your morning and halfway through the day to keep you going, you are more than welcome to continue with the routine. However, frequent consumption of coffee throughout the day is one of the habits you may need to break during your invisible aligner treatment. Patients who drink coffee frequently may notice their aligners getting discolored faster, which essentially causes your aligners to be visible and look unclean. The only drink you can take without removing your aligners is water. All colored drinks must be limited and taken only after removing the aligners.
Eating with the aligner trays on will cause them to crack, get discolored or fall out. To avoid damaging your clear aligners, it is recommended that you remove the trays and keep them in their case before biting into whatever you feel like eating.
To ensure that your treatment is on track and not compromised, it is important to keep wearing your clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Even if you remove the aligners before eating, remember to pop them back immediately upon finishing. Wearing your clear aligners for the recommended amount of time will help you maintain your treatment progress at all times.
Before popping the aligners back in after a meal, remember to brush and floss properly. Brushing and flossing will help remove any food debris and reduce plaque build-up in your teeth as well as the clear aligners. Keeping your teeth clean during the treatment is very important to avoid tooth decay and gum infections during the treatment.
Biting onto foods such as hard pieces of bread, corn on cob, pretzels, chips, and candies may cause pain during clear aligner treatment. During the treatment, your teeth are shifting into place and are therefore loose. They may also feel sore and tender, especially when you are between different sets of aligners. Biting into hard foods during this time can aggravate the symptoms and cause you unnecessary pain; which is why it is best to avoid eating such foods.
It may not seem like an issue at first, but chewing gums can damage your invisible aligner. Gum may stick to the aligner, loosen or even crack the tray, making you take an emergency visit to your dentist. So it is best to avoid chewing gum during the treatment.
To keep things easy for you, try following a meal schedule. Since you must wear the aligners for a minimum of 22 hours a day, sticking to a meal schedule will help you meet this requirement without compromising on your nutrition and food cravings.
Invisible braces have indeed revolutionized orthodontics in many ways. Patients of all ages are now ready to get their malocclusions corrected and embrace healthy teeth and a beautiful smile, all thanks to clear aligners. If you are looking to correct your crooked/gapped teeth or solve bite issues, book an appointment with our dentist and visit Emirates Dental Clinic today.