Clear aligners are a great tool of adult orthodontics. They are nearly invisible, can be taken out, are easy to clean and are reportedly more comfortable than their traditional counterparts. But this does not mean that there are never any difficulties around this product. Here are some things are never talked about with Invisalign, the leading brand of clear aligners, but that affect patient satisfaction.
Certain cases require special clear attachments to be adhered to your teeth that then click into the Invisalign aligner. These attachments are mostly invisible, but when they click into the aligner, they look like clear braces. This is a surprise to many people, who expected just an aligner that can be removed and is hard to see. These attachments are not needed for every case, but many cases do require them.
Removing your clear aligner
To make sure that the aligner does not bother you in your everyday life, it has to fit really tightly over your teeth. This means removing it is not a question of just popping it out, you need to peel it off of your teeth. This means you will need to use some nails and a bit of force to remove the aligner, and people are frequently surprised by this.
The aligners are made of clear medical grade plastic. This material stains really easily, and can stain from a number of different things. Lipstick is completely out of the question, as it can easily stain the aligner and leave a coating of waxy, sticky residue (as can lip gloss and lip balm, unfortunately). But certain foods, like coffee, tea, red berries, red wine, and chocolate can also stain the aligners a nasty brownish tone. Try and eat only in the allotted time when the aligners are not in.
Eating and the 22 hour rule
The aligner needs to be in 22 hours a day, meaning you will get roughly 2 hours a day when you can take them out: use this time wisely! This is the time allotted for eating 3 square meals and brushing your teeth. Make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal, because the aligners can isolate bacteria and help them to proliferate at an expanded rate.
Cold drinks and clear aligner
Hot drinks like coffee or tea can wear the aligners and set your treatment back enormously. Make sure you drink only cold drinks, to make sure that no damage is incurred.
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