Saturday, January 7, 2012

Toronto Invisalign Advice- What can I eat with Invisalign? Only water?

At MCO Orthodontics, over 100 happy Invisalign patients complete treatment with us every year.  Their satisfaction with treatment comes from being well-prepared for what to expect with treatment, as well as their amazing results.  Much of this information can be found at our website about Invisalign in Toronto, Ontario.

One of the common questions with Invisalign is about changes in lifestyle.  Many patients are looking to this clear braces technique in order to have minimal disruption to their social and professional lives.  However, it is important to know that there are changes that must be made to ensure proper and healthy treatment.

Aligners should be worn for 22 hours per day and they should only be removed for eating and brushing.  Water is the only thing that should be consumed with the aligners in.  Otherwise, sugars and acids from food will be trapped in the aligners against your teeth.  This is a quick way to cavities.  Stains will also accumulate more quickly, but these can be removed with regular dental cleanings.

Some orthodontists ask their patients to eat with aligners in as an exercise to stimulate blood flow and encourage seating of aligners.  However, the patients must clean the aligners and their teeth immediately after eating.  The aligners become more difficult to clean, and it basically nullifies any convenience of eating with them in.  We have our patients use aligner chewies  instead.

The Invisalign website is somewhat contradictory since in one section, it says “you’re required to remove your aligners to eat and drink.”  With regards to alcohol, they say “a moderate amount would be fine to consume, as long as care is taken to clean the teeth and the aligners soon after so as not to trap sugar between them.”  The issue is that “soon after” is not quantifiable.

Having worn Invisalign, we understand the social implications of wearing the aligners.  Our preference for as orthodontic professionals, as well as for our patients is to remove aligners just before having a drink, and then to make up any lost time if required.  Needing to wear aligners for a longer period of time is the lesser of two evils when compared to the potential for cavity formation.

While there are accounts of people online who have not had problems while "cheating" their oral hygiene with their aligners, there are also many people who have developed problems.  Some of these problems may also not surface immediately and may be issues that come later down the road.  If you do decide to "cheat", then understand that you are running the risk of permanent damage to your teeth.

Overall, it is important to make sure you understand all aspects of your care before you begin your treatment.  You should not be surprised by Invisalign attachments, IPR, extractions, or lifestyle changes as it starts treatment in a bad spot.  Remember that Invisalign treatment does require a commitment to wearing aligners and oral hygiene, and that ultimately the experience of your doctor is what will determine the outcome of your orthodontic care!

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