With the immense benefits of the barely-there Invisalign aligner orthodontic treatment, this is the clear choice for many families getting braces for their teens. Although the process works the same for teens as for adults, there are lifestyle differences that may require extra attention throughout treatment. In our downtown Los Angeles dental practice, we take care to explain thoroughly, the ins and outs of Invisalign to our teen patients.
The beauty of Invisalign is that the aligner trays, made of clear, strong plastic, are removable. This design makes it easier to undergo treatment, alleviating the need to avoid certain foods and beverages that can damage standard metal braces. It is interesting that, although people like the fact that trays are removable, many attempt to consume beverages while wearing the aligners. The recommendation of the makers of Invisalign is that aligners be removed before the consumption of foods or beverages.
The reasons behind this recommendation are that beverages may affect the aligners themselves, possibly staining or warping them, or pose a significant risk to teeth.
How beverages may affect Invisalign aligners
The aligner trays are fabricated out of plastic that has been heat-softened and molded to fit the model of teeth. Due to the nature of the plastic used to make aligners, the consumption of hot beverages has the potential to change their shape and, thus, their fit.
Another way beverages can affect aligner trays is with staining. This concern is specifically with dark beverages like cola, tea, coffee, or colored fruit juices. If any debris, like tartar, has accumulated on aligners, this material will discolor. Invisalign aligners are worn for only two weeks, however, so any staining that may occur will likely be light. Cleaning aligners daily during your oral hygiene routine will also cut down on buildup and keep aligners looking and smelling nice.
How beverages may affect teeth
Invisalign aligners put a barrier between the teeth and the other structures of the mouth, as well as saliva. Saliva is necessary to dilute the byproducts of bacteria and protect teeth from the formation of cavities. Without the benefits of saliva directly delivered to teeth, there is a higher risk of damage. Due to the design of aligner trays, however, it is possible for small amounts of liquid to seep into the aligner and become isolated. Consuming sugary or acidic beverages with an aligner in place may amplify their harmful effects. The absence of saliva on the teeth, at the same time, creates the ideal scenario for bacteria to feed on debris and produce toxic byproducts in the aligner.
For teens and adults, it is important that Invisalign aligners be worn as directed. It is our intention to promote healthy, beautiful smiles. We provide regular check-ups and advice during your Invisalign treatment.
Enjoy your best smile. Contact us about your Invisalign treatment.