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Three Bad Habits To Avoid When Wearing Invisalign

by Andre Daniels

Many patients love Invisalign because wearing these aligners is so simple. However, there are certain precautions you must follow in order to ensure your outcome is favorable. Avoid these three common bad habits when wearing Invisalign, and you'll have a better chance of ending your treatment with a straighter, more attractive smile.

Drinking coffee with the aligners in.

If you're a regular coffee drinker, then you know how bad the temptation can be. You have your aligners in, and you're on your way to work. You grab a coffee to drink, even though you know your dentist said only to drink water with your aligners in.

This habit is bad for several reasons. First off, the coffee can stain the aligners, leaving them anything but invisible. Then, you'll have to deal with brownish-yellow looking teeth until it's time to change your aligners again. Second, the coffee can work its way between your teeth and the aligners, and if you put any sugar or milk in it, this is a recipe for tooth decay, as the sugars rest directly against your teeth all day.

Just say "no" to coffee when your aligners are in. Enjoy your cup with breakfast while the aligners are out, and then stick to water.

Sliding the aligners around with your tongue.

Some patients are able to wiggle or move the aligners with their tongue, especially later in the aligner cycle when the aligner starts to fit more loosely. This is a bad idea because it can cause the aligner to change shape and be less effective at straightening your teeth.

If you find yourself moving the aligners around with your tongue because you're bored, find another way to distract yourself. Focus on an important work task, or turn on some music and start moving to the beat rather than playing with your aligners to combat boredom.

Changing your aligners late.

Your dentist will tell you exactly when you need to switch to a  new aligner. Unfortunately, a lot of patients forget to change their aligners on time, waiting an extra day or two before they remember to do so. While an extra day may not seem like a big deal, consider that by the time you've worn the aligner for the recommended period of time, it has moved your teeth as far as it can. You're not getting much – in any – benefit on that extra day of wear. Change your aligners late too often, and you may find that you need to wear Invisalign for an extra month or two to fully straighten your teeth.

Try setting a reminder in your phone, so you don't forget to change your aligners again. A family member may also be able to remind you to change your aligners, as well as avoid the other bad habits discussed here. For more information, contact Crest Hill Family Dental or a similar location.