First things first, whatever you do, wear them all the time. If the trays are not in your mouth they are not moving your teeth.
Both your teeth and your trays need to stay clean and free from food grime and germs.
Why? Food and sugar attract bacteria and bacteria likes an acidic environment to make cavities and gum/bone disease that is shown by puffy, red or bleeding gums. Not to mention it makes your teeth look dirty and your breath stinky.
How? Brush your teeth and trays at least twice a day. The most important time to brush your teeth and trays is before bed, then only drink water after you have cleaned your teeth and trays.
Your mouth actually gets really dry at night. Because it gets dry, the bacteria on your tongue and gums and teeth are not washed away by your saliva and it makes you even more prone to the damage they can do if you leave the food, bacteria & acid on your teeth all night.
As an added bonus, you can floss normally. Watch this video for the proper way to floss:
Take the trays out and you can eat or drink whatever you would normally.
With the trays in the only officially sanctioned drink is….water.
Some people claim they drink other things with them in successfully…none are officially OK. So drink at your own risk with trays in. Here is the common list of questions on beverages:
If you have cream and sugar in it then you will have to clean the aligners and teeth well
Lighter liquids with low sugar content alternated with water to neutralize the pH is the only way to try to circumvent the system – but this is not
Double check the aligner number and make sure it’s the right set. If not, put the right set in.
Did the old set fit really well with your teeth? If so, then use Chewy’s – or really anything squishy that won’t damage your trays to chew on to seat your trays every time you put them in your mouth. You can even chew on Orthogum available here.
If the old set was not fitting well, then wear it another 7-14 days and ensure it is fitting well before switching to the next set of trays.
If the current aligners were fitting well and then there was some damage to the trays, then move to the next aligners and wear them the whole time you would have worn the damaged set plus the whole time you would have worn that set of aligners. Then if any issues are still present, make an appointment with your Orthodontist.
If they were fitting, there is no damage and then they stop fitting as well. Look back at your schedule and ensure you have been wearing the trays 22+ hours per day (really, really ask yourself to be honest with yourself). If you can honestly say that for the last 7 consecutive days you have been wearing the trays 22+ hours per day, then call and ask for an appointment. Otherwise, sit yourself down and give a pep talk and re-commit to wearing the trays 22+ hours per day.
Attachments are the tooth colored shapes that are bonded to your teeth with clear tray treatment. They give the plastic an extra spot to push on to get the best movement of your teeth.
Attachments will fall off every once in a while. Luckily, the clear trays will keep your teeth mostly in place without the attachment. Sometimes you don’t even have to bond it back on.
Keep the trays in your mouth and 1 set previous (and clean it) in case the attachment needs to be put back on at your Orthodontist’s office.
You can whiten your teeth with clear trays, even with attachments. If your dentist or orthodontist has given you some whitening gel then you can use that. Any over-the-counter formulation will work. The higher the concentration, the less time it takes to get the teeth white, but the more chance for tooth sensitivity.
If the trays are getting cloudy or stained, begin using a foam – at time of writing we like EverSmile Foam – that you can put in the trays and it will help keep them clean. If you need to clean the current tray use a retainer cleaner that foams in a cup to try to jump start cleaning it. Otherwise, use a different tooth brush than your regular one and brush with hydrogen peroxide on the trays only – not your mouth!
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Houston, TX 77007