Invisalign works to straighten your teeth by applying gentle but constant pressure to encourage your teeth to gradually move into a better alignment. The system works most effectively if you wear your aligners for as much of each day as you can. However, there are a few times when you should remove the aligners. Here are three times when it is probably best to take them out.
1. Before Eating
Dentists do not recommend that you wear your aligners while eating. Not only could you damage the aligners by wearing them while you chew, but it is also possible for pieces of food to slip underneath the aligners, where they can start to rot and cause bad breath or even tooth decay. For both safety and hygiene reasons, it is best to remove your aligners before a meal.
You can leave your aligners in place to drink water. As for other beverages, the decision is up to you. Certain dark-coloured liquids pose a risk of staining your aligners, so you might prefer to take them out while you enjoy a glass of wine or cup of black coffee. Another option is to consume these drinks through a straw, which limits contact between the liquid and your aligners.
2. For Daily Cleaning
It is very important to keep your aligners clean. The best way to clean your aligners is to take them out, brush them with a soft toothbrush, and rinse them well in clean water. Meanwhile, take the opportunity to floss and brush your teeth to protect them from decay. After you have finished cleaning both your aligners and your teeth, you can reinsert the aligners and either go about your day or go to bed so that they can work on aligning your teeth while you sleep.
3. When Playing Contact Sports
You can play most sports while wearing aligners, but they are not compatible with sports mouthguards, so you will need to take them out if you play contact sports. Wearing a mouthguard is very important to protect your teeth during sports that involve tackles or blows to the face, so do not hesitate to remove your aligners so that you can wear one. As soon as possible after the training session or game, remove the mouthguard and reinsert your aligners so that they can get back to their important work of correcting the alignment of your teeth.