Deck the halls with your brighter smile!
If you couldn’t tell, we’re excited for the holiday season. Almost as excited as we are for the straighter smile you are working towards with your clear aligners.
We know you are looking forward to your new and improved teeth, but on your way there, you need to navigate the holidays with your aligners. Here are some tips to help you through.
Wear Aligners 20-22 Hours Per Day, Even During the Holidays
Clear aligners, as you know, are a nearly invisible braces alternative. Both options use mechanical forces to slowly shift your teeth into better positions. But unlike braces, your aligners are removable. This is a great perk when you want to eat all your favorite foods and thoroughly clean your teeth, but the downside is that it can be tempting to wear them less than recommended.
Unfortunately, this can be even more true during the holiday season. But remember, in order to stick to your treatment timeline, you need to wear your clear aligners at least 20-22 hours each day, every day. If you miss that mark at any point, make sure to get right back on track. Only remove your aligners when absolutely necessary, and keep them on hand at all times so you can put them right back in ASAP.
Remove Aligners to Eat and Drink
As we mentioned, aligners are removable, and other than to brush and clean them, the only other time you should remove your aligners is when you are eating or drinking anything other than water.
The holiday season can be tricky. The reality is that most holiday gatherings tend to revolve around food and drinks. Even worse, grazing on tasty apps and sipping on tasty drinks is a common occurrence and very tempting. But food can compromise your aligners or become trapped between them and your teeth, potentially altering their shape or contributing to tooth decay. Sugary drinks can do the same, and colorful beverages such as cola or wine can stain.
So be sure to take out your aligners to eat and drink, then put them back in as soon as you are done for the best results.
Remember Your Aligner Case
With all of the travel and activities of the holidays, your aligner case is your best friend. It’s a protective place for your aligners while you’re enjoying the holiday feasts. Each time you remove your aligners, make it a habit to store them safely in their case. This will make sure they stay clean and free from damage, as well as help prevent them from getting lost.
Brush and Floss After You Eat
It’s always important to take the time to brush and floss before reinserting your aligners after meals to keep your teeth healthy and free of food particles that can lead to cavities. But during the holidays, it may be easy to forget. Many holiday favorites (mmmm, Christmas cookies) are sugary or acidic and not great for tooth health. If possible, bring a travel toothbrush with you to your gathering so you can brush after a meal. If you are in a pinch, make sure to vigorously swish some water around your mouth instead, then brush and clean your aligners as soon as you get home.
If you’re traveling, pack an aligner care kit with extra supplies, such as a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and, importantly, your aligner case. And if you’re flying, keep your aligners and care kit in your carry-on for safety and easy access. Also, make sure to pack your previous or next set, so just in case your current one is lost or damaged, you have a backup. Lastly, have your orthodontist’s contact information handy in case you have questions.
Don’t Miss Your Orthodontist Appointments
The holidays can be hectic, but your orthodontist appointments are crucial checkpoints to ensure your treatment stays on track. If it’s that time, reach out now to schedule your next visit!