Two of the biggest questions Invisalign-wearers often have at the start of their treatment are, When can I eat? and Do I really have to wear the aligners all the time? You can eat whenever you want, and you don’t have to wear the aligners “all” the time. But there are, of course, shades of grey. If you’re new to Invisalign when the holiday social scene arrives, here are some tips to help you get through the revelry without negatively impacting your orthodontic treatment and still enjoying yourself through the New Year and beyond.
- Make a game plan. If you know that the evening ahead holds dinner, dessert, and drinks, try to squeeze in all your eating and drinking in one sitting instead of allowing it to drag on throughout the night. Not only will this do wonders for your waistline, it will also allow you to only remove and reinsert Invisalign one time. As you get used to wearing Invisalign, you will give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve taken the time to consider what lies ahead meal-wise and planned accordingly.
- Be prepared to say no to noshing. There will be plenty of holiday cookies, treats, and snacks to go around the office, classroom, or kitchen. Wherever you spend the majority of your days, it’s time to shore up that willpower and learn how to say no for the sake of your aligners, and convenience. It’s especially important to not “just have one bite” while you’re wearing Invisalign. One bite is all that’s needed to break your aligners, and that will make your holiday season far less enjoyable than just popping out your aligner for a few minutes if it’s a chocolate chip cookie you absolutely must have.
- Have a place to stash your aligners. When you do remove your Invisalign aligners, you don’t want to leave them out in the open on your napkin for others to see. And it’s unwise to shove them in your pocket or purse. Bring your Invisalign box along for the ride so the aligners have a place to rest while you’re eating or drinking. Remember to rinse your aligners when you remove them from your mouth to wash off plaque, bacteria, and saliva before it settles in place. Rinse again before putting the aligners back in your mouth. Brushing your teeth after a meal and before Invisalign is even better to prevent food or bacteria from getting caught snugly in between the aligners and your teeth.
- Choose your beverages carefully. While it may seem like drinks can’t possibly have a negative impact on your Invisalign aligners, water is the only beverage that is guaranteed not to damage your orthodontia. Definitely say no to soda, coffee, and red wine – unless, of course, you’ve taken Invisalign out. Just remember, you still need to wear Invisalign 20 to 22 hours a day, even if you’re living it up under the mistletoe. (Speaking of which, Invisalign won’t get in the way of kissing either.)
- Socialize with confidence. One of the biggest perks of Invisalign is that wearers can keep the nearly invisible aligners on their teeth for every occasion and no one else needs to be the wiser. The aligners are truly clear and super-thin. They blend into teeth, don’t make you lisp, and don’t get in the way of speech so that you can smile at the cute guy, make small talk with coworkers, or impress the soon-to-be in-laws.
Have fun this holiday season! If you’re wearing Invisalign, keep your social plans in place – there is no stopping you when you’re feeling confident about your smile that’s moving into alignment day by day. If you’re ready to make the move to Invisalign and a straight smile, make an appointment with Dr. Carole Sherrod Jewell at Red Bank Dentistry to find out whether you’re a good candidate for this orthodontic treatment.