Referring back to the detailed instructions given when the aligners were first supplied, it clearly stated ‘TAKE THE ALIGNERS OUT IF YOU DRINK ANYTHING OTHER THAN MILK OR WATER’.

The reasons for this are multi faceted depending on what the drink in question is. Fizzy drinks (even diet), fruit juices and anything with sugar in or added to are not a good idea. This is because the drink has quite a low pH (acidic) and this will get trapped under the aligner and hold it against the teeth- creating an ‘acid bath’ for the teeth. This is not a good idea as will cause erosion of the tooth enamel, leading them to increased sensitivity, more wear and being more susceptible to decay- not desirable.

Other drinks which are more densely coloured (think tea/coffee/soup etc)  will stain the aligners giving you a nice brown smile until you move to your next one.

Water and milk however are fine to drink as they will not cause any damage to the teeth or the aligners

Fortunately for me, I’m not a caffeine junkie, but still enjoy a cup of skinny long black mocha lattechino every now and again. But taking my aligners out, taking a sip and putting them back in was not a realistic option on a day to day basis. Fortunately the nurses at work came up with the idea of using a straw (it’s a work around we suggest to people who want to drink coffee while whitening their teeth as it would otherwise reduce the effects of the treatment). So tentatively I tried a few sips of the coffee through a a straw- it’s a weird experience, but didn’t appear to stain the aligner so I finished the cup and checked the aligners……. Result, no staining.

 

This then led onto the current moral dilemma of the use of disposable plastic straws. Again the nurses came up trumps again (particularly Zoë) came up with the idea of using a metal straw which she had also managed to source. So we found an eco friendly, non staining method for coffee or tea drinking. It still felt wise to minimise coffee and tea, so water was usually the drink of choice, but it was nice to have options.

Reusable metal straw- yes please

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