Drinking Beer With Invisalign

Two facts: I am an adult and I enjoy beer.

Let’s face it.  For those of you who are of legal drinking age and are also undergoing Invisalign treatment, you will most likely at some point or another, end up in a social situation where you might want to have a some drinks.

We should all be aware of Invisalign’s most basic rules by now (unless you dove into this with your head suspended in a cloud of ignorant bliss).

1. No eating while wearing your aligners.

2. No drinking while wearing your aligners… water being the exception.

That second rule can really put a broom stick in your bike spokes. I guess it’s for good reason though. Who wants weakened enamel, stained aligners, and cavities?

I however, am shamefully breaking the rules.  As I mentioned before, I frequent the beach quite often.  Though many people wouldn’t imagine Texas as a tropical climate, where I live the summers long, humid, and hot. They begin in March and end in early December. But beach season isn’t limited to only those months! For me, it’s year-round.

I’m lucky because my paradise is just steps from my door.  Literally.  And it’s guaranteed that there will always be someone I know out on the beach… see Figures A-K.

Figure A.

Figure B.

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Figure C.

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Figure D.

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Figure E

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Figure F.

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Figure G.

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Figure H.

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Figure I.

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Figure J.

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Figure K.

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These are not special gatherings… this is every weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  These people are my social life and second family; I’d have a difficult time putting that on hold for fourteen months… ’cause let’s face it, drinking water at the beach is just not that fun.  SO,  over the past several weeks, I’ve conducted a few experiments.

The first one was a complete and total FAIL but we won’t go into that… I’m just going on the record here and saying that cinnamon whiskey ain’t the answer.

During the second week of my second set of trays, the aligners became harder to clean- like I couldn’t remove this sort of permanent ‘cloudiness’.  I figured it was either from the abrasive whitening toothpaste I was using to clean them, or from drinking beer the weekend before.  I went the entire duration of the next set of aligners without brushing them with toothpaste which isn’t allowed in the first place (notice that in my experiment, I eliminated the toothpaste variable first) and ultimately, that seemed to make the ‘cloudiness’ problem a lot.  Even with drinking beer, and cleaning of course, they remained fairly clear with minimal cloudiness on the outsides of my back molars.  Solution?  Refrain from cleaning your aligners with toothpaste;  water and a separate toothbrush is the ticket.

Anyway, I have my first cleaning appointment next week and I’ll be getting an assessment on how I’ve been doing as far as cleaning.  I suspect the outcome will be good since I have become somewhat of a teeth cleaning Nazi lately.  I’d also recommend having your teeth cleaned quarterly rather than twice a year… that’s just my opinion though.

UPDATE! (6/18/12)

I have since moved across the country and alas, I’m no longer able to spend long days at the beach drinking grown-up drinks with my friends.  My skin is thanking me.  All is not lost though (except a dress size!)  I now have zero problem keeping my aligners in their right-out-of-the-bag condition.  I soak them several times a week in Polident (buy this stuff… you won’t regret it don’t use Polident on the new SmartTrack material. It worked like magic on the old plastic, but not this new stuff.) and simply take care of them as I did before.

FYI… I still do quite a bit of blog reading on the subject of Invisalign.  Something that still leaves me completely baffled is when people say their aligners start taking on a bad smell. You might think that mine do too, and that I simply just have a poor sense of smell.  Not true.  My husband used to joke with me and ask if I was absolutely sure I wasn’t pregnant.  Sometimes I think I may have been born with a macrosmatic olfactory system because I’ve always been able to smell everything pleasant and unpleasant.  I truly don’t understand how someone’s aligners can harbor stench if they clean them after every meal.  Even just rinsing (as I have been guilty of on occasion) until the next available time for a brushing should do the trick.  I am not on a high horse… I’m just sayin..  I don’t get it.

Here’s a question to ponder:  Is it actually these people’s aligners that smell?  Or is it just their breath?  Any normal human can experience the latter.

To read more on how my teeth fared after all my partying days of drinking with Invisalign, click here.