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We get a variety of questions from new braces and Invisalign patients all the time. Some of the questions are very common. Others, well, they can be pretty wild. The fact is, getting braces or Invisalign can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. But the team at Fergus Orthodontics in Jonesboro, AR, is here to help you from start to finish. You’ll find that treatment with metal or clear braces or Invisalign can be a rewarding experience that leads to a beautiful smile you’ll want to show off for the rest of your life!

Let’s answer some of your more common questions (and some you might be too scared to ask us in person) about braces and Invisalign. If you ever have any other questions, Fergus Orthodontics is here to help! 

Are There Foods I Can’t Eat With Braces?

Certain foods can damage your braces, so you’ll want to avoid them. Hard, sticky, or chewy foods top the list. Foods to remove from your diet temporarily include popcorn, tortilla chips, gum, hard candy, hard raw vegetables, taffy, and nuts. 

Again, this is just temporary. Once the braces are off, you can go back to enjoying these foods. 

Are There Foods I Can’t Eat With Invisalign?

You don’t have the same restrictions with Invisalign that you have with braces. Instead, you need to remove your Invisalign to eat or to drink colored liquids (you should only keep them in while drinking water). You will need to rinse your aligners and brush your teeth before you put the trays back into your mouth. This keeps your aligners from staining and keeps your teeth healthy. 

Can I Smoke With Invisalign?

Smoking is a hard habit to break, but it might be something you strongly consider if you’ve decided on wearing Invisalign. The chemicals in the smoke will stain your Invisalign, turning them yellow at a much faster rate than they turn your teeth yellow. To smoke, you would need to take the aligners out, but you may not wear your Invisalign long enough each day if you’re a heavy smoker. Without that 22 hours a day in Invisalign, your treatment could be delayed or may not be as effective.

Smoking with Invisalign can trap nicotine and other chemicals against your teeth, accelerating tooth decay. These chemicals weaken enamel, which could lead to cavities and tooth loss — two things you don’t want while trying to correct your smile. For more in depth information on why we don’t recommend smoking and vaping with Invisalign, check out our blog on the subject. 

Can I Make It Through Airport Security With Braces?

This is one of those questions that might not seem important until you are standing in front of the airport and realizing you haven’t walked through security with braces before. People with braces — particularly metal braces — are afraid they’ll be flagged by TSA’s metal detectors and detained in some small room somewhere. Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen just because you have metal braces. 

The truth is, metal braces do not set off metal detectors at airports or anywhere else. They’re made of a stainless steel material that won’t be flagged by the detectors. If you’re still concerned, just flash the TSA agent a big smile! You’ll let them know you have braces, and you might just brighten their day. 

How Often Can I Change Elastics Colors?

You can pick your favorite elastics colors each time you visit. You don’t have to be stuck with the same color throughout your treatment. Elastics can be chosen with every office visit, roughly every six weeks.

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Can I Chew Gum With Invisalign?

It’s possible to chew gum, but not with the Invisalign trays in your mouth. You’ll need to take the clear aligners out for any kind of eating or chewing. 

You need to wear your Invisalign at least 22 hours a day for them to be effective. While technically it’s possible to chew gum after removing your Invisalign, it’s generally not a good idea. Save your 2 hours a day without your aligners in for eating breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. 

Can I Get Braces If I’m Pregnant?

Most pregnant women can have braces or Invisalign safely and wear them through their pregnancy. You will need heightened protection for any dental x-rays to protect the baby. X-rays will likely be kept to a minimum, and you may be asked to wear extra lead-lined protection and sit or stand in a different position to reduce any risk to the child. If you know you are pregnant or are considering getting pregnant while undergoing orthodontic treatment, talk with your doctor and orthodontist before beginning treatment. 

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Can I Wear Lipstick With Invisalign?

Some people believe lipstick can’t be worn with Invisalign because it could stain the trays. Actually, you can wear lipstick or lip gloss. Matte lipstick works a little better, because it dries faster and holds to the lips. But if you use regular lipstick, just give it a few seconds to set on your lips before moving them. If you do get color on your Invisalign, don’t worry — simply wipe it off. 

Can I Kiss Someone With Braces?

This is another tall tale that seems to persist. Two people kissing with braces can snag each other and lock braces. Is there a chance this could really happen? Yes, but it’s about even with your chance of getting struck by lightning, winning the lottery and having an elephant charge through your living room — simultaneously. 

The truth is, you’re probably not going to lock braces. However, it is possible that being too exuberant could cause you to cut your partner’s lip or tongue accidentally. It’s OK to kiss someone with braces. Just be gentle.

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Can I Put My Invisalign in the Dishwasher?

You definitely should NOT put your Invisalign in the dishwasher. The heat from the dishwasher can seriously damage your clear aligners. In addition, dishwasher soap is abrasive, which can also damage your clear aligners. Either way you go, you’re going to damage your clear aligners. 

Your Invisalign should be cleaned using cleaning tabs made for clear aligners. Rinse them thoroughly before putting them in your mouth — after you brush and floss, of course.

Can I Bite My Nails With Invisalign?

Nailbiting is a habit that’s not only hard on the hands but on the teeth as well. Your teeth can be damaged by nail biting. As it turns out, it’s extremely difficult to bite your nails with Invisalign trays on your teeth. Many Invisalign patients with nailbiting habits find they break the habit during their orthodontic treatment.

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Can I Pick Up Radio Signals With My Braces?

Here’s another wild rumor that has been around for a long time — braces can pick up radio signals! It’s a funny rumor, and may even seem a little cool, but it’s not true. Neither your braces nor any fillings will have you jamming to your favorite FM station. Stick to your favorite music app for your tunes. The only way you’ll hear them coming out of your mouth is if you’re singing along. 

Got Orthodontic Questions? Get Answers from Fergus Orthodontics!

These are some of the many questions we get about braces and Invisalign treatment. It’s a broad range, but we’re always happy to help our patients. If you’re in the Jonesboro, AR, area, you can find out more about treatment with braces or Invisalign by scheduling a free consultation. We offer consultations virtually or in office, and your first consultation is free and without obligation. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, no matter how wild they may be!