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Eating and Drinking with Invisalign – What you Need to Know

When it comes to teeth straightening solutions, Invisalign aligners are a top choice, and with good reasons. In addition to being a discreet alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign offers other benefits such as; being easily removable, comfortable, easier to clean and having fewer food restrictions. 

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign doesn’t have any wires or brackets that are prone to breaking. This means that the list of foods to avoid is also shorter and wearers can continue enjoying their favourite foods. However, there are still some foods and drinks that Invisalign wearers need to avoid in order to get the best out of wearing their aligners. In this article, we shall be taking a look at everything you need to know about eating and drinking while wearing Invisalign.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid

Ideally, you don’t need to eliminate any foods or drinks while wearing Invisalign, so long as you take your aligners out while eating and drinking. However, accidents do happen and you may forget to take out your aligners before eating certain foods. Eating some foods too often can also interfere with your Invisalign treatment. Some of the foods that you should avoid while wearing Invisalign include;

Crunchy or Hard Foods– The Invisalign aligners are not designed to endure the pressure that comes from chewing, so wearing them while eating can cause them to become damaged. These damages are even more severe if you wear the aligners while eating hard or crunchy foods.

If you have attachments (small bumps placed on the teeth to act as anchors during Invisalign treatment), your dentist may recommend that you avoid crunchy foods altogether (even when you have your aligners out). This is because hard and crunchy foods like apples, nuts and pizza crusts can sometimes knock these attachments off.

Sticky or Chewy Foods– Chewy and sticky foods such as jerky, gum or candy are a no-no during your Invisalign treatment. This is because even with your aligners out, these foods tend to latch onto the teeth and gumline and once you wear your aligners back, pieces of food can get trapped and breed bacteria. 

This will, in turn, promote tooth decay and ultimately impede the success of your Invisalign treatment. Unless you plan to full-on brush and floss your teeth after every piece of candy or stick of gum, chewy and sticky foods should be avoided while wearing Invisalign.

Staining Foods and Beverages– Part of the appeal of Invisalign aligners is their almost invisible appearance. Consuming teeth-staining foods and beverages while wearing Invisalign can cause your trays to become stained and more visible. For people with attachments, the area underneath the attachments may also appear different (much whiter) once the attachments are removed. Some of the teeth-staining foods and drinks that you should avoid while wearing Invisalign are; coffee, wine, tea, curry, acidic foods, berries, and tomato-based sauces.

Hot or Cold Drinks– Invisalign aligner trays are made from plastic that is very thin, so they are quite vulnerable to heat damage. Drinking hot beverages can warp the plastic material and cause your aligner trays to become ill-fitting. 

Slowly sipping on cold drinks such as iced tea, slushies, and frappuccinos is also a no-no, as you need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day and sipping on these drinks will only stop you from reaching your daily wear numbers. Sticking to room-temperature drinks is recommended while wearing Invisalign.

Top Eating and Drinking Rules for Invisalign

In addition to avoiding certain foods while wearing Invisalign, there are some eating and drinking rules that you should be following. They are;

  • Always take out your aligners before eating. This will help reduce the risk of your aligners getting discoloured or damaged.
  • The only thing you should be drinking with your aligners in is plain water. 
  • Remember to brush and floss after every meal. Also, make sure to rinse out your aligners before putting them back in your mouth.
  • Smoking, chewing tobacco and alcohol consumption should also be minimised as residue from these substances can stick to your teeth and aligners, causing discolouration.

Conclusion 

Achieving a favourable outcome from your Invisalign treatment requires responsibility on your part. You will need to avoid the above foods and drinks while practicing good oral hygiene and Invisalign care. A combination of these practices is what will make your Invisalign treatment faster and more effective.

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