One of the first questions patients ask about orthodontic treatment is: What are the food restrictions? With braces, there’s a long list of don’ts. But for clear aligners such as Invisalign and Invisalign Teen, the answer is easy — none! — as long as you remove your aligners first.
The freedom to eat and drink whatever you want is one of Invisalign’s most popular advantages. Patients love that they can straighten their teeth and still enjoy their favorite foods and drinks. That said, there are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to eating and drinking with Invisalign.
We’ve all seen the list of food restrictions for clear or metal braces. Sticky foods, hard foods, chewy foods — say goodbye to gum and popcorn for a while. But what about Invisalign?
We’ve compiled a definitive list of foods to avoid. Ready? Here it is:
Yep, that’s it — there isn’t one. Instead, you simply remove the Invisalign trays from your mouth before eating. Tortilla chips? Munch away. Popcorn? Enjoy! Saltwater taffy? Yum!
The solution is straightforward — take out your Invisalign. You’ll want to make a habit of removing your Invisalign trays from your upper and lower teeth before eating.
It’s a simple solution, but there are still a few things to keep in mind.
You may not have food restrictions, but that comes with specific tasks that you must do each time you remove your Invisalign. Specifically, you need to keep both your Invisalign and your teeth clean!
Once you finish eating or drinking, brush and floss your teeth. You’ll also want to rinse your clear aligners with water. Once both of these tasks are complete, just put your Invisalign clear aligners back into your mouth. That’s it!
Why is this so important? Food particles that get trapped under the clear aligners can form plaque on your teeth, which leads to tooth decay 10 out of 10 times. Trust us. Food can also discolor your aligners (gross). So follow that one easy rule to keep loving your Invisalign!
It isn’t just food that can discolor your aligners. Certain liquids can do the same, including coffee, tea, fruit juices, and sodas.
A common question we get from adult patients is, “Can I have coffee with Invisalign?” The short answer is yes. However, we recommend you take your Invisalign out before drinking hot coffee. Not only can the dark color of the coffee stain your clear aligners, but the heat from the beverage can warp the aligners themselves. That makes them more difficult to get in and out, and the heat could ultimately ruin them. The same applies to hot tea, cocoa, or any other heated beverage.
Sodas can also cause problems with your clear aligners. The colored or dark sodas can discolor your clear aligners (again, gross).
It’s OK to drink clear water with Invisalign because it won’t stain or damage the clear aligner. Watch out for colored liquids such as coffee, tea, fruit juice, or even soda. Even lightly tinted drinks could discolor your aligners over time. The best solution is to remove your Invisalign when drinking anything but clear water.
Just remember, when in doubt, take it out.
Once you finish eating or drinking, you need to put your Invisalign back in as soon as possible. That’s because you need to wear your aligners at least 22 hours a day for them to be fully effective.
The less time you wear your Invisalign, the longer your treatment will take. We want you to have the best results possible in the least amount of time, which is why it’s so important to wear your clear aligners for at least 22 hours a day.
If you are in the Fayetteville, Bentonville, or Fort Smith areas of Arkansas, contact Northwest Orthodontics to find out if Invisalign is a good fit for you!