Top Tips for Eating With Invisalign

Eating Habits to Follow While Wearing Invisalign

The way you bite down on your food can affect more than just your self-confidence. It can affect your oral health. Invisalign dental trays are an excellent choice for patients struggling with malocclusions (issues with the alignment of teeth). By caring for these issues, you will have straighter teeth and a boost in self confidence.

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is that there are no food restrictions while wearing clear aligners. You won’t miss out on your favorite foods and beverages while achieving straight teeth and a beautiful smile! But there are certain rules to follow – the biggest is to always remove your aligners before eating or drinking. The only drink you can drink while wearing aligners is water.

smiling woman holding night guard

Can I eat with Invisalign in?

Yes, because Invisalign aligners are removable, you can eat whatever you want while wearing them. Unlike traditional braces, you remove your aligners, store them in a safe place (not a napkin!) while you eat, and then put them back in after brushing your teeth. Eating with Invisalign trays can damage them, so you must be sure to remove them prior to eating.

Tips for People Who Wear Invisalign

Clear Aligners - Sloan Creek Dental

Many orthodontists see Invisalign as an alternative to metal braces for their patients who want straighter teeth. Maintaining and caring for your Invisalign trays helps you reap the full benefits of the treatment. To get the most out of your Invisalign treatment, follow these guidelines to avoid damaging your trays, slowing your treatment, or negatively affecting your oral health.

Always remove Invisalign before you eat

Aligners are clear and practically invisible on the teeth. This feature is a big part of what makes the treatment appealing. Whether you’re having a meal or snack or drinking anything but water, you must remove your clear aligners. If you do not, you risk discoloring the aligners or even damaging them.

While it may seem harmless to sip your favorite drink with Invisalign trays in place, these drinks will eventually stain your aligners. Staining your aligners will ruin the whole point of Invisalign – to be invisible, and hot liquids can distort the shape of the aligners, which have been carefully customized to move your teeth a few at a time. If you eat or drink something other than water, rinse your aligners as soon as possible to avoid staining or damaging them.

Don't be tempted

When wearing Invisalign clear aligners, it’s easy to eat or drink something small. Whether you’re eating hard crunch foods or soft foods like ice cream, eating while wearing the aligners can easily be broken or stained. Soft foods are a good option for lunch or other meals when you can’t brush and floss your teeth. They’re less likely to get stuck in your teeth until you’re able to brush your teeth again. Although it may be inconvenient to remove them every time, it is necessary to avoid damaging your treatment. Doing so will also keep them clean and free of any buildup.

Most Invisalign patients discuss with their doctor what they plan to eat over a period of months. They learn how certain foods might affect their teeth, such as sweets and coffee. Another benefit of Invisalign is that it offers the opportunity for healthier eating patterns and the chance to lose weight over time.

Brush and Floss

When it’s time for a meal, remove your Invisalign aligners from your mouth and place them in their carrying case. To keep your aligners in good shape, store them securely in their case after meals. After eating, brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in your mouth will keep your teeth clean. Because of the aligner’s design, the snug fit helps keep food particles and bacteria that accumulate between teeth, damaging the tooth enamel. Brushing and flossing each day removes food particles and bacteria, which can cause cavities if they get stuck on or in between your teeth.

When you can’t brush or floss, or if you’re traveling, chewing sugar-free gum will remove bacteria and food particles. In a pinch, you may leave your aligners out for an hour or two until you can brush and floss properly. When you’re reinserting your aligners, wash them with lukewarm water or use the Invisalign cleaning kit to keep your aligners in good condition.

Plan out your meals, snacks, and drinks

For your Invisalign treatment to be most effective, you may need to alter your daily habits slightly. You will have to think about where and when you eat or drink. Remember to keep tabs on the number of hours your Invisalign aligners are off your teeth so that your aligners do not fall below the 20-hour mark.

Other tips on what not to do while wearing Invisalign

  • Refrain from smoking – Smoking can lead to yellow-tinted teeth. This is because nicotine—a chemical found in cigarettes—tends to turn the enamel on your teeth yellow. Wearing aligners while smoking can eventually cause them to become discolored with a yellow tint.
  • Avoid sticky foods – You might be surprised to learn that sticky foods like taffy, chewing gum, and caramel can cause teeth and aligners to bond. Even the most diligent toothbrushing may not be sufficient to remove the plaque within your gums before you reinsert your aligners. If you chew gum while wearing the aligners, the constant chewing motion will cause your aligners to rub against each other and potentially damage them.
  • Remove your aligners while drinking coffee or hot beverages- You should avoid drinking hot drinks if you’re using Invisalign trays. Not doing so will result in the aligner trays getting stained and potentially warping them due to the extreme temperature of the drink.
  • Hard Food and Candy – When wearing Invisalign aligners, you should avoid eating hard candies or sugary foods. Though sucking on hard candy seems like a harmless snack, the sticky residue will get stuck on the aligner and cause bacteria to form. The byproducts of this bacterial growth can increase your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks – Sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks are the worst foods for oral health due to their high sugar content. These drinks and foods can harm your teeth and cause cavities and tooth decay without frequent brushing, so be sure to brush and rinse your mouth with water after consuming them.

How to care for your aligners

You should clean and rinse your aligner each night before you sleep. When cleaning your aligners, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, gentle clear liquid soap, and lukewarm water. Do not use toothpaste or hot water to clean your tray. Toothpaste can damage the tray by being too abrasive, and hot water can warp the tray by the hot temperature.

Use the benefits of Invisalign

Many patients get Invisalign clear braces because they can eat whatever they want—without restrictions. Wearers of traditional metal braces are not permitted to bite down on certain types of hard or crunchy foods, such as popcorn, carrots, and celery.

If you want to have a successful Invisalign treatment, you should follow the advice and directions of your Fairview / Allen Invisalign provider. You are choosing this alignment method because it is less conspicuous, user-friendly, and more efficient than conventional braces. By being diligent and patient, you can achieve results worth the effort.

We can help with your Dental night guard

Happy Smile White Teeth - Laser Teeth Whitening

Caring for your teeth for a healthier smile is as important as straightening them. Invisalign treatment is an excellent orthodontic treatment that can improve the appearance of your smile and the function of your teeth. However if you do not properly care for the teeth during treatment, the process will be less successful.

Let us help you get that beautiful smile you have always wanted! If you have any questions about straightening teeth, crooked teeth, invisible aligners, or clear braces, call us at 972-468-1440 today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Feng.

Our dental office is located in Fairview, Texas, and our patients visit us from across the surrounding areas, including Allen, Plano, McKinney, and Lucas, for dental care.