As with any orthodontic treatment, the first week or two of wearing Invisalign® may require some habit alterations. Eating and drinking with Invisalign is a bit different than eating and drinking with traditional, metal braces. Fortunately, Invisalign clear aligners are removable, so they allow you more freedom with your meals! With Invisalign, your diet doesn’t necessarily have to change, but your oral hygiene habits should.
To help you adjust to your treatment, we’ve gathered 4 of the top Invisalign tips for eating and drinking.
1. Rinse your clear aligners after eating or drinking.
When you eat or drink anything besides water, you’ll temporarily remove your clear aligners. (Removing your aligners enables you to eat and drink anything you want, without restriction!)
Before you place your Invisalign back in your mouth, we advise that you rinse your aligners with lukewarm water to prevent bacteria buildup. Sugar and debris from food and drinks (other than water) can accumulate in your aligners, causing bacteria to flourish. This buildup can cause discoloration, smelly aligners, bad breath, cavities, and even gum disease! Be sure to keep your treatment sanitary by making a habit out of rinsing your aligners after each meal or snack.
2. Carry a travel toothbrush and floss.
During your orthodontic treatment, after you eat a meal or a snack and you rinse your clear aligners with water, it’s a great idea to give your teeth a rinse too. Swish some water or travel mouthwash around in your mouth and give your teeth a quick brushing to dislodge any leftover food particles.
Placing your aligners back in your mouth while you have food stuck between your teeth could increase your chances of developing cavities or gum disease. Your aligners will act as a barrier, holding debris and particles in place, and encouraging bacteria to grow.
Carry a travel toothbrush and pack of floss with you anytime you leave your home. You never know when pesky foods will find their way into the crevices of your mouth!
3. Place your Invisalign aligners in their case anytime you remove them.
Whatever you do, don’t place your clear aligners on a plate or a napkin when you remove them to eat or drink. Because Invisalign is clear, if you place your aligners anywhere other than in your Invisalign case (especially in a napkin), you could end up throwing them in the trash!
Bonus Tip: If you’re on your way to a group dinner or a public outing, and you know you’ll have to remove your clear aligners, consider removing them before you get to the table. A bit of saliva or drool sometimes comes out with your clear aligners, so you might prefer to remove them in private before eating out with Invisalign.
4. Avoid damaging foods with Invisalign attachments.
When eating with Invisalign attachments, we advise that you avoid exceptionally hard, sticky, or crunchy foods. Biting down on hard foods can damage your Invisalign attachments or pop them out of place, which will require a visit to the orthodontist.
Try to steer clear of hard candy, nuts, caramel, gum, ice, and similarly tough foods while wearing Invisalign attachments.
From Invisalign patients, we often get questions like, “Can I eat ice cream with Invisalign”, or “Can I drink through a straw with Invisalign?” Any sugary foods, such as ice cream, should not be consumed with Invisalign. Although drinking through a straw may seem like a solution to drinking with Invisalign, it’s not a good idea. Any sugars attached to your aligners can cause bacteria buildup, which can lead to cavities, bad breath, discolored aligners, gum disease, and more!
If you aren’t quite sure about a specific food item or drink, your best bet is to remove your clear aligners when eating or drinking to avoid damaging them.
Our team at Fishbein Orthodontics is here to answer all of your questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions throughout your orthodontic treatment.