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Eating with Clear Aligners: The Complete Guide

Since Invisalign clear aligners are removable, you won't have to deal with dietary restrictions during your treatment. In this post, our Ottawa dentist explains some other things you should know about eating and drinking with clear aligners. 

Can you eat with Invisalign clear aligners?

One of the reasons many people choose to straighten their teeth with Invisalign clear aligners is that they don't need to consider diet restrictions. 

Unlike traditional braces, there are no wires or metal brackets for food particles to get stuck between. Plus, your custom-made clear aligners will be made specifically to fit the shape of your mouth. Because clear aligners can be removed, you'll be able to keep eating and drinking all the things you love. 

Today, our Ottawa dentist shares some tips for eating with clear aligners. 

Remove your clear aligners to eat or drink anything but water.

Because sipping on sugary or dark-coloured drinks such as pop while wearing your aligners can lead to plaque buildup, you should only drink cold water while wearing your clear aligners, and remove them before consuming foods or beverages other than water. 

Leaving your clear aligners in while you eat may lead to stains, cracks or other damage to your aligners. In addition, gum will definitely stick to aligners and cause a mess (trust us on this one). 

Hot beverages such as hot chocolate, coffee and tea can also leave stains or discolouration that will be difficult to remove. 

Brush your teeth before putting your clear aligners back in.

You should never place your clear aligners in your mouth after eating without first brushing your teeth, since food particles can get trapped between your teeth and your aligners and cause bacteria to grow, which will increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay.

Just like with braces, oral hygiene is essential to ensuring you achieve the smile you want. If you are unable to brush properly after eating or drinking, your best bet is to rinse your mouth and your aligners with water before putting them back on your teeth.

Schedule your mealtimes.

Though you don’t need to restrict which foods you eat, you should plan your meal times carefully.

In order to hit the 20 to 22 hours per day wear time you need with clear aligners, you’ll want to be mindful of the total time that you remove them for each day.

To see the best results, you should keep them in your mouth as much as possible. Though you can remove the aligners when brushing, flossing, drinking and eating, try not to overdo the time they are out of your mouth, and always wear them for at least 20 hours each day.

Cut back on snacking.

Because you have to remove your clear aligners each time you eat and then brush your teeth, you’ll probably find yourself cutting back on snacking quite a bit and being more thoughtful about what you eat as well as when you eat.

In addition to your teeth being straightened your may also become healthier

You may want to put your clear aligners in and remove them in private.

Especially at the beginning of your treatment, you may want to use a restroom when removing and placing your clear aligners in your mouth. Since they fit your teeth so snugly, some patients have told us they can be a little bit challenging to remove until you get the hang of quickly popping them in and out - a task you may not want to try in public.

Interested in finding out whether you are a candidate for Invisalign? Contact our Ottawa dentist to book a consultation today.

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