If you're currently undergoing Invisalign treatment or thinking about it, you're probably curious about how to care for the aligners properly.
Eating and drinking with Invisalign is a common concern. Unlike traditional braces that are made of stainless steel and resist staining and discoloration, Invisalign uses a clear resin that is more vulnerable to these issues.
Here's what you need to know about eating and drinking with Invisalign to keep your smile and aligners safe.
Avoiding Tooth Decay
Even with good oral hygiene, your mouth contains billions of microorganisms. Some of these bacteria consume sugars and starchy carbohydrates found in everyday foods and beverages. Increased acidity and plaque are the result and can lead to cavities.
Sugar-rich foods and beverages can be harmful to your oral health. Sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks are examples of sugary beverages. These drinks can cause cavities and tooth decay without frequent brushing and washing. Similarly, sticky and sweet meals can lead to tooth decay. Regular brushing, flossing, and using a dentist-approved mouthwash will help safeguard your teeth.
Always remember that moderation is the key. You won't have to worry about increased cavity risk if you eat a variety of healthy, natural foods in moderation and practice good oral hygiene.
Even beverages that aren't high in sugar can harm your teeth and aligner trays. Coffee, tea, and other dark-colored drinks (including some fruit juices) can discolor your teeth. Stains can also be caused by pasta sauce, blackberries, cherries, and blueberries.
Tips for Eating and Drinking with Invisalign Aligners
While it's OK to eat or drink what you want in moderation, you shouldn't do so while wearing Invisalign. Sugars and starches can get stuck between teeth and aligners, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Some meals can cause the aligners to discolor.
Here are some pointers for getting the most out of Invisalign without jeopardizing your teeth.
Before eating, always take off your aligners.
For optimal results, Invisalign aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 daily, although this can make meal and drink times a little more challenging.
During meals and when drinking beverages such as tea and coffee, you must remove your aligners and place them in their case. It’s important to track how long your aligner trays are out while you eat or drink to ensure you wear them for the recommended time each day.
While leaving your aligners in for snacks and small meals may be tempting, it’s best to avoid it.
When wearing Invisalign, you should only drink water.
It's important to drink enough water throughout the day. Water is ideal for maintaining organ function, skin health, and mental performance. Water is the only beverage you should drink while wearing your Invisalign aligners.
Water, unlike other drinks, will not stain your aligners, and ordinary bottled or tap water has no sugars.
If you're eating and drinking away from home, rinse your mouth with water.
It's not always practical to take out your aligners. When meeting friends for a quick drink or meal, many people with Invisalign avoid removing their aligners.
If you do happen to eat or drink something while wearing your aligners, rinse your mouth and aligners with clean water as soon as possible. This will help flush food waste and sugars away from your teeth while also protecting your custom-made aligners.
Maintain a Strict Flossing and Brushing Schedule
Invisalign aligner trays completely encase your teeth, creating an ideal environment for bacteria, acid, and plaque to thrive. A regular flossing and brushing routine will counteract this.
Brush as soon as possible after meals and snacks. Floss at least once a day to eliminate plaque and particles your toothbrush missed. For added cavity protection, use fluoride toothpaste.
Protect Invisalign Aligners and Your Teeth with a Few Simple Lifestyle Changes
You can avoid tooth decay, discoloration, and damage to your aligners by making a few simple lifestyle modifications.
Treatment with Invisalign typically lasts only between 12 and 18 months, so these are minor trade-offs for a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.
Learn More About Invisalign at Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry
Is Invisalign right for you? To learn more, contact us today and schedule an appointment with one of our orthodontists.