There are no dietary restrictions with Invisalign, but aligners should be removed for eating and drinking.
Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic treatment that involves the use of a series of clear aligners to straighten teeth. These aligners are made from medical-grade plastic and are virtually invisible, which makes Invisalign a popular option for patients who are looking for a discreet orthodontic solution. If you are considering Invisalign, you might be wondering if you will need to make any changes to your diet throughout your treatment. The good news is that clear aligners are removable, so there are no necessary dietary restrictions. That said, you must remember to take your aligners out of your mouth every time you eat or drink anything besides water. Read on to find out more about life with Invisalign and how you can take care of your clear aligners.
Remove Invisalign before eating
Invisalign clear aligners are made from very strong and durable materials. They work by exerting pressure on the teeth, gradually shifting them into new positions over time. Although your aligners are made to last, it is important to understand that they are not designed to withstand the excessive pressure of biting and chewing. For this reason, you must always remove your aligners before you eat. If you eat with your aligners in your mouth, you run the risk of causing serious damage to your orthodontic appliances, which could cause delays in your treatment. Also, if you don’t remove your aligners before eating, food particles and bacteria could get stuck and build up between your teeth and aligners.
Stick to water
One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are made of clear plastic, which is very discreet. In fact, most people won’t be able to see that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. To keep your aligners clear, however, it is very important that you don’t eat or drink anything besides water whilst you have them in your mouth. Many foods and beverages can stain and discolour your aligners, which will ruin their aesthetic value and undermine the purpose of choosing a virtually invisible treatment.
Keep your aligners clean
Even if you diligently remove your aligners for eating and drinking, you must keep them clean for the sake of your oral health. It is advisable that you rinse your aligners every night and that you brush them gently to remove any food particles that may have built up during the day.
If you notice that your aligners are looking dirty or discoloured, be sure to give them an extra cleaning. You should also rinse your clear aligners every time you remove them from your mouth.
With the proper cleaning practices, it is possible to prevent staining and discolouration of your clear aligners, as well as issues like bad breath. If left unwashed, your aligners could expose your teeth to bacteria, which can lead to oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Brush and floss your teeth
While it’s key that you keep your aligners clean, it’s just as important that you take care of your teeth as well. Whenever you remove your clear aligners for a meal or snack, be sure to store them in a protective case while you eat. When you have finished eating, you should brush and floss your teeth before you place the aligners back in your mouth.
Your aligner will be custom-made, which means that it will fit snugly against your teeth. If food particles and bacteria are left on or between your teeth after a meal, they will get trapped between your teeth and your aligner when you place your appliance back in your mouth. Try to make brushing and flossing after meals a habit to maintain the condition of your smile throughout your orthodontic treatment. You may find it helpful to keep a spare toothbrush in your bag so that you can keep your teeth clean even when you’re on the go.
To ensure that you clean your teeth thoroughly without damaging the enamel, it’s best to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. When brushing, begin with the outer surfaces of your teeth and take your time to ensure that you clean all areas. Next, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and clean against the gum line. Move your toothbrush gently in short, back-and-forth strokes.
Don’t forget to brush the inner surface of your teeth, as well as the chewing surfaces. The plaque often tends to accumulate on the insides of the teeth, while food particles often get trapped on the chewing surfaces.
Once you have brushed your teeth, you should clean your tongue, either with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. This will help to get rid of plaque and bacteria that can lead to bad breath.
Taking the time to take care of your teeth throughout your orthodontic treatment will be well worth the effort. That way, when your Invisalign treatment is complete, you will enjoy a straighter and healthier smile.
Enjoy a varied diet
One of the benefits of Invisalign is that you can eat all of your favourite foods throughout your treatment. Unlike braces, there are no dietary restrictions, so if you enjoy chewing and crunchy foods, you don’t have to worry about eliminating these from your diet. Just remember to remove your aligners before you eat so that you don’t cause damage to your aligners. And remember that a balanced diet that is rich in nutritious whole foods and low in processed sugar will benefit your oral and general health.
When it comes to choosing foods that are good for your smile, there are a few options that are worth including in your diet. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt, are packed with calcium and help to keep the teeth and bones strong. Almonds are also packed with calcium and protein, and they make a great sugar-free snack. Leafy greens like kale and spinach can also contribute to a healthy smile—they contain folic acid, which can help keep gum disease at bay.
Other foods that are good for your teeth include apples, celery, and carrots, both of which are crunchy and fibrous. Eating these foods promotes the production of saliva in your mouth and rinses away food particles, bacteria, and other debris.
Although you don’t need to limit your diet while you undergo Invisalign treatment, there are a few foods and beverages that are best avoided if you want to maintain optimal oral health. Soft drinks (even sugar-free ones) are highly acidic and can contribute to issues like tooth decay. Processed sugar and carbohydrates (think chips and crackers) feed the bacteria in plaque, which can lead to decay over time.
Stick to room temperature
Although it’s absolutely fine to drink water while wearing your clear aligners, it’s important to know that you should avoid hot water. Very hot water can warp the shape of your aligners, even when you are wearing them. This can then affect the way that your aligners fit and have a detrimental effect on your treatment plan and results. When drinking water, make sure it is cold or at room temperature. If you want a hot beverage, simply remove your aligners beforehand.
Use the case
When you take your aligner out for a meal or snack, you might be tempted to simply place it next to you while you eat. It’s important to understand, however, that although your aligner is made from quality materials, it is fairly fragile and could break. You should place your aligners in their protective case every time that you remove them. Lost or broken aligners will delay your treatment and lead to unnecessary costs.
How can we help?
If you would like to achieve a straighter, more symmetrical smile and are looking for an alternative to traditional braces, you might consider Invisalign. At Crookes & Jenkins Dental, we are a proud provider of this clear aligner system and will guide you through the process if you choose to go ahead with the treatment.
We also offer Invisalign Go, which is designed for the treatment of minor to moderate cases of crowding, gaps, and overbite. With Invisalign Go, treatment can be as fast as three months with a maximum of five months.
To find out more about Invisalign and Invisalign Go and what these treatments involve at Crookes & Jenkins Dental, please have a look here.
If you would like to book an appointment to see us, please contact us here. We look forward to enhancing the appearance and function of your smile.