Invisalign is undoubtedly one of the best alternatives to braces for getting perfectly shaped teeth. Better appearance, comfort, and convenience make it a preferred mode of orthodontic treatment. However, it is still very much important to take care of your Invisalign aligners to ensure you get the best results.
A vital aspect of maintaining Invisalign is: What can you eat with Invisalign? The good news is that you can eat anything you want. Unlike braces, you can remove the trays and eat whatever you want. The hard crust of pizza or herbs will not get stuck between your wires or brackets.
However with Invisalign, it’s essential to be mindful and cautious when it comes to your eating habits. There are specific dos and don’ts for both food and beverages that you need to follow for a successful treatment. We’ll delve into each of these topics in-depth!
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What Can You With Invisalign: Almost Everything You Want To
You don’t have any hard-core restrictions. And since these aligner trays are removable, you can take them out when eating and eat what you wish.
Don’t forget to take out your aligner trays before digging into a meal! Not only can hard foods wreak havoc on your trays, but leftover food particles in the aligner’s crevices can breed bacteria and contribute to tooth decay. Plus, sipping on vibrant beverages may stain or discolor your aligners, resulting in unsightly white spots on your teeth.
The Ultimate Guide to Invisalign-Friendly Foods
Dairy Products Like Cheese And Yogurt
These foods have calcium and protein that helps strengthen your teeth while raising the pH level of your mouth. Lower pH levels in your mouth can pave the way for cavities causing bacteria if overlooked.
Fruits And Vegetables Have A High Content Of Water
These foods keep your mouth hydrated and maintain saliva production in your mouth. Additionally, the crunchy texture will help clean your teeth’s surface and remove any food debris.
Are you worried that the vibrant colors of berries might cause discoloration of your Invisalign? Fear not! Discoloration only occurs with poor oral hygiene. Berries are actually packed with essential minerals and vitamins that promote a healthy mouth. Plus, their antioxidant properties help to minimize the risk of plaque buildup on your teeth surface.
|Category||Recommended Foods||Foods to Avoid|
|Fruits||Soft fruits like bananas, blueberries, and strawberries||Hard or sticky fruits like apples, dried fruits, and fruit roll-ups|
|Vegetables||Steamed or cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, and avocados||Raw or hard vegetables like carrots, celery, and corn on the cob|
|Protein||Tender meats, fish, eggs, tofu, and beans||Tough or chewy meats like steak, jerky, and ribs|
|Dairy||Yogurt, soft cheeses, and smoothies||Hard cheeses that require forceful biting|
|Grains||Soft breads, rice, pasta, and cooked cereals||Crusty breads, popcorn, and hard crackers|
|Snacks||Soft cookies, pudding, and ice cream||Hard or sticky candies, chewing gum, and nuts|
What Foods To Avoid When You Have Invisalign?
While it’s true that Invisalign has no food restrictions, it’s essential to keep in mind that your teeth are under constant pressure from the aligners, making them vulnerable to shifting incorrectly. So, let’s be smart about our food choices!
Be cautious with foods that are too hard to bite or chew, as they can cause your teeth to move in the wrong direction. Additionally, eating with your Invisalign in place can damage the aligners and hinder your treatment progress. Here are some foods to steer clear of during your Invisalign journey:
- Hard candies.
- Sodas – they fuel bacteria, causing significant damage.
- Spicy foods – especially when combined with acidic foods, they can weaken teeth.
- Icy foods – they can cause tooth fractures from cold shocks and grinding.
Dos And Don’ts of Eating With Invisalign
Always remove your Invisalign trays before you eat. It’s the first and the biggest rule to follow when you eat with Invisalign. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore wearing them. Invisalign needs a high level of compliance and discipline. Wear them for at least 20-22 hours to get the perfect shape.
Second, always clean your teeth properly before wearing your aligners. Eating will leave residues on your teeth. If you wear your trays without rinsing your teeth, the food debris will leave stains on your clear trays. Which eventually will lead to plaque accumulation and tooth decay.
Additionally, it’s wise to steer clear of overly sweet or hot foods when wearing your aligners. Aim for foods that strike a balance between not too soft and not too hard. Surprisingly, even soft foods can become lodged at the opening of aligners, leaving behind residue that can encourage bacterial growth and gum disease.
Dos and Don’ts of Drinking With Invisalign
Did you know that anything other than water can potentially stain or discolor your Invisalign aligners? Remember to remove your aligners when drinking and brush your teeth before popping them back in.
Be cautious with hot drinks like tea or coffee, as they can warp your clear trays, rendering them ineffective. Additionally, dark-colored beverages such as red wine and dark sodas can cause significant discoloration. And let’s not forget that sugar-laden drinks can weaken teeth and lead to bacterial buildup.
Pro tip: always avoid ice when sipping with your aligners in place. Not only can it break the trays, but it can also send chilly shocks to your gums.
What Happens If You Eat With Your Invisalign On?
Eating food with Invisalign will not only prolong your treatment but will also lead to numerous repercussions.
Remember that your teeth are like chewing machines. They are strong. They can break any food into small bites to make it easier for you to swallow and digest. While that force is good for eating, but definitely disastrous for your aligners. When you chew with aligners on, you risk them bending, cracking, or breaking into pieces. They can also misshape your clear aligner trays and affect your treatment.
This is especially applicable for chewing mints. Numerous kinds of mints are available, made especially for Invisalign users. These mints help improve the fittings of the aligners tray while refreshing your breath at the same time.
Eating Habits You Must Follow While Wearing Invisalign
Cut Down On Your Morning Coffee
If you are coffee-addicted, whose days don’t start without that strong sip, you may have to slim down a bit if you wear Invisalign. Strong coffee leaves stains all over your Invisalign. At the same time, the hot nature can hamper the sensitivity of your gums.
Build An Effective Meal And Snacking Schedule
There are a lot of people who love snacking and eating throughout the day. While this is not a bad habit per se, it will also mean that you will stay away from your Invisalign for a long time. Prepare a meal chart to ensure you wear your aligners at least 20 hours daily.
Increase the frequency of brushing
Keep your aligners and teeth clean and free of plaque and debris. Make sure to brush and floss every time you have meals. Soak your aligners and rinse them properly before putting them back.
Stop Over Snacking
Snacking mostly involves hard and crunchy foods. It means your teeth must put extra force to chew and bite, shifting your already vulnerable teeth position. Moreover, you are constantly taking out your aligners which is not good for your treatment.
No To Gums
Gums are a big no if you are wearing Invisalign. They will get stuck to your aligners, affecting the treatment as it leads to constant chewing, causing problems for the moving teeth.
Through this blog, we have delved into the answers to one of the most vital questions: What can you eat with Invisalign? The answer is almost anything you like. If you remove your Invisalign clear trays every time you eat or drink, put them back diligently. Also, like braces, Invisalign needs you to stay away from hard and extremely hot or cold food to save your teeth from shocks. Besides, colored and bright foods and drinks will stain your aligners badly.
In addition, pay attention to the importance of a healthy dental routine. Brush and floss every time you have a meal. Clean and rinse your mouth thoroughly before putting back your aligners. And use a fluoride mouthwash to give your teeth endurance. Finally, make sure you go for regular cleanups and checkups with your orthodontist to keep complexities at bay.
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.