Getting Invisalign aligners is an exciting step towards straighter, healthier teeth. But once you start treatment, you likely have questions about how to eat and drink properly with the removable plastic trays. Can you enjoy your favorite foods? What about coffee, tea, or wine?
Understanding the do’s and don’ts around eating and drinking with Invisalign is critical for treatment success and oral health. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore professional advice from dentists along with tips and experiences. You’ll learn which foods and beverages are Invisalign-friendly, pick up oral hygiene best practices, and separate fact from fiction around aligners.
Let’s Explore the phrase “My Dentist Told Me To Eat With Invisalign” in this comprehensive guide with closer look
Do read the People Also Ask (FAQs) about this topic.
- The number one rule when eating and drinking with Invisalign aligners is to remove them first before consuming anything other than cool water, as advised by orthodontists and Invisalign guidelines. Food and drinks can damage aligners or increase oral health risks if worn continuously.
- Dentists recommend removing Invisalign trays before eating or drinking anything but cool water to prevent damage and oral hygiene issues.
- Soft foods like yogurt, smoothies, eggs, and soft fruits are Invisalign-friendly, while hard, crunchy, chewy foods should be avoided.
- In addition to water, safe beverages include coffee, tea, milk, and juice without pulp or seeds. Avoid extreme temperatures and acidic drinks.
- Maintain oral hygiene by brushing after meals, flossing carefully, using Invisalign cleaner, and scheduling professional cleanings.
- With aligner-safe foods and drinks plus good cleaning habits, you can eat and drink confidently during Invisalign treatment.
What Dentists Say About Eating with Invisalign
Orthodontists and dentists agree – the number one rule is to remove your Invisalign aligners before eating or drinking anything other than cool water.
Hot and cold foods or drinks can warp and distort the shape of the plastic aligners over time. Sugary or acidic foods and beverages increase your risk for cavities and enamel erosion if trapped against teeth under aligners.
Hard or sticky foods like nuts, candies, ice, popcorn can also chip or crack the thin plastic. And certain foods can leave stains or odors in the aligners that require more frequent cleaning.
The official Invisalign guidelines tell users to remove aligners before consuming hot, cold, or colored food and drinks. Leaving aligners in for hours while eating meals or snacking provides a perfect breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria.
“Invisalign was NOT designed to wear while eating,” says Jay Neuhaus, DDS. However, If you are in a public place and do not want to remove the Invisalign aligner, try to eat only soft foods. Make sure you remove the aligner as soon as possible after the meal in order to rinse it out and brush your teeth. If you do not do this, food debris and bacteria can get trapped against the teeth under the plastic, which can lead to decay, gum inflammation, and other oral health issues.
So when it comes to eating or drinking, the experts agree – take your Invisalign trays out first whenever possible.
If you’ve ever wondered which toothpaste you should use for braces or Invisalign, you can read Best Toothpaste For Braces.
Now, let’s explore what food and beverages you can and can’t consume with invisalign.
Foods You Can and Can’t Eat with Invisalign
Knowing which foods are Invisalign-friendly makes meal planning and snacking simpler. Here are the best options:
- Soft, cool foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, pudding
- Soft fruits like bananas, seedless grapes, ripe peaches, plums, canned fruit
- Soft cooked vegetables like steamed carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, cooked greens
- Soft breads, rolls, tortillas, crackers
- Soft meats like cooked fish, canned tuna, tender chicken or turkey without skin or bones
- Soups and stews
- Protein shakes, meal replacement shakes
- Unsalted smooth nut butters like peanut or almond butter
- Ripe avocados sliced or mashed
Tips for Eating Soft Foods
- Take small bites, chew thoroughly, and rinse with water to clear food particles
- Avoid combining soft foods with hard food in the same bite
- Remove aligners as soon as possible after eating to clean teeth and aligners
Risky Foods to Avoid
- Hard, crunchy, crisp, tough, chewy, or sticky foods like raw veggies, nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, bagels, pizza crust, hard bread, crackers, chips, popcorn, caramel, gum
- Hard candies, cough drops, mints, ice cubes, frozen treats
- Corn on the cob, ribs, wings, spare ribs
- Crusty breads, bagels, pizza crust
- Whole fruits and vegetables – only eat when very ripe and soft
- Meat with bones, skin, gristle
- Hard cheeses like parmesan – stick to soft cheeses
- Nuts and seeds
- Dried fruits
- Taffy, caramel, gum
- Granola, cereal, energy bars
- Pretzels, chips, crackers
- Pasta or rice that is undercooked and hard
Why Avoid These Foods?
Hard, chewy, crunchy, and sticky foods can all damage Invisalign aligners by fracturing, cracking, or distorting the plastic. These foods also tend to get trapped in teeth, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease. It’s safest to avoid them entirely while wearing aligners.
Beverages You Can and Can’t Drink with Invisalign
When it comes to Invisalign-friendly drinks, cool water is always the top choice. But you have options beyond just water. Here are the best beverage choices:
- Water – cool or room temperature
- Unsweetened tea or coffee with milk/cream – warm okay but not piping hot
- Protein shakes, fruit smoothies with no berries, seeds, etc.
- Milk, plant-based milks like almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk
- Juice without pulp or seeds like apple, grape, cranberry
- Soda water, seltzer water, tonic water
- Vegetable juice like V8 without pulp
- Soup broths and bouillon
Tips for Drinking Safely
- No straws – drink directly from the glass or cup
- Swish with water after sipping coffee, tea, juice to rinse away stains
- Take small sips instead of large gulps
- Remove aligners soon after finishing drink
Risky Beverages to Avoid
- Iced coffee, iced tea, cold fruit juices – can distort aligners with temperature changes
- Hot coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, hot soups
- Soda, flavored seltzers with citric acid, sports drinks
- Alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, mixed drinks
- Fruit or vegetable juices with pulp and seeds
- Fruit smoothies with berries, seeds, or chunks of fruit
- Milkshakes and creamy beverages containing chunks of fruit or candy pieces
Why Avoid These Drinks?
Hot and iced beverages can warp the plastic after repeated exposure. Acidic and sugary drinks promote bacteria growth and erosion on teeth under aligners. Pulp, seeds, fruit chunks, and candy pieces get trapped and increase decay risk. Alcohol stains aligners over time.
Best Practices for Eating With Invisalign Based on Expert Guidance
Based on the thorough analysis above of orthodontist recommendations, patient experiences, and key deciding factors, follow these best practices if you do choose to eat with your Invisalign trays:
- Have a dedicated aligner case and use it. Never wrap aligners in a napkin, which can lead to accidental throwing away or contamination.
- Before eating, brush and floss thoroughly to minimize food debris getting trapped during meals.
- Avoid very hard, sticky, crunchy, and chewy foods as much as possible. Pretreat items like bagels, carrots, or apples to soften them first.
- Cut up foods into tiny pieces before eating. Take small bites and chew cautiously with your back teeth.
- Drink plenty of water with meals to help flush away debris and reduce staining.
- Never use your aligners as tools to open packaging, bite foods, or chew/tear chunks of meat. Protect them from direct contact or pressure.
- After eating, promptly brush and floss again, plus thoroughly clean aligners. Rinsing alone isn’t enough. Use recommended aligner cleaning products.
- Do a final oral rinse and then reseat aligners firmly against teeth using a Chewie.
- Remove and clean aligners thoroughly before bed to prevent overnight bacteria buildup.
- Visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings and Invisalign check-ups to monitor for damage and decay.
- If aligners become cracked, cloudy, ill-fitting, or overly stained, request replacement sets sooner.
- Report any discomfort, damage, or oral hygiene issues to your orthodontist immediately. Be ready to revert to removing aligners for meals if needed.
Analyze these factors in the context of your unique situation. This will help determine if attempting to eat with Invisalign is right for you or if removing aligners at mealtime is the smarter choice.
Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Invisalign Aligners After Eating
If you do eat with Invisalign in, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean your aligners after meals to avoid hygiene issues. Here is a step-by-step cleaning guide recommended by dentists:
- Brush your teeth and use floss to dislodge any larger food debris after eating.
- Remove aligners and rinse them under cool water.
- Brush aligners inside and out with a soft brush and toothpaste. Focus on crevices.
- Soak aligners for at least 10 minutes in a denture cleaning solution like Steradent or Polident. This helps kill bacteria.
- Rinse aligners again with cool water.
- Optionally, use an ultrasonic cleaning machine for a deeper vibrating clean.
- Rinse your mouth out well with water.
- Put freshly cleaned aligners back in and use a Chewie to seat properly.
- Brush your teeth again and floss once more to finish dislodging any debris.
- At night, repeat steps 1-7 before bed to prevent bacterial growth as you sleep.
This 10-step cleaning routine after eating will help keep Invisalign hygienic and intact.
Common Misconceptions and Concerns About Invisalign Aligners
|I need to keep aligners in 22 hours a day to stay on track.
|Removing aligners for meals will not impact your progress as long as you wear them consistently the remainder of the time. Just budget extra time for proper oral care around meals.
|Water is the only safe beverage with aligners in.
|While cool water is ideal, you can also consume milk, coffee, tea, broths, and juice in moderation with caution.
|I need to avoid all hard, chewy, crunchy foods completely.
|You can still enjoy some of your favorites in very limited amounts as an occasional treat. Take a small spoonful of crunchy peanut butter or a few tiny bites of pretzel and remove aligners immediately after to minimize risk.
|My aligners will get gross and stained quickly.
|With proper daily cleaning of teeth and aligners along with removal for most eating and drinking, stains and odors won’t be an issue.
Eating and drinking with Invisalign doesn’t mean depriving yourself of flavorful foods or beverages. By selecting soft, aligner-safe choices and exercising caution with oral hygiene, you can keep your aligners fresh while still enjoying meals.
Listen to your dental team’s advice and align your eating habits with Invisalign’s recommendations. With the right foods, beverages and cleaning practices, you’ll progress smoothly through treatment while protecting your oral health.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Q) Can you drink milk with Invisalign?
A) Yes, it is generally safe to drink milk while wearing your Invisalign aligners. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you maintain good oral hygiene and prevent any damage to your aligners. Milk is a good source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, milk contains natural sugars, so it is important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing after consuming it.
Q) Can I drink coconut water with Invisalign?
A) Yes, you can drink coconut water with Invisalign. However, it’s important to note that while coconut water won’t stain your aligners, it does contain naturally occurring sugars. These sugars can be pressed against your teeth by your aligners, which could potentially lead to tooth decay. Therefore, it’s recommended to brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth with water after drinking coconut water with your Invisalign in.
Q) Can i eat a banana with invisalign?
A) Yes, you can eat bananas with Invisalign. Bananas are soft and mushy, so you don’t need to bite into them. Simply peel the banana, break off small pieces, and gently chew with your back teeth. Avoid using your front teeth to bite or tear. The banana will naturally squash against the aligners as you chew. Be sure to rinse your mouth and clean your aligners after eating to remove any leftover banana.
Q) Are you supposed to eat food with Invisalign?
A) Opinions differ among orthodontists. Some say you can eat with Invisalign for convenience and compliance. But most still recommend removing aligners for eating to protect oral health.
Q) What happens if you accidentally eat with Invisalign?
A) The aligners may become cracked, warped, stained or retain food debris and bacteria. Brush thoroughly after accidental eating incidents.
Q) Is it OK to chew on Invisalign?
A) Avoid chewing hard foods with Invisalign in place. Chewing can damage aligners over time through cracking or misshaping.
Q) Can you eat with Invisalign 2023?
A) Yes, some orthodontists allow eating with Invisalign in 2023. However, strict precautions must be taken to minimize risks and dental damage.
Q) Is it OK to eat with aligners?
A) With precautions, some patients eat successfully with Invisalign. However, many orthodontists still advise removing aligners for all meals.
Q) Do I have to brush my teeth every time I eat with Invisalign?
A) Yes, dental experts recommend brushing and cleaning your teeth and aligners each time you eat with Invisalign in.
Q) What foods can you eat with Invisalign?
A) Softer foods like eggs, pasta, rice, cooked vegetables, shredded meats and fish are safest. Avoid hard, crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods.
Q) Can you eat fruit and veggies with Invisalign?
A) Yes but cut them into tiny pieces first. Remove stems, seeds, and peels. Avoid whole apples, carrots, and corn on the cob.
Q) Can you eat normally with Invisalign?
A) Not really – you must restrict your diet significantly and be very careful chewing. Eating totally “normally” risks damaging aligners.
Q) Will eating stain or damage Invisalign?
A) Yes, stains, cracks, odours, and misshaping are common aligner issues patients report from eating with trays in.
Q) Is it painful to eat with Invisalign?
A) For many patients it is uncomfortable or painful due to plastic rubbing the gums and pressing on teeth. But some report no issues.