If your teen is currently undergoing Invisalign treatment or is thinking about it, you're probably curious about how to care for Invisalign’s aligner trays properly.
One common question about Invisalign is how to eat and drink while undergoing treatment. Unlike conventional braces, which are made of stainless steel and resist yellowing and staining, Invisalign aligner trays are fabricated from a clear resin, which is more susceptible to these problems.
The following information will help you maintain oral health and safely eat and drink during Invisalign treatment.
Avoiding Tooth Decay
For good dental health and to keep your aligners clean, try to brush your teeth after every meal. This will help prevent bacteria from accumulating on your teeth and causing tooth decay. Use fluoride toothpaste, which helps strengthen your enamel against the acids in food and drinks.
Limit your intake of sugar-containing foods and beverages, including soda, fruit juices, sports drinks, candy, and gum. These foods can increase the risk for tooth decay if consumed frequently or in large amounts.
Drink water instead of sugary beverages like soda or juice. Since it doesn’t contain sugar, water won’t cause tooth decay. If you don’t like the taste of water and prefer more flavor, try adding lemon slices.
Beverages don’t need a high sugar content to harm your teeth and aligner trays. Coffee, tea, and other dark-colored drinks (including some fruit juices) can discolor your teeth. So can foods like pasta sauce, blackberries, cherries, and blueberries.
Tips for Eating and Drinking with Invisalign Aligners
You can consume all your favorite foods in moderation, but you need to take steps to protect your aligner trays.
Here are some pointers for getting the most out of Invisalign without jeopardizing your teeth.
Always Remove Your Aligners Before Eating
Wearing Invisalign aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day is recommended for best results, but this can make eating and drinking a bit more of a challenge. When eating and drinking beverages like tea and coffee, you should remove your aligners and place them in their case. And to ensure you wear your aligners for the recommended amount of time each day, track how long you leave them out while eating or drinking.
Even though it may be tempting to leave your aligners in during small meals and snacks, you should avoid it. While you’re wearing your Invisalign trays, you should only drink water. Water, unlike other drinks, won’t stain your aligners, and ordinary bottled or tap water has no sugars.
What to Do if You Eat or Drink While Wearing Aligners
Occasions may come up when taking out your aligners before eating or drinking isn’t practical. If you do consume something while wearing your aligners, rinse your mouth and aligners with clean water as soon as possible afterward. This will help safeguard your aligner trays and help keep food debris away from your teeth.
Keep Up a Regular Brushing and Flossing Schedule
Your teeth are entirely encased in your Invisalign aligner trays, which can allow bacteria, acid, and plaque to thrive. Keeping your teeth clean with a regular flossing and brushing routine will help prevent dental health issues.
After meals and snacks, brush your teeth as soon as possible. Floss daily to remove plaque and particles your toothbrush missed. Using fluoride toothpaste can help prevent cavities.
A Few Simple Lifestyle Changes Will Protect Your Smile and Your Invisalign Aligners
Making a few simple lifestyle changes can prevent tooth decay, discoloration, and harm to your aligners—small trade-offs for a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.
Learn More About Invisalign at Tender Smiles 4 Kids
Is Invisalign right for your teen? To learn more, contact us today at one of our 5 locations, and schedule an appointment with one of our orthodontists.