With advancements in Invisalign technology today, it is not unusual for dentists to tell their patients to eat with their aligners in, such that they only need to remove them for cleaning. Apparently, this can reduce the risk of nerve damage to one or more teeth that have to move to a greater extent.
Eating with Invisalign aligners may be necessary, especially in the initial stages of treatment, until the one or two teeth that need to move a bigger distance have shifted, and can now move at the same pace as the others. Afterwards, you can now remove the aligners to enjoy your favorite meals.
For the first few of days of eating with your aligners, you’re likely to detest it… but this feeling won’t last for long. In fact, many patients often get used to eating with their aligners, and ultimately prefer to keep them in mostly. This also reduces the hassle of removing your aligners when snacking or going out to eat.
That said, you may also want to stay away from anything that contains a lot of tumeric or beetroot to avoid stains, as well as foods that are excessively chewy or crunchy.
Eating While Wearing Aligners
You might think it weird to learn that many dentists and orthodontists allow their patients to eat while wearing their aligners. This suggestion is typically made as a strategy to increase the orthodontic success of Invisalign because the force of chewing can actually improve tooth movement into the aligner’s recommended position.
While the aligners are in the mouth, the chewing power is beneficial for tooth movement but not for maintaining a clean smile. You’ll probably ingest a lot of food particles in and around the aligners if you eat with them in your mouth. This indicates that you should practice better dental hygiene after meals by cleaning your mouth, taking out your aligners, brushing, etc.
The feeling of eating is also affected by chewing while wearing aligners in your mouth. It simply feels strange. Additionally, it might change how your food tastes.
So during my Invisalign treatment, I can’t eat everything I want?
As we take into account unique risk factors for dental issues, the response to this query becomes a little more individualized. Generally, you can eat whatever you want while receiving Invisalign treatment since you can take the aligners out to eat. But because wearing aligners does raise your risk for dental conditions including cavities and gum disease. It is also right to say that you are not allowed to eat whatever you want while undergoing Invisalign treatment.
Risks of eating with Inviaslign aligners
You must wear the aligners for at least twenty-two hours a day in order for tooth movement to be successful, even though you take them out to eat and drink anything other than water. However, the aligners’ protection of your teeth does alter the conditions in your mouth. And not in a good way.
When worn, the aligners form a barrier between the teeth and saliva that is necessary to wash away food particles, bacteria, and acids in the mouth. The benefits of saliva for dental health, such as actions that combat bacteria and strengthen teeth, are lost if the teeth are not continuously washed. Due to all of this, getting cavities and gum disease increases with Invisalign treatment.
Your individual risk factors for eating with Invisalign
So, the decision to eat or not eat with your Invisalign aligners is tailored based on your unique level of risk prior to receiving Invisalign treatment. Patients who are already at a moderate to high risk of developing gum disease or cavities should watch their diets carefully and make the necessary changes. If you have a high risk of cavities, you should drastically cut back on sugar during your Invisalign treatment. All beverages with caffeine, alcohol, or sugar should be avoided by someone who already has a dry mouth since they cause dehydration.
Your dentist will evaluate your individual risk factors before you start any orthodontic treatment and then personalize your treatment instructions to take into consideration any elevated disease risk you could have while wearing Invisalign.
What happens when you eat with Invisalign?
Though some dentists allow it, there are certain risks you should be aware of if you choose to eat and drink with your Invisalign aligners:
The trays may become loose or get damaged
Invisalign trays should not be used for eating since chewing pressure could cause them to break or become loose. The plastic isn’t strong enough to withstand the pressure or force needed to break apart food bites.
There is a risk of disrupting and delaying your treatment calendar
Damaged trays can stop or slow down the alignment process. You will have to wait for your orthodontist to order new aligners if you break your current pair. This entails postponing and sometimes even halting the advancement achieved in improving your smile.
Broken pieces of aligner can stick between your teeth
Broken aligners may also get caught in the spaces between your teeth. The teeth may possibly suffer damage as a result of this.
Your clear aligners might get stained
Invisalign trays from orthodontists are virtually unnoticeable, thanks to the clear plastic they’re made of. However, food particles or colored beverages that get caught between your teeth and the translucent plastic can easily discolor it. You should always clean your teeth and attachments (even if it’s just with water) before putting the trays back in your mouth, even when you take them out to eat.
Risk to your oral health from damaged trays
In addition to the inconvenience of physical aligner damage, damaged aligners can irritate your gums and wear down your tooth enamel. Enamel erosion and inflamed gums might cause other oral health problems that require treatment.
Caution when Eating with Invisalign Aligners
You must consider whether the risks outweigh the benefits before settling on eating with your Invisalign aligners. Some of the factors to consider include:
- The risk of breaking a tray and delaying your treatment. It takes time to receive new trays if a tray is destroyed or damaged because of chewing food with it.
- It may become very expensive to replace the aligners if they frequently get damaged because of eating with them
- Avoid hot beverages when wearing your aligners because they might warp the plastic and change how your aligner fits in your mouth.
- It’s safer to stick to drinking cold water only. You could find that your aligners can become discolored rather easily if you consume a lot of coffee, red wine at night, or colas while wearing them. Don’t risk the invisibility of Invisalign, which is one of the reasons you chose them in the first place, by consuming anything that can stain the aligners.
- Eating and drinking while wearing Invisalign might also harm your oral health. Even if the aligners fit over the teeth, there will still be tiny gaps that allow for the passage of sugars or food particles. The aligner will trap them against your teeth once they’re there, where they can ruin your smile. Your saliva normally washes away sugars and food particles after eating, but the aligners will stop the saliva from making contact with your teeth. This may cause the health of your teeth and gums to deteriorate over time, especially if you don’t practice good oral hygiene.
- It is crucial to brush and floss before putting in the aligners after taking them out to eat and drink. You risk trapping any debris against your teeth if you put the aligner back in without first cleansing your mouth.
Although Invisalign aligners are sturdy and durable, they are not unbreakable. Chewing can cause the aligners to shatter, crack, or distort, which will reduce their efficacy and overall cost of treatment due to the replacements and delays in teeth movement.
The fact that the aligners are removable with Invisalign means you don’t need to make any dietary changes, which is one of the key benefits of this orthodontic treatment.
All of your favorite meals are still available to you; you can chew on soft meals with your aligners in place, or simply remove them to enjoy harder and crunchier foods.
If you closely follow the advice of your orthodontist, using Invisalign can make eating, drinking, and caring for your teeth a breeze.
Mostly. Because Invisalign aligner therapy for orthodontics uses removable aligners. You can undoubtedly consume a lot more meals with aligners than with conventional braces. Because you take your aligners out for meals, there is no chance that they will get damaged the same way brackets and/or wires can. With aligners, you are not prohibited from eating items like popcorn and sticky candies because you wouldn’t hold them in your mouth while eating them. When compared to traditional braces, one benefit of using aligners to straighten your teeth is the flexibility to take them out for meals and snacks so you may enjoy your favorite foods.
Some dentists may tell you to remove your aligners for meals, while giving you the option to drink with them in. There’s normally no problem drinking water with Invisalign. Other drinks are also acceptable, including wine and coffee. You could opt for white wine to avoid staining them, as well as ice coffee if you find it uncomfortable to take hot drinks with the aligners. That said, drinking colored drinks will likely stain your Invisalign aligners even if you clean them properly when brushing your teeth. But this shouldn’t be much of a problem considering that you change your aligners every 1-2 weeks.
Some dentists advise their patients to remove their aligners before eating at all times, while others don’t have a problem with it. Yes, you could consume ice cream or yogurt without the aligners getting damaged, but doing so would expose your teeth to sugars that would eventually get beneath the aligners. Tooth decay and plaque accumulation may result from this. Due to the inconvenience of snacking when putting on and taking out aligners, some patients claim that they have lost weight while following the “Invisalign diet.” Try to keep your mind on the good things—the outcomes will be worthwhile!