If you have been considering Invisalign treatment, you must know that it is a hassle-free way to correct and align your teeth. The freedom it offers you compared to traditional braces is tremendous.
However, it does come with a few restrictions on what you can include in your diet. Let’s find out what you can eat with Invisalign and what to avoid.
- 1 What Is Invisalign?
- 2 What Foods Can I Eat with Invisalign?
- 3 Rules For Success With Invisalign
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Conclusion
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligners to straighten teeth. They are customized by creating a 3D model of your mouth. They are removable and virtually invisible. Hence the name. This treatment method is in vogue because of its convenience and comfort compared to metal braces.
The trays provided by your orthodontist must be worn for 22 hours each day and can be removed only while eating, drinking beverages other than water, brushing, and flossing.
Every few weeks, you will be given a pair of new clear trays which are molded to accommodate your shifting teeth. Treatment time lasts anywhere between 1-2 years. Once your treatment is complete, you may be advised to wear a retainer to maintain your smile.
What Foods Can I Eat with Invisalign?
The short answer is anything. Yes, wearing Invisalign doesn’t require you to avoid any of your favorite foods, i.e., assuming you do not have any health-related food restrictions. This is a perk that clear aligners wearers enjoy the most. There are, however, a few things to bear in mind while ingesting food with Invisalign.
Rules For Success With Invisalign
1. Knowing the importance of removing your Invisalign before eating
The most obvious reason is that it is hard to eat with the trays on. Chewing food with your aligners puts undue strain on your teeth and jaws. And if you try eating hard or crunchy food, the clear tray may break. This is something you want to avoid at all costs. Replacing the trays means a delay in your treatment and additional cost.
Another problem is that of food getting into your trays. The food stuck there will stay in contact with your teeth longer than required. This can encourage plaque buildup and can defeat the purpose of straightening your teeth.
Certain foods, like curries containing turmeric, and beetroot, sauces made of tomato, soy, and vinegar, and beverages like tea, coffee, red wine, and cola, can stain your clear aligners. So please avoid these if you want your aligners to remain clean and discreet.
Lastly, eating food is a sensory experience. Wearing aligners and eating food will give you a different satisfaction. It just won’t taste the same.
For these reasons, be it a small snack or a big meal, soft food, or hard candy, it is always recommended to remove Invisalign before consuming them. With Invisalign, the only beverage you can drink is water.
Hot beverages can warp your aligners, rendering them useless. So, practice caution if you are in the habit of sipping warm water. If you aren’t sure of the temperature, then it is wise to remove the aligner before drinking.
2. Planning Your Meals
Don’t worry, we aren’t asking you to do elaborate meal planning and shopping. Plan when you want to eat and stick to your schedule. This prevents you from succumbing to the temptation of popping out your aligners every now and then to ‘take a sip of something’ or ‘grab a bit of something.’
Keep snacking to a minimum. Instead, have hearty meals with protein and fiber-rich foods. Consume healthy fats that will keep you full for longer.
In addition, keep an eye on the amount of time it takes for you to finish a meal. In order for Invisalign to work successfully, you have to wear it for the prescribed amount of time. Frequently removing your trays to eat or drink will prevent you from achieving this target.
3. Maintaining Oral Hygiene
This is critical in ensuring the success of any orthodontic treatment. Maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing Invisalign is just as important as with fixed braces. Follow the gold standard for oral hygiene- brushing twice and flossing once a day.
In addition to this, you may need to brush your teeth every time before you insert your clear trays. This may sound tedious. But come to think of it, brushing just takes minutes. It ensures that the food debris does not linger between your teeth for too long, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
Invisalign is designed to fit your teeth snugly. Any leftover food debris can erode your teeth’ enamel or cause cavities. Cavities create unnecessary roadblocks in your treatment plan.
You will also need to clean Invisalign regularly. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your trays. Brush them lightly with liquid soap. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Dry them fully before storing them in a protective case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Eat While Wearing Invisalign?
No, wearing Invisalign doesn’t pose any restriction on what you can eat or drink during your treatment period. Just be mindful to remove your Invisalign before consuming food or drinks and wear them only after you’ve cleaned your teeth. Drinking room temperature water while wearing Invisalign is safe.
What can I eat with Invisalign the first week?
During the first week, you may notice some pain in your teeth and tenderness in your gums. This is normal and is the result of the trays doing their job of moving your teeth.
So, it is advisable to eat soft food like soft fruits, cooked vegetables, soups, well-cooked grains and legumes, dairy in the form of milk, yogurt, soft cheeses, proteins in the form of boiled eggs, boneless meat, tofu, fish, tempeh.
What foods are off-limits with Invisalign?
No food is off-limits per se. You can eat just about anything during your orthodontic treatment. But in general, avoiding sugary food and drinks may help you maintain your dental health and avoid cavities and tooth decay.
Being aware and thoughtful of your food choices during your orthodontic treatment will benefit your teeth and your well-being in general. Make taking care of your teeth and aligners a priority during your treatment to ensure you benefit from it.
What Foods Can You Eat With Invisalign? (Eating Tips)
Dr. Bill Redmond is a native of Southern California, the son of an orthodontist and the husband of a general dentist. That makes family gatherings pretty interesting…if you like teeth!