One of the things that make clear aligners an appealing option to our patients is the fact that they can be removed to eat and drink so you don't have to avoid the foods you love. Although, our Vancouver dentists want to share several things you need to know about drinking and eating with clear aligners.
Can I eat with clear aligners?
One of the main benefits of clear aligners is that you don't have to restrict your diet.
Unlike traditional braces, there aren't any metal brackets or wires for food particles to get stuck between. The aligners are also custom-made to fit the shape of your teeth and mouth. Because clear aligners are removable, you can keep eating and drinking all the things you enjoy.
Below, our Vancouver dentists share some advice on eating with clear aligners.
Only drink water when you are wearing your clear aligners.
You should only drink cold water when you are wearing your clear aligners. Take them out before consuming foods or beverages other than water, because drinking dark or sugary drinks while wearing your aligners can cause plaque build-up.
Eating with your clear aligners can lead to stains, cracks, or other damage. Gum will also stick to them making a mess (trust us on this).
Hot beverages including tea, hot chocolate, and coffee can stain or discolour the aligners which will be difficult to remove.
Brush your teeth before putting your clear aligners back in.
You should never put your clear aligners back in your mouth without brushing your teeth first because food particles can get stuck between your teeth and aligners allowing bacteria to grow, which will increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
As it is with braces, oral hygiene is key in helping you achieve your desired smile. If you aren't unable to brush properly after eating or drinking, rinse your mouth and aligners with water before putting them back on your teeth.
Plan your mealtimes.
Even though you don’t need to restrict the foods you eat, we recommend scheduling your meal times carefully.
To meet the 20 to 22 hours per day wear time (that is required for clear aligners), you’ll want to be mindful of the total time you have them out for every day.
For the best results, keep them in your mouth as often as possible. Though you can take the aligners out for brushing, flossing, drinking, and eating, try not to overdo the time you have them removed for, and make sure you are wearing them for a minimum of 20 hours every day.
Because you have to remove your clear aligners every time you eat and brush your teeth, you’ll probably find yourself snacking less and being more mindful about what and when you eat.
On the bright side, you might notice an improvement in your health along with your teeth becoming straighter.
We suggest putting your clear aligners in and removing them in private.
Notably, at the start of your treatment, you might want to use a restroom when removing and placing your clear aligners in your mouth. Because they fit so snugly to your teeth, some patients have informed us the aligners can be a little bit challenging to remove until you get the hang of quickly popping them in and out - something you may not want to do in public.