Eating and drinking with Invisalign – a guide
You may have heard of the eating restrictions needed for traditional braces, for example cutting up large pieces of meat and avoiding chewing gum etc, but as Invisalign is a state-of-the-art alternative to braces, the restrictions are different.
Eating with Invisalign
As Invisalign aligners are made from thin plastic, to help protect them, it is advised to remove your aligners before eating absolutely anything, as chewing on them can risk cracking and distorting your aligners. We recommend wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours of the day, which allows you plenty of time to remove your aligners for meals and snacks throughout the day.
It’s not uncommon for patients to confess that they mistakenly threw away their Invisalign aligners in a napkin or lunch tray. To avoid any bin mishaps, store your aligners safely in their case when you’re not wearing them.
Drinking with Invisalign
The general rule is to only drink room-temperature water when you have your aligners in. If you fancy a glass of wine, a cuppa etc, always take your aligners out before drinking. Why? See below.
As Invisalign is made from medical-grade plastic that becomes soft when heated and hard when cooled, drinking hot beverages can warp the plastic which can affect the fit of your aligners and your treatment overall, as your teeth wouldn’t move into the desired position.
Tea & coffee
Not only do hot drinks cause the warpage of your aligners, tea and coffee are also notorious for staining teeth and aligners. Many people chose Invisalign over traditional braces because they’re practically invisible, so drinking a cup of espresso with your trays in would stain them and defeat the purpose of wearing them.
Fizzy drinks and alcohol
Fizzy and alcoholic drinks are acidic and laden with sugar, which can lead to enamel erosion and cavities. Usually, saliva helps to prevent this, as it washes away the sugar and helps to neutralise your mouth, however aligners act as a barrier between your teeth and the saliva and traps the sugar and acid, making it a breeding space for bacteria. Simply take your aligners out before enjoying a glass of red wine, drink a glass of water after to help wash away the sugars and pop your aligners back in.
Lemon or fruit water
Many fruits contain citric acid which can erode the tooth enamel. Therefore, even though you may think fruit water is safe to drink with your aligners in, make sure to take them out before consuming.
Milk is white, so it won’t stain your aligners and is good for your teeth, so this is safe, right? Wrong. Milk contains a natural sugar called lactose and while lactose may not ruin your teeth as terribly as other sugars, it can still harm your teeth to some extent.
“… You are a genius and an artist (or should it be craftsman/person?) Andrew! Just a small note of thanks for your wizardry and expertise yesterday. It feels and looks amazingly better – and not even a twinge of pain afterwards…” – Patient