Because clear aligners are removable, you’ll enjoy not having dietary restrictions during your treatment. But today, our Coquitlam dentists explain some other things you should know about eating and drinking with clear aligners.
Can you eat with clear aligners?
One of the main benefits of straightening your teeth with clear aligners is that you won’t need to restrict your diet.
There are no metal brackets or wires, unlike traditional braces, to trap food particles. Additionally, your clear aligners will be made specifically for the shape of your mouth. You can continue to eat and drink whatever you want because clear aligners can be taken out.
Here, our Coquitlam dentists share some tips for eating with clear aligners.
Remove your clear aligners to eat or drink anything but water.
Only ice-cold water should be consumed while sporting clear aligners. As drinking dark or sugary beverages while wearing your aligners can cause plaque to build up, take them out before consuming anything but water.
Eating with your clear aligners in could lead to stains, cracks or other damage to your aligners. Gum will definitely stick to aligners and cause a mess (trust us on this one).
Hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate and coffee can leave stains or discolouration that will be difficult to remove.
Brush your teeth before putting your clear aligners back in.
After eating, you should always brush your teeth before putting your clear aligners back in your mouth because food particles can get wedged between your teeth and your aligners and encourage the growth of bacteria, increasing your risk of developing cavities and tooth decay.
Just like with braces, oral hygiene is essential to ensure you achieve the smile you want. If you are unable to brush properly after eating or drinking, your best bet is to rinse your mouth and your aligners with water before putting them back on your teeth.
Schedule your meal times.
Though you don’t need to restrict which foods you eat, you should plan your meal times carefully.
In order to hit the 20 to 22 hours per day wear time you need with clear aligners, you’ll want to be mindful of the total time that you remove them for each day.
Keep them in your mouth as much as you can to get the best results. Although you can take the aligners out to drink, eat, brush, and floss, try to limit the amount of time you do so and make sure you are wearing them for at least 20 hours every day.
Cut back on snacking.
You'll probably find yourself limiting your snacking considerably and being more selective about what and when you eat because you have to take out your clear aligners each time you eat and then brush your teeth.
On the plus side, you may see your health improve along with your teeth becoming straighter.
You may want to put your clear aligners in and remove them in private.
You might want to use a bathroom before taking out and putting your clear aligners in your mouth, especially at the beginning of your treatment. They fit your teeth so closely that some patients have reported that it can be a little difficult to take them out at first until you get the hang of quickly popping them in and out, which is a task you might not want to attempt in front of others.