Because clear aligners are removable, you won't have to adhere to any dietary restrictions throughout your treatment. However, our Lethbridge dentists will discuss some additional points to consider when 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.
Unlike conventional braces, there are no metal brackets or wires to trap food particles. Additionally, your custom-made clear aligners will be created to precisely fit the shape of your mouth. Because clear aligners are removable, you can continue eating and drinking whatever you want.
Here, our Lethbridge dentists share some tips for eating with clear aligners.
Remove your clear aligners to eat or drink anything but water.
While wearing your clear aligners, you should only drink cold water. Remove them before consuming anything other than water, as drinking dark or sugary beverages while wearing your aligners can result in plaque accumulation.
Eating with your clear aligners in could lead to stains, cracks or other damage to your aligners. Gum will 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.
Never put your clear aligners in your mouth after eating without brushing your teeth first, as food particles can become trapped between your teeth and aligners, allowing bacteria to grow and increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
As with braces, oral hygiene is critical to achieving the smile you desire. If you are unable to brush properly after eating or drinking, the best course of action is to rinse your mouth and aligner with water before re-applying them to your teeth.
Schedule your mealtimes.
Though you don’t need to restrict which foods you eat, you should plan your meal times carefully.
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.
To achieve the best results, you should keep them as much as possible in your mouth. While you may remove the aligners for brushing, flossing, drinking, and eating, it is important to limit the amount of time they are out of your mouth and to ensure they are worn for at least 20 hours per day.
Cut back on snacking.
Because you must remove your clear aligners each time you eat and then brush your teeth, you're likely to find yourself snacking less and being more selective about what and when you eat.
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 may wish to use a restroom when removing and replacing your clear aligners in your mouth, particularly at the start of your treatment. Because they fit so snugly against your teeth, some patients have reported that they can be a little tricky to remove until you get the hang of quickly popping them in and out - a task you may not want to attempt in public.