Because clear aligners are removable, you’ll enjoy not having dietary restrictions during your treatment. But today, our Kelowna 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.
Unlike traditional braces, there are no metal brackets or wires to catch food particles in. And your clear aligners will be precisely tailored to the shape of your mouth. Because clear aligners are removable, you will be able to continue eating and drinking whatever you want.
Here, our Kelowna 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 drinking anything other than water, as drinking dark or sugary drinks while wearing your aligners can result in plaque buildup.
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.
You should never put your clear aligners in your mouth without first brushing your teeth, because food particles can become trapped between your teeth and your aligners and cause bacteria to grow, increasing your risk of 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.
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.
You should keep them in your mouth as much as possible to get the best results. Though you can remove the aligners for brushing, flossing, drinking, and eating, try not to leave them out of your mouth for too long, and make sure you wear them for at least 20 hours per day.
Cut back on snacking.
Because you have to remove your clear aligners each time you eat and then brush your teeth, you’ll probably find yourself cutting back on snacking quite a bit and being more thoughtful about what you eat as well as 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 want to use a restroom when removing and inserting your clear aligners, especially at the start of your treatment. Because they fit your teeth so tightly, some patients have reported that they can be difficult to remove until you get the hang of quickly popping them in and out - a task you might not want to try in public.