Since clear aligners are removable, you don't have any dietary restrictions during your treatment. Today, join our Ottawa dentists to learn 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, clear aligners don't use metal brackets or wires - this is a plus for preventing food particles from getting stuck. Your custom-made clear aligners will be made precisely for your mouth’s shape, and since clear aligners can be removed, you’ll be free to keep eating and drinking all the things you love.
Here, our Ottawa dentists share some tips for eating with clear aligners.
If you're drinking anything but water, remove your clear aligners.
You should only drink cold water while wearing your clear aligners. Remove them before consuming foods or beverages other than water; drinking dark-coloured or sugary drinks while wearing your aligners can result in plaque building up.
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, you don't want to find out first-hand).
Hot beverages like 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 replace your clear aligners after eating without first brushing your teeth since food particles can get trapped between your teeth and your aligners and cause bacteria to grow, increasing your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
As with traditional braces, oral hygiene is essential to help 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 meals.
Though you don’t need to restrict which foods you eat, you should plan your meal times carefully.
In order to reach the 20-22 hours daily wear time for successful treatment with clear aligners, you’ll want to be mindful of the total time that you remove them for each day.
To see the best results, you should keep them in your mouth as much as possible. Though you can remove the aligners when brushing, flossing, drinking and eating, try not to overdo the time they are out of your mouth, and ensure you are wearing them for at least 20 hours each day.
Cut back on sugary snacks.
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.
You may want to put your clear aligners in and remove them in private.
Especially at the beginning of your treatment, you may want to use a restroom when removing and placing your clear aligners in your mouth. Since they fit your teeth so snugly, some patients have told us they can be a little bit challenging to remove until you get the hang of quickly popping them in and out - a task you may not want to try in public.