Since clear aligners are removable, you'll likely enjoy not having restrictions on your diet during your treatment. But today, our Edmonton dentists list some other things you should know about eating and drinking with clear aligners.
Can you eat with clear aligners?
One of the most common reasons many people choose to straighten their teeth with clear aligners is that you won't need to restrict your diet.
Unlike traditional braces, aligners do not have any wires or metal brackets that food particles can get stuck between. Your custom-made clear aligners will be made precisely for your mouth's shape. Because you'll be able to remove your clear aligners, you'll be free to keep drinking and eating all the things you love.
In this post, our Edmonton dentists will 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 your aligners before having foods or beverages other than water, including sipping on sugary or dark-coloured drinks - doing this while wearing your aligners can encourage accumulation of plaque.
Eating with your clear aligners in could lead to stains, cracks or other damage to your aligners. Gum will stick to clear aligners and cause a sticky, messy situation (trust us on this one).
Hot beverages such as hot chocolate, coffee and tea can leave stains or discolouration that will be difficult to remove.
Brush your teeth before putting your clear aligners back in.
You should never place your clear aligners in your mouth after eating without first brushing your teeth, since food particles can get trapped between your teeth and your aligners and cause bacteria to grow, which will increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Just like with braces, oral hygiene is essential to ensuring 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.
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 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.
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.