You can enjoy the foods you love during orthodontic treatment with clear aligners because they are removable. Here, our dentists in Parksville discuss several things you should be aware of when eating and drinking with clear aligners.
Can you eat with clear aligners?
One of the things our patients like best about straightening their teeth with clear aligners is that they don't have to restrict their diets.
There are no metal brackets or wires for food particles to get caught in. And your clear aligners will be custom-made to specifically fit the shape of your mouth. Because you can take out your clear aligners, you should be free to continue eating and drinking all of your favourites.
Here, our Parksville dentists share some tips and advice for eating with clear aligners.
Remove your clear aligners when eating or drinking anything but water.
You should only drink cold water when wearing your clear aligners. Remove them before consuming foods or beverages that are not water, as guzzling dark or sugary drinks with your aligners on could cause plaque build-up.
Eating while wearing your clear aligners could lead to stains, cracks, or other damage to your aligners. Gum will definitely stick to the 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 the aligners back in your mouth.
You should never place your clear aligners in your mouth after eating without brushing your teeth first because 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.
Oral hygiene is essential when aiming for 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.
Plan your mealtimes ahead.
Though you don’t need to restrict the 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 every day.
To get the best possible results, you should keep them in your mouth as often 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.
Because you have to remove your clear aligners when you eat and brush your teeth, you might 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 might 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.