Many patients that choose clear aligners for their orthodontic treatment enjoy not having dietary restrictions. However, our dentists in Edmonton are sharing a few things you should know about eating and drinking with clear aligners.
Can I 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 for food particles to get stuck in between. And your custom-made clear aligners will be made precisely for the shape of your mouth. Because clear aligners can be removed, you’ll be free to keep eating and drinking all the things you love.
Here, our Edmonton dentists share some tips for eating with clear aligners.
Remove your clear aligners to eat or drink anything but water.
We suggest only drinking cold water while wearing your clear aligners and removing them before consuming foods or beverages that arent water. Sipping on dark or sugary drinks while wearing your aligners can result in plaque building up.
Eating with your clear aligners can cause stains, cracks, or other damage to your aligners. We also want to warn you not to chew gum with your aligners because it will definitely stick to aligners and cause a mess (trust us on this one).
Hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, and coffee can stain or discolour your aligners which 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 before brushing your teeth after eating because food particles can get stuck between your teeth and aligners causing bacteria to grow, which will increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Just like with braces, oral hygiene is an important part of helping you achieve the smile you want. If you can't brush your teeth properly after eating or drinking, your best bet is to rinse your mouth and aligners with water before putting them back in.
Plan your mealtimes.
Though you don’t need to restrict the foods you eat, you should plan your meal times carefully.
In order to hit the required 20 to 22 hours per day clear aligners wear time, 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 the aligners in your mouth as much as possible. While you can remove the aligners to brush, floss, drink and eat, try not to overdo the time they are out of your mouth, and make sure you are wearing them for at least 20 hours a day.
Snack less often.
Because you have to remove your clear aligners every time you eat and brush your teeth, you’ll probably find yourself cutting back on snacking and being more thoughtful about what you eat as well as when you eat.
On the plus side, you might see your health improve along with your teeth becoming straighter.
We suggest putting in and removing your clear aligners in private.
Especially at the start of your treatment, you might want to use a restroom when removing and placing your clear aligners in your mouth. Because 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 might not want to try in public.