Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners made of thermoplastic material to straighten your teeth gradually. But did you know that what you eat can have a significant impact on how successful your Invisalign treatment is? While you need to remove your invisible aligners for eating, consuming certain types of food can cause staining, plaque buildup, and other issues on your natural teeth. This can then slow down or even disrupt the progress of your Invisalign aligners.
Read on to learn more about the Invisalign treatment, including the recommended food choices you should eat and avoid.
Summary of the Article
When wearing Invisalign trays, removing them before eating, drinking, brushing, flossing, and cleaning is important to prevent plaque buildup, staining, warping, and breakage. Soft foods are recommended during the initial days of using new aligners to ease sore teeth. A list of soft foods that are safe to eat during Invisalign treatment includes ripe fruits, yogurt, cooked vegetables, fish or chicken, eggs, pancakes, cottage cheese, tofu, quinoa, soft-cooked rice, smoothies, hummus, protein drinks or shakes, milkshakes, pudding and custard, cooked beans, chicken and tuna salad, and soup with vegetables.
Hard or sticky foods such as hard candies, gum, nuts, seeds, popcorn, chewy foods, and sticky sweets should be avoided as they can cause unnecessary strain on the teeth. Sugary and acidic food and drinks should also be avoided to prevent tooth decay and prolonged duration of Invisalign treatment. The dentists at The Smile Space can provide additional advice and a custom treatment plan for optimal oral health during Invisalign treatment.
Can I Eat While Wearing Invisalign?
Invisalign trays must be removed for eating, drinking, brushing, flossing, and cleaning. This includes when snacking any time during the day. This way, you can eat whatever you want and still make progress with your treatment.
Here are some reasons why invisible aligners should be taken out during meals:
- Leftover food particles can be stuck between the teeth and aligners, causing increased plaque buildup. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, delaying your treatment.
- Highly-pigmented or dark-coloured food and drinks can stain the aligner, making them more visible than intended.
- Hot drinks and food can warp the plastic aligners, making them lose shape and rendering them non-functional.
- Although Invisalign trays are made of durable and flexible plastic, they can break if constantly used for chewing on food, especially tough food.
Because of the reasons mentioned above, it is generally recommended that Invisalign trays be removed before eating or drinking anything other than plain water. However, keep in mind that aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours per day, so don’t keep them out for too long.
What Are Some Examples of Soft Foods That Are Safe to Eat During Invisalign Treatment?
One of the biggest perks of Invisalign over traditional braces is that there are generally no strict food restrictions during treatment. However, due to the pressure exerted by Invisalign on their teeth, patients commonly experience sore teeth, particularly within the first few days of using new aligners. For this reason, consuming softer foods during this time is recommended. Soft foods do not require much chewing and are easy on your teeth.
The following is a list of foods that can be safely consumed during Invisalign treatment.
- Soft and ripe fruits cut into bite-sized pieces, like bananas, avocados, and peaches
- Yogurt or oatmeal
- Cooked vegetables such as squash and carrots
- Mashed potatoes
- Soft-cooked fish or chicken (like chicken salad)
- Cottage cheese
- Soft-cooked rice
- Protein drinks or shakes
- Pudding and custard
- Cooked beans
- Chicken and tuna salad
- Soup with vegetables
- Peanut butter
What Are Some Examples of Hard or Sticky Foods That Should Be Avoided During Invisalign Treatment?
When undergoing Invisalign treatment, it is important to be mindful of food choices. Foods that are particularly hard or sticky should be avoided as they can cause unnecessary strain on the shifted teeth and result in sore teeth.
To ensure a comfortable treatment, limiting the intake of hard, sticky, and crunchy foods mentioned below is advised.
- Hard candies
- Hard bread
- Nuts and seeds
- Corn and potato chips
- Chewy foods like granola bars
- Fruit leathers
- Taffy and other chewy sweets
- Gummy candies
- Sticky buns and sticky pastries
- Ice cubes
Get Outstanding Dental Care with Us Today
At The Smile Space, we believe that comprehensive dental care should be accessible to everyone. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care, using the latest technology and techniques. If you're looking for a dentist in Sutherland, book an appointment at The Smile Space today!
Is It Safe to Eat Sugary Foods or Drinks During Invisalign Treatment?
Like hard foods, sugary drinks and food should also be avoided during Invisalign treatment. Sugar encourages plaque formation on your teeth, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay, especially if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene. This, then, delays your treatment.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, choose healthier options like fresh fruit. But always remember to brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating them. You can also rinse your mouth with water or a sugar-free mouthwash for extra protection.
Note that you must also avoid acidic drinks and food because they can wear away the tooth enamel that helps protect your teeth from cavities and other dental problems. These include carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and juices.
Invisalign is an effective method for aligning teeth. However, removing the aligners before consuming any food is crucial to preserve their form and function and ensure optimal oral health. While it is necessary to remove the trays before eating, it is equally important to exercise caution with the food selection to prevent discomfort and pain during the treatment. During the initial days of wearing the aligners, it is recommended to abstain from consuming hard and sticky food items and opt for softer alternatives to prevent straining the teeth. It is imperative to avoid sugary and acidic food items to guard against tooth decay, which may prolong the duration of your Invisalign treatment.
If you want more information about taking care of your Invisalign aligners or additional advice on what foods to avoid when wearing them, set a dental appointment at The Smile Space. The dentists at The Smile Space have years of experience performing Invisalign treatment. We can provide you with a custom treatment plan that will cater to your unique situation and needs, and we also recommend ways to keep your teeth healthy and help you get the most out of your dental treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
The length of treatment depends from patient to patient. Some may need to wear their aligners longer than others because they have more severe orthodontic issues. Usually, the entire Invisalign treatment takes 6 to 18 months to complete.