Thanks to the fact that your clear aligners are removable, you aren't subjected to dietary restrictions during treatment. Our Richmond Hill orthodontists are here to discuss how you can keep your aligners and teeth clean.
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 change your diet.
Unlike metal braces, there are no wires or brackets that can trap food particles. Your custom-made clear aligners will be made precisely for your mouth’s shape. Because clear aligners can be removed, you’ll be free to keep eating and drinking all the things you love.
Here, our Richmond Hill orthodontists 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 water. To avoid staining, you need to remove your aligners before drinking any other kind of beverage. Sipping on dark 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 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 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 ensure 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 snacks.
Since you need to take your aligners out every time you eat and then brush your teeth before putting them back in, you'll find yourself reducing the amount of snacks you consume every day and you'll be more thoughtful about 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.