Eating with Clear Aligners: The Complete Guide

Since you can remove your clear aligners, your treatment won't have any dietary restrictions. Here, our Nanaimo dentists share some key details you should know about eating and drinking during clear aligners treatment.

Eating With Clear Aligners

One of the key benefits of having your orthodontic condition treated 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 Nanaimo dentists share some tips for eating with clear aligners.

Take your clear aligners out to eat or drink anything that isn't water.

You should only drink cold water while wearing your clear aligners. Remove them before consuming foods or beverages other than water, as sipping on dark or sugary drinks while wearing your aligners can result in plaque buildup.

Eating with your clear aligners on could lead to stains, cracks, or other damage to your aligners. In addition to this, gum will certainly stick to your aligners and cause a mess.

Hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, and coffee can leave stains or discolouration that will be difficult to remove.

You need to brush your teeth before putting your aligners back on.

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.

As with braces, oral hygiene is key to ensuring you get the best possible results. 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.

While 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.

Limit snacking.

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 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.

We suggest removing your aligners and putting them back on 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.

Contact our Nanaimo dentists today to schedule an appointment and find out if clear aligners are right for you.

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