As you look forward to starting Invisalign, you’ll probably think a lot about what your smile will look like when your treatment is done.
It’s exciting to imagine what it will feel like to have that perfect smile finally! But don’t forget that you’ll only get that new smile after spending many months in clear teeth aligners.
So while it’s fun (and motivational) to dream about your Invisalign results, you also need to think about what to expect during your treatment journey.
Diet is a critical concern during clear aligner treatment. After all, you’ll be wearing your aligners all day long, and you need to eat every day.
So how does Invisalign affect what you eat and drink?
As you peruse one Invisalign review after another, you’ll notice that most of them briefly talk about foods you can have during Invisalign treatment.
In this post, we’re dishing out all the delicious details to prepare you for eating with Invisalign.
Let’s dig right in!
Can You Eat with Invisalign in?
We’ll begin by addressing the big question:
Can you eat with Invisalign in your mouth?
The short answer is no. We’ll go into more detail in just a moment.
When comparing braces vs Invisalign, one of the biggest differences is that you can take Invisalign out whenever you have to eat.
Braces are stuck to your teeth until an orthodontist takes them off, so they’re going to be there at all times, whether you’re eating, drinking, or sleeping. But Invisalign aligners are removable, so you can take them out for meals and snacks. Not only that, but you’re supposed to remove them when you eat.
Can You Eat with Invisalign?
Eating with aligners is not recommended for two reasons:
One of Invisalign’s best features is the fact that you can take out the aligners when you eat. This means you’re free to eat whatever you want as long as the aligners are out.
Can You Drink with Invisalign?
You can relax the no-eating-with-Invisalign rule a bit for beverages since you don’t have to chew liquids.
Although it’s generally safe to sip on a drink without having to remove your aligners, there are a few caveats:
After reading all of those limitations, you’re probably wondering:
At the very least, can I drink water with Invisalign?
Yes, you are good to drink water with Invisalign! In fact, plain water is the only drink that’s safe for Invisalign.
Invisalign Instructions: How To Eat with Invisalign
Eating with Invisalign couldn’t get any easier: simply take out your aligners and chow down!
With your aligners out, you’ll be able to chew on any foods you wish.
The most important thing to remember here is that you need to put your aligners in a safe place when you take them out for meals and snacks.
NEVER wrap your aligners in a napkin or leave them on a food tray. It’s way too easy to toss them out by accident if you do that. Instead, keep your Invisalign aligner case with you wherever you go and put them in it.
The case will keep your aligners clean, safe, and easy to locate when you’re done eating.
After the meal, you’ll just pop your Invisalign aligners right back in and go about your day.
The Invisalign Diet: What Foods Are and Are Not Allowed
Is there any food or drink prohibited during Invisalign treatment?
As long as your aligners are out of your mouth, you can eat anything you normally would. There aren’t any off-limits foods like there are for braces.
But in just a minute, we’re going to explain why you may want to make some adjustments to your diet anyway while wearing Invisalign.
Can You Drink Coffee with Invisalign?
It’s best to avoid drinking coffee while wearing Invisalign.
The same goes for drinking tea with Invisalign. Hot teas can warp your aligners, and even cold teas can cause discoloration because they often contain pigments.
Your best bet is to remove your aligners before eating anything except plain water!
Tips for Eating with Invisalign
When wearing regular braces, you have to be very careful about what you eat since you don’t want to snap any wires.
Invisalign treatment is much less fussy; all you have to do is take out your aligners every time you eat or drink something.
However, there are some other things you can do to make sure your Invisalign treatment is successful.
In case you didn’t get the memo by yet, we’ll repeat it: Invisalign and coffee do not mix.
If you have a habit of sipping on a couple of (read: four) coffees throughout the day, now may be a good time to cut back. You shouldn’t drink coffee while wearing your aligners. And you definitely shouldn’t leave your aligners out of your mouth for hours on end while you drink your coffee.
Try to limit your coffee consumption to mealtimes only. This way, you can enjoy your java fix while your aligners are already out.
Daily oral hygiene is an extremely important aspect of your Invisalign treatment. Cleaning your teeth after each meal (before putting your aligners back in) will keep your teeth healthy and prevent food residue from staining your aligners.
If your brushing or flossing routine could use some improvement, then do that now before starting treatment with clear aligners. Ask your dentist for personalized oral hygiene instructions and advice. Make it a habit to clean your teeth daily, and it will be easier to maintain that habit later while wearing Invisalign.
Wearing Invisalign is easy and convenient, for the most part.
But once in a while, you might find yourself in a situation where it could be socially off-putting to take out your orthodontic aligners in front of others. It could be tempting to act like you aren’t wearing Invisalign and eat with your aligners, anyway.
Don’t take chances. If you are planning to attend an event where you’ll be eating around others, and you don’t everyone to see you take out your Invisalign aligners, just leave them at home for that one event.
Some patients have reported that their Invisalign aligners turned funny colors after eating foods with strong colorants in them. Boxed macaroni and cheese with its bright orange-colored cheese powder, for example, or curries and other foods with the spice turmeric can also discolor your aligners if you don’t carefully clean your mouth after eating.
Whether you’re wearing the aligner trays that move your teeth or the retainers that help save your progress, you need to clean your Invisalign appliance every day.
Check with your dentist or orthodontist if you aren't sure how to clean Invisalign trays.
He or she can also show you how to clean retainers, but here are the necessary steps:
Gum chewing is a big no-no with Invisalign. It can very quickly unseat your trays and get stuck in all the little tooth-shaped grooves. You could damage your aligner trying to get all the gum off, and any left residue can attract more debris.
Just like coffee and any other food, enjoy a piece of chewing gum while your Invisalign trays are out of your mouth.
You don’t have to go on a diet with Invisalign. But you do have to maintain excellent oral hygiene while wearing clear aligner trays, so it may be best to keep your snacking to a minimum. Carefully planning your meals for each day or even on a weekly basis can help you resist the urge to snack.
Getting used to Invisalign takes a little time and may require a couple of changes in your eating habits. But once you see that new smile, you’ll definitely agree that it was all worth it!