Clear aligners are possibly one of the best things to happen to orthodontic medicine in years! Clear aligners work by gradually moving your teeth into a desired new position.
You will be given a new set of different aligners to be changed every fortnight or so depending on your treatment; each aligner being slightly different to guide the movement of the teeth.
You can get the smile you’ve always wanted without any major lifestyle strains, menu changes, or discomfort but the question still stands, ‘can you eat with clear aligners?’.
You will still be able to enjoy your favourite breakfast, lunches and dinner, however you will need to remove your clear aligners before doing so. As we recommend wearing your aligners for 22+ hours a day, it is crucial to plan your snacks around this time to ensure you are getting the best results possible from the treatment!
Can you eat with clear aligners?
Can you eat with clear aligners? The simple answer… yes! But also no. One of the biggest perks of choosing clear aligners over traditional orthodontic treatment (e.g., braces) is there are no restrictions on the food you can eat! However, you cannot eat with your aligners in place (you can drink water!).
Unlike braces, your clear aligners are removeable which leaves no room for the embarrassing moment of having food stuck in your metal brackets at the end of the day. Now, we know it can be tempting and easy to grab a snack on the go in the morning or can be easy to forget you have your aligners in but eating with your aligners on can cause severe drawbacks to your process.
The other plus side of choosing clear aligners is how discrete they are when worn so ensuring you abide by the rules of not eating or drinking anything besides water you should have a seamless journey. So, what foods can I eat? What could go wrong if I eat with aligners? Here we discuss foods you can and can’t eat with clear aligners, what happens if you do eat with clear aligners and what you’re journey might be like.
What can you eat with clear aligners?
The two most common questions we get from our clients are ‘can you eat with clear aligners?’ and ‘what can you eat with clear aligners?’ usually with the fear that they will need to change their entire diet! Luckily, anyone undergoing clear aligner treatment does not have to change their diet but there are certain foods and tips and tricks that we can share to make your journey with aligners as enjoyable as possible. As a rule of thumb, we suggest trying the following:
Foods such as cheese and yogurts contain a high level of calcium and protein which are vital for supporting dental health. They also raise the pH level in your mouth which decreases your chance of developing a cavity or bacterial build up.
You know what they say, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ in this case, its true! Apples are full of water and fibre. When you eat an apple, your body produces a higher level of saliva which helps to wash away any unwanted food in your mouth while keeping it clean and hydrated.
Most leafy greens, especially those with a darker complexion (such as spinach, lettuce and kale) are packed with nutrients, minerals and vitamins that your body needs to keep your teeth healthy. We know that greens are not always everybody’s favourite, so we suggest hiding it in a smoothie.
How can you eat with clear aligners?
Now that we have discovered the answer to ‘can you eat with clear aligners’, you’re free to eat whatever you want so long as you take them out to do so. To help adjust to your treatment, we have some tips for eating and drinking with clear aligners.
Rinsing your Aligners
After your meal, you should always rinse and clean your aligners before putting them back in your mouth.
Brush and Floss
Keeping your teeth clean and aftercare is just as important when it comes to eating with aligners. You should always brush and floss your teeth after every meal (we suggest always carrying a little toothbrush in your bag with you). If you are unable to brush your teeth after a meal, wash your trays with water or chew some gum before putting your aligners back in.
Keep your aligners safe in an aligner case!
When removing your clear aligners to eat or drink, always put them back in their case. Never on a table or random napkin – this will save them from getting lost or worse, ending up in the rubbish!
What happens if I eat with my aligners in?
Being practically invisible and with the ability to eat whatever you want are major pros to having clear aligners, however ensuring that you are only eating and drinking when your trays are out is crucial.
Consuming beverages such as dark coffee, tea, soft drink, or wine without first removing your trays can cause the clear nature of the aligners to become discoloured and noticeable to the eye. Tip! We know scheduling your meals and drink times does not always go to plan but, we advise thoroughly planning out your day so you can enjoy your food as well as maximising the number of hours of wear.
Biting down on hard foods or drinking beverages of hot temperature may cause your aligners to bend and warp out of shape. With the intention of velar aligners being to have a perfect and tight fit for the teeth to move and mould, this can cause a serious halt to your journey. Tip! Always take your aligners off before consuming anything apart from water. Also, when cleaning your aligners make sure to only use cool or slightly warm water.
Drinking with clear aligners
What about drinking with clear aligners? Can I drink alcohol with clear aligners? Food and drink go hand in hand when dealing with clear aligners so the answer to ‘drinking with clear aligners?’ remains the same, yes but with your trays out. It is extremely important to take your trays out when you are drinking anything apart from cold water. In the case where you do not remove your aligners, you may see discolouration or distortion in shape. This can result in a faint yellow or cloudy appearance of your aligners from drinking or eating anything other than water or can have detrimental effect on the function of the aligners from the heat of the food or drink. It is crucial that you follow the advice provided by a professional when using your clear aligners so they can work to the best of their ability and at the most efficient rate.
Can you drink coffee with aligners?
While you can drink water with your aligners in, drinking coffee with your clear aligners in is a hard no. Not only will the coffee cause discolouration and staining to your aligners, but the hot temperature will cause the tray to warp and change shape. Just like any orthodontic treatment, clear aligners cost quite a bit of money to replace. Therefore, it is advised that you do no consume coffee with your aligners in. Along with being consistent, you must also be organised and plan your day accordingly. Coffee is not something you can drink in 0.5 seconds (especially if you ask for it extra hot) therefore keep in mind the time that your aligners will be out of your mouth for and try keeping it to a minimum where possible.
Can you drink hot drinks with retainers?
No. Drinking hot beverages with your retainers in is the same as your aligners where it can result in several issues, the trays can melt and shift shape, become discoloured and stained, and the hot temperature can leave them prone to breakage. The effectiveness of retainers relies on a solid and personalized fit to each tooth, so ensuring your retainer remains intact is important. As you do not have to wear your retainers all day, it is easier to consume hot beverages throughout the day. Try drinking that cup of tea or eating the hot soup before you put your retainer in at night-time, this will ensure everything stays put and is working to its full potential. Again, simply take your retainer out and you can enjoy that coffee you have been longing for all morning!
Can you drink juice with retainers and aligners?
Can you drink juice with aligners? Yes, but you will need to take your aligners out before consumption. (Helpful tip: wash your mouth out with water before putting your aligners back in)
Along with the discolouration of the actual aligner or retainer, the physical health of your teeth is also affected by the consumption of juice. By drinking juice with either tray on, you are essentially trapping the sugar inside your aligner, exposing your teeth to the sugar for longer. Your teeth have a biofilm made up of bacteria and saliva, sugar will feed these bacteria and have the possibility to multiply and create cavities in your teeth. It is also harder to keep your teeth clean when they are crooked, this can then be worsened if you consume sugary drinks such as soft drink or juice on top of this.
Life with clear aligners
So, to conclude, no change of diet is needed with clear aligners but to avoid discolouration and distortion, always take them out before consuming any food or beverages (especially hot ones).
Life with clear aligners is made even easier with EZ SMILE and we have made sure to think of everything! EZ SMILE is a 100% Australian owned teeth-straightening company that specialises in ‘at home’ teeth straightening treatments for those aged 16+.
EZ SMILE provides each customer with an aligner case to keep all their clear aligners protected and hygienic. This ensures that your aligner does not get misplaced or broken and improves the overall cleanliness of the aligner. This case is a perfect tool to pop in your bag daily so you can rely on it when eating and drinking.
EZ SMILE’s dedicated Australian customer service team is always available to answer any questions or concerns you have before or during your treatment. The process is simple:
Step One: We will assess your smile.
Step Two: Straighten your teeth with clear aligners.
Step Three: Maintain your new smile!
Take our FREE 30 second assessment today to find out if EZ SMILE is right for you.