Can You Eat with Clear Aligners?

Can You Eat With Clear Aligners
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When you first get your clear aligners, the last thing on your mind is probably eating. After all, you’re probably wondering how you are going to eat when wearing them. 

This article will provide you with all the information you need to maintain the condition of your aligners and ensure your teeth straightening treatment is as efficient as possible.

What Happens if You Eat While Wearing Your Aligners?

Eating while wearing your aligners is never a good idea as it can damage them and, in some cases, cause misalignment of your teeth. This makes the entire treatment plan less effective since the misalignment means less time spent with the aligners due to repairs or replacements.

In addition to this food particles easily get stuck between aligners and teeth which can leave bacteria behind and cause further damage if not addressed immediately.

It is strongly recommended that you take out your aligners before having a meal and clean your teeth afterwards. Doing so will help keep your aligners in good condition for as long as possible, helping you get to the result faster.

Rules about Eating

Always Remove Your Aligners Before Eating

It is important to remember to remove your aligner before eating and drinking anything other than water.  This practice helps prevent staining, discoloration, teeth grinding, and buildup of plaque caused by the sugary residue depositing on the surface of the aligner.

If left in while eating, chewing typically forces small pieces of food into spots where they are difficult to clean thoroughly; thus leading to poor oral hygiene.

Removing your aligners before mealtime allows you to enjoy food without worrying about damaging them or worrying about tooth decay caused by leftovers stuck in hard-to-reach places between brackets.

You should not remove your aligner for too long.  An article in The Healthy Journal states that aligners are intended to be worn for 22-23 hours in a day any less and you are potentially affecting the process that it is intended for.

If you have Aligners on, Don’t Drink Anything Except Water

If you are wearing aligners, several drinks should be avoided to prevent staining and damage to the device.

Coffee is one such beverage as it can tint the aligners and also has a tendency to stick around in the small grooves on the device and it will also stain the aligner.

Additionally, sodas, sparkling water, and sports drinks should be skipped due to their sugary and acidic content that could stick around in your aligners for a long time.

For these reasons it is best to only drink water when wearing aligners and make sure that it is at normal temperature.  Adhering to this rule will mean that the aligner will continue to look good and maintain your confidence when wearing it.

Do Not Eat Snacks in your Aligners

A mistake some people make is eating snacks when wearing aligners.  This is not recommended because not only does food get stuck under and around the aligner, which can be difficult to clean off and cause bacteria growth, but also because the repeated movement of the aligner when eating can cause damage to the teeth.

Brush your Teeth after Every Meal

Proper oral hygiene should always be a priority, especially if you are wearing an aligner.

Brushing your teeth after eating is necessary because it dislodges bits of food that can get stuck to your aligner while putting it back in.

Without proper cleaning and removal of food particles, these particles can spread bacteria which can lead to gum disease, dental decay, and bad breath.

Additionally, brushing your teeth regularly keeps your mouth moist which prevents irritation and discomfort from the aligner.

Do Not Chew Gum

It is important to avoid chewing gum while wearing an aligner because the sticky consistency binds itself to the plastic of the aligner, making it difficult to remove.  This can cause damage to occur in the form of cracking or splitting, which can delay treatment and disrupt your desired treatment timeline.

Furthermore, if part of the gum or particles get caught in the aligner or between teeth, it can increase your chances of developing cavities and tooth decay which will require additional dental treatments.

What Can You Eat with Clear Aligners?

You should remove your aligners before eating anything.  The design and material of aligners are not made to deal with the pressure and movements of chewing.

It is also advised that when you are on a teeth straightening program that involves wearing an aligner you should stick to eating soft fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, and similar options.  Additionally, you can consume soft cheeses and proteins such as hummus, fish, ground beef, and turkey.

These food types are easier to remove from your teeth by cleaning before putting your aligner back in place, which means there is less chance for any residue to be present that affects the performance of the aligner.

Eating a balanced diet is recommended in general but even more so when undergoing treatment by wearing aligners.

Related post: Drinking with Aligners.

What to Eat at the Beginning and What to Avoid?

Do not eat when wearing your aligners, remove them even when eating soft food types.

When you are on a dental program that involves wearing an aligner you should modify your diet so you avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods like popcorn or chewy candy that could potentially 

get stuck in teeth and be hard to remove when you put your aligner back in.  Foods such as mashed potato or yogurt are a much better option and easier to clean away.

Eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and complex carbohydrates helps maintain a balanced diet for temporary orthodontic treatment duration.

People normally prefer to wear invisible aligners as they are more discreet and allow people to enjoy normal activities without feeling self-conscious about wearing them.  Invisible aligners are also affordable, effective, and efficient in dealing with teeth alignment issues.

Check out our reviews of the best aligners

Here are some of the best invisible aligners that you can choose from with reviews:

NewSmile Review – This is a low-cost option but it comes with premium aesthetics ensuring long-lasting comfort and usability. It also comes with a free retainer and teeth whitening kit.

SmileDirectClub Review – The most popular clear aligner product comes with a lifetime guarantee and a free one-time replacement policy.  This option is also the best for 3D scanning that is offered to ensure a perfect fit.

Byte Review – This is the best pick and the most affordable.  With a lifetime guarantee included this clear aligner comes with a free teeth whitening kit and HyperBite too.

Candid Review – Similar to Invisalign aligners this product has very positive reviews and offers hybrid in-office care too.

ALIGNERCO – The lowest in price with a zero deposit on monthly payment plans. A seasonal discount for aligner packages at $945 makes it a great choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Eat and Drink with Clear Aligners?

You should only drink cold water when wearing your aligners.  Aligners are designed to be easily removable and stored whilst eating and drinking so there is no reason to have to eat with them in place.

Do I have to Brush my Teeth After Every Meal?

You should always clean your teeth thoroughly after consuming food and drink to ensure you have removed all substances and particles before replacing the retainer.  Cleaning will ensure that your retainer remains free of any particles that could damage it.

What Food to Avoid While Wearing Aligners?

It is not advised to eat anything when wearing aligners.  If this cannot be avoided you should avoid sticky foods or those that require crunching or excessive chewing.


Dental Health Society

National Library of Medicine




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