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Can You Eat with Invisalign On?

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Everyone wants a confident smile they love to see in the mirror. Only some people need full braces to achieve it. Invisalign offers a nearly invisible solution to straighten misaligned teeth. 

Wearing your Invisalign for the prescribed amount of time, 20 to 22 hours per day, is critical for the best outcomes. Removing your Invisalign when you’re eating is essential to keeping your aligners in good shape.

Your dentist can help determine if your smile is a good candidate for Invisalign and start you on the path to straighter teeth.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of thin, clear aligners made of a thermoplastic material called SmartTrack. They’re removable, flexible, and gradually straighten teeth without brackets and wires like braces.

Your dentist can create a custom treatment plan that will digitally outline the step-by-step transformation of your teeth. Once your series of unique aligners are made, you’ll ideally wear them for 20 to 22 hours per day, moving to a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks.

The aligners work by gently applying pressure to your teeth to shift them into the desired position. Your dentist may also introduce SmartForce attachments to give your aligners extra leverage for more complex tooth adjustments.

What Can Invisalign Correct? 

Invisalign technology can treat some of the same issues as braces, including:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Gap teeth

If you’ve had other cosmetic dental work, such as veneers or crowns, your dentist will evaluate your teeth to determine whether Invisalign fits you. Regular checkups will help your dentist monitor your treatment progress to make adjustments if needed.

A pair of Invisalign aligners sitting in a special carry case, sitting against a blue background

Can You Eat with Invisalign On? 

The only time you should be removing your Invisalign is when you’re:

  • Brushing or flossing your teeth
  • Cleaning your aligners
  • Eating or drinking

If you eat or drink without removing your Invisalign, they could become cracked or stained. It may also cause food particles and bacteria to become trapped, causing plaque buildup, gum irritation, and cavities.

You should remove your aligners every time you eat and put them in their protective case. Having more than one case can help keep your aligners safe and clean wherever you go. Avoid putting them somewhere they don’t belong, or they risk getting lost or damaged.

How to Care for Your Invisalign

Properly caring for your Invisalign can help keep your mouth healthy and your treatment on schedule.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits

After eating, brush and floss before putting your Invisalign back on because you can accidentally trap food particles and bacteria in your teeth. If you don’t have access to a toothbrush or floss, at the very least, rinse out your mouth with mouthwash or water until you can brush next.

Clean Your Invisalign

Cleaning your Invisalign helps keep your mouth healthy and limits the potential for cavities. When you remove your Invisalign, rinse them with water before putting them back on your teeth. Your aligners can also be disinfected with a cleaning system soak to remove plaque and bacteria. 

Be sure to avoid cleaning your aligners in hot water. The material can become warped and damaged, affecting your treatment.

Keep Track of Time 

Wearing your Invisalign for 20 to 22 hours leaves little time for eating, snacking, and getting a caffeine fix. If you factor in the time it takes to disinfect, the 2 to 4 hours break can disappear. Monitor your time to ensure you’re wearing your aligners as directed. Not wearing them for the proper amount of time can delay the treatment process.

Start the Journey to a Straighter Smile 

Invisalign can help you achieve a perfect smile without anyone noticing. Book an appointment with Upper Gage Dental Centre in Hamilton to assess your teeth and discuss whether Invisalign is the proper treatment for you.

Written by Dr. Matthew Rydant

Dr. Matthew Rydant graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2006. That same year, he entered into private practice at Upper Gage Dental Centre.

Dr. Rydant is a general dentist who enjoys all aspects of dentistry, particularly cosmetic, family, and pediatric dentistry. If he had to choose a favourite treatment, he’d pick endodontics, more commonly known as root canals. He thrives on providing quality care in a trusting environment.

Dr. Rydant and Dr. Judith Kivinen are married with 3 children: Hazel, Noam, and Jemma. When he’s not working, you may find him on the local golf course or indulging in some delectable food.

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