Because you can remove your Invisalign trays to eat your meals, Invisalign users have more flexibility than patients with traditional metal braces do when it comes to dietary restrictions. However, it is still important to consider how the foods you eat can affect your teeth and your trays.
Make a Plan
While you can and must remove your trays to eat anything, you should be wearing your trays for at least 22 hours per day in order to ensure that your treatment plan stays on schedule. This means that you will want to plan ahead for meals and snacks in order to minimize grazing and schedule the times your trays will be removed. Because you’re going to be eating fewer snacks, it is important to eat full, balanced meals so that you aren’t hungry throughout the day and are still getting the nutrients you need.
Braces vs. Invisalign
Traditional metal braces impose a lot more food restrictions on patients because they can easily be broken and damaged by foods that are too chewy, sticky, or hard. Because you remove your Invisalign trays to eat, many patients believe that this means that they can eat whatever they want to with no orthodontics-related restrictions. This is not the case. What you eat can still affect your teeth and trays, even when they are removed.
When choosing meals, be sure to make decisions with your access to hygiene products in mind. Of course, you should always keep all of the necessary oral hygiene supplies with you at all times. However, we understand that some situations are more convenient and possible than others. For example, if you are at home with full access to your complete hygiene arsenal, including floss and a thorough toothbrush, you can be a little more lenient with your meal choices. However, if you are eating out and know that you will only be able to quickly brush your teeth in a public restroom, you’ll want to avoid foods that can get stuck between your teeth.
Foods to be Careful With
Generally speaking, you’ll want to exercise caution when eating foods that are not recommended for traditional braces wearers. This includes sticky candies, tough meats, popcorn, and other foods that are difficult to eat and can easily get stuck between your teeth. As an Invisalign user, you’ll also want to be cautious about foods with a lot of pigments, like wine, fruit juice, or tomato sauce, which can stain your Invisalign trays if you don’t clean your teeth properly after eating.
If you know that you are going to be eating at school, work, or a restaurant instead of at home, make a plan for keeping your trays safe and your teeth clean! Be sure to bring your travel case with you so that when you remove your Invisalign trays, you’ll have a safe clean place to store them during your meal. You’ll also want to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste so that you can clean your teeth after your meal and before you put your trays back in. For more tips, check out our guide to keeping your Invisalign trays clean.