Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 23-11-2022
Invisalign braces were developed in the 1990s to gradually correct gapped or crowded teeth, as well as mild bite problems. They are a discreet option for straightening your teeth that do not require adjustments at the dental office. In fact, most of the Invisalign process happens in the comfort of your own home.
Each aligner is shaped to your own mouth using computer-generated imagery to ensure a perfect fit. Over the course of a year (or less!), anywhere from 18 to 30 plastic orthodontic aligners will gently move your teeth into the right positions.
These clear aligners are a fantastic option for many people who want the same results as traditional braces without having to look like they’re wearing braces. There are other benefits as well, such as avoiding damage to your inner cheeks and spending multiple days sitting in a dentist’s chair. Being removable and simple to clean, you can easily maintain oral hygiene and keep your mouth healthy.
With Invisalign, you’re less likely to develop the staining or decay that can happen with traditional braces. That being said, there are steps you should take to further reduce this risk during your Invisalign journey. Certain foods and beverages have the potential to negatively impact your teeth and your aligner, and are thus best avoided.
Hard foods such as candies, popcorn kernels, and even ice cubes all have the potential to damage your Invisalign. Because of the possibility of bones, you should also be extra careful while eating meat! Biting down on any unyielding food can actually damage your aligner, and leave you needing to purchase a new one.
While a small crack may not seem like a big deal, it changes how much pressure the Invisalign is able to apply. This makes the aligner far less effective and it won’t be able to straighten your teeth. You do not want to break your aligners, so it’s a good idea to avoid the really crunchy treats until after the process is complete.
Chewing gum, as well as taffies, are best left alone while you’re on your Invisalign journey. Sticky bits of gum can get lodged in between your teeth—and this is very problematic for your aligners. Any residue left in between or on your teeth changes the very layout of your mouth and can cause the Invisalign to no longer fit. Invisalign is created to fit your own teeth perfectly, so even something as small as leftover gum can negatively impact that ideal fit.
Stringy foods can affect the fit of your Invisalign in the same way as chewing gum or taffy. If you do choose to eat something stringy (such as certain types of meat), make sure that you floss thoroughly afterwards. It’s easy for these types of food to get stuck in between your teeth.
Hot Foods and Drinks
Invisalign aligners are made out of plastic, and heat is the enemy of plastic. Whenever you expose your aligners to heat, you run the risk of warping the plastic and ruining your Invisalign. As we said earlier, the fit of your Invisalign is precisely shaped for the size and shape of your teeth. Any distortions caused by exposure to heat will wreck the fit and you will need to replace them.
During your Invisalign treatment, you should avoid alcohol unless you can commit to rigorous teeth brushing and flossing. Alcohol can increase your plaque levels because of the trace sugars left behind between your teeth and your Invisalign.
Coffee, Tea, and Wine
It’s no secret that certain types of beverages can stain your teeth, but did you know that they can also stain your aligners? Coffee, wine, and black tea are the main culprits behind tooth and aligner discolouration. Both red and white wine can leave stains—not just red!
Tobacco and Cannabis
It’s not just coffee and wine that can discolour your teeth and aligners, so can smoking! Smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, vaping, and cannabis smoking all have the power to stain your teeth and your aligner.
Caring for Your Invisalign
Just like braces, Invisalign is a big investment for most people. Poorly maintained aligners are less effective and may fail to straighten your teeth altogether, so it’s crucial to look after them. It will take between 18 and 30 customised aligners to coax your teeth into the perfect positions, and you don’t want to break or stain a single one. You want the process to go as smoothly (and quickly) as possible so you can smile with confidence!
Your Invisalign journey can take anywhere from under a year to 18 months, which may seem like a long time to avoid certain food and beverages. However, the long-term benefits of having a successful treatment far outweigh the immediate sacrifices. All of your favourite treats and drinks will be there for you when the process is complete.
By avoiding or reducing your intake of hard foods, chewing gum, and stringy foods, you are setting yourself up for success. Instead of drinking coffee, tea, or alcohol, choose pure water. A year from now, it will all be worth it!
When you invest in custom-made aligners designed just for you, you can gently correct your smile largely from the comfort of your own home. Choose Invisalign braces in Milton, Ontario to begin perfecting your smile today. Dr. Julie Boudreault will assess your teeth and help you get started on having the smile you’ve always dreamed of.