Post Date:
January 25, 2021
Brushee Tips, Halitosis
oral health, halitosis, floss, toothbrush, toothpaste
How To Choose Between the Right and Wrong Foods for Your Invisalign

When it comes to methods for straightening your teeth, nothing beats the convenience and appearance of Invisalign. Invisalign is one of the most modern types of dental aligners that are clear and virtually unnoticeable when compared to traditional metal braces. They're also unique in that they can be removed and that's one of the top reasons they're so popular. Your Invisalign needs to be worn up to 22 hours per day, so while you're able to remove it, you'll be spending most of your time with it in place. Taking care of Invisalign requires discipline and in order for it to be successful, you'll need to understand the following:

  • What beverages are suitable.
  • Which foods won't damage Invisalign.
  • How to keep your tray clean after eating.
  • Damaging foods you should avoid.

For best results with Invisalign, it's important to know ahead of time what foods and drinks are the right ones to have on hand. In this article, you'll learn which of these foods are the healthiest ones and why. You'll also find out which ones protect your teeth aligners from sustaining damage and which to stay away from at all costs. You'll get information on choosing toothpaste and how to clean your Invisalign. These tips will help you to make the most of your treatment and get you the desired results without delay.

Drink a Variety of Healthy Beverages

Today, more than any other time, adults that missed out on getting braces as a teen are deciding to straighten their teeth with the convenience of Invisalign. Since Invisalign is transparent, they're a great choice for anyone that's in the spotlight or self-conscious about their smile. To show your teeth in their best light, it's important to limit the consumption of coffee, tea, and red wine since they can stain the aligners and also your teeth. Milk, or a nutritious meal replacement shake, are both excellent choices while using Invisalign.

Opt for clear beverages whenever you can, especially water. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for yourself at any time, including while using Invisalign. When your water is fluoridated, the benefits for your teeth increase. Drinking enough water every day will keep your teeth and straightener clean, as well as improve your overall health. 

Buy Plenty of Fruit

Since Invisalign doesn't feature wires or brackets, you'll need less visits to the dentist for adjustments. You'll likely only need to see your dentist every 6-8 weeks. This means you'll need to trust yourself to choose the right foods and fruit is a great place to start. Soft fruits are always a safe bet and bananas, grapes and strawberries won't harm your teeth or your aligner. This doesn't mean that other fruits aren't allowed. You can certainly enjoy an apple or pear, either by cutting it into small pieces or eating it when you take your Invisalign out. The occasional crunchy apple helps clean plaque from teeth and keep breath fresh.

Reach for Dairy Foods

Cool, creamy yogurt is cold and delicious. It's also Invisalign-friendly along with a long list of dairy foods. Dairy products, especially the low-sugar varieties, contain calcium for healthy teeth and strong dental enamel. They also raise the pH level in your mouth and that inhibits the growth of bacteria. Luckily, these milk-based foods are also gentle on teeth aligners. Be sure to stock up on plenty of healthy Greek yogurt and calcium-rich cheeses like parmesan, cheddar, and gruyere.

Start the Day With the Right Breakfast

A good breakfast is the foundation of your entire day and fortunately, most breakfast foods are Invisalign-friendly. If you're an egg-lover, spoil yourself with cheese omelets, scrambled and poached eggs, and yummy vegetable frittata. Additional breakfast foods that are easy to eat with Invisalign are pancakes, French toast, and soft muffins.

Adding a healthy bowl of oatmeal to your diet is another fantastic way to start the day and it's gentle on a sensitive mouth. Oatmeal is one of those rare foods that has outstanding benefits and no negative qualities. It helps lower your cholesterol, improves blood sugar levels, encourages weight loss, and is rich in antioxidants. It's also soft and soothing and can be eaten every day with any kind of braces.

Get Cozy With Steamy Soups

Soups are a great food to rely on while you're undergoing Invisalign treatment. Since there are so many different kinds of soup, the variety is endless. Whether you prefer cream soups, vegetable varieties, chowder, or clear broth, any kind can be eaten with your aligners in place. Low-sodium soups are good for you and they're also very inexpensive. Soup is also convenient and can be taken to work in a thermos or a microwavable container. If you love warming up with soup, you'll be able to easily plan a lot of lunches and dinners.

Stock-Up on Vegetables

Veggie enthusiasts will rejoice while undergoing Invisalign treatment as so many vegetables are encouraged during its use. Not only are vegetables soft, greens in particular are rich in bone-building calcium. When eaten raw in a salad, greens are helpful in cleaning teeth with their fibrous texture.

With the exception of perhaps hard raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, no vegetable is off-limits while using Invisalign. However, if you've just started using an aligner, you might want to stick with soft vegetables such as mashed potatoes, zucchini, and peas.

Have Fun With Desserts

While you're taking such good care of your health and your Invisalign, don't forget to have some fun. Desserts are meant to be savored and there's plenty of different kinds you can eat with your Invisalign in place. Ice cream and gelatin are cool, delicious summertime treats. You can also satisfy that sweet tooth with goodies like cheesecake, pudding, and birthday cake with frosting. Always rinse your aligner after indulging in your favorite dessert and remember to eat them in moderation.

Choose the Right Toothpaste

While it's not a food, choosing the right toothpaste is important while using Invisalign since it's in contact with your teeth for up to 22 hours per day. Be sure to always use a fluoride toothpaste that's a tartar control variety. You can also use a whitening toothpaste which is a huge advantage over traditional metal braces that don't allow for whiteners because of the brackets. Be sure to select a soft-bristled brush, or use a pre-pasted Brushee and pick that's great for quick cleaning and flossing when you dine out.

Setting up a cleaning routine for your Invisalign aligner is a must. Use your soft brush to gently clean the tray every morning and evening. Use a clear, antibacterial soap such as hand soap or even dish soap and flush thoroughly with water. Also, remember to rinse your straightener each time you remove it for any reason.

Caring for your Invisalign also means sacrificing certain foods that can do damage to your aligner, and hamper its progress. Remember that this is only temporary and you'll be able to allow these foods back into your diet when treatment is over. For now, it's best to avoid the following foods that could damage your teeth.

Avoid Candy and Gum

Everyone knows that candy is bad for your teeth but it's especially harmful when you're using Invisalign. Candy and most gums are filled with cavity-causing sugar. Many natural foods also contain sugar, but the foods with the refined variety are easier to identify and avoid. The reason sugar is so dangerous to teeth is that it breaks down into an acid that easily dissolves dental enamel. Honey and maple sugar, although natural, should also be eaten in moderation.

Watch Out for Popcorn, Seeds, and Pits

Who doesn't love plunking themselves down in front of a good movie with a bucket of popcorn? The beauty of Invisalign is that you can eat almost anything you want when you remove your dental tray. However, this is a very short period of time and although unbuttered popcorn is considered healthy, it's the unpopped kernels and hulls that you need to watch out for. These kernels can crack a tooth or the Invisalign. Likewise, hulls frequently get stuck between teeth and cause swelling and pain.

Like popcorn kernels, you'll want to avoid eating certain nuts and seeds while using an aligner. Some of the worst culprits include almonds, sunflower seeds, and pistachios. Seeds can be especially damaging if you like splitting the shell in your mouth as many people do.

Other foods to be wary of would be anything that contains a small pit. This could mean passing on cherries and olives until your treatment is finished.

Stay Away From Soda

Soda pop has absolutely no redeeming qualities and is horrible for your teeth and overall health. The sugar in cola interacts with bacteria that's present in your mouth and turns it acidic, resulting in the dissolving of precious tooth enamel. Once acid breaks through enamel, decay and pain will soon follow. Diet sodas are no better: they're still high in phosphoric and citric acid. This acid is strong enough to damage even fillings and crowns, so imagine how harmful it would be inside an Invisalign aligner pressed against your teeth.

Avoiding soda will protect your teeth and will help you avoid conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes. If you must absolutely have a sip of cola, at the very least use a straw and rinse out your Invisalign when you're done.

Hold-Off on Citrus and Acidic Products

Much like the acid in soda, citrus fruit and other acidic foods are a no-no for your teeth, especially while using Invisalign. The top acidic foods you want to avoid are:

  • Citrus fruit such as oranges and lemons.
  • Fruit juices.
  • Vinegar and salad dressings.
  • Tomatoes and tomato products.
  • Wine.

These acidic foods, when consumed on a regular basis, can erode protective enamel. Once enamel is compromised, you could be looking at weak and highly sensitive teeth. With Invisalign, the tray is in direct contact with your teeth increasing potential damage, so avoid acid as much as possible. Eliminating these foods will also cause less pain in the event of mouth sores.

Stay Away from Sticky Foods

Sticky foods, though often delicious, will always be an enemy to your teeth and any kind of braces including Invisalign. When you think of sticky foods, you normally imagine caramel and gum. Those are things you want to steer clear of. Of course, seemingly nutritious foods can also be a sticky nightmare. Dried fruits are a perfect example. Although these fruits are soft, keep figs, apricots, prunes, and raisins away from your pearly whites. Instead, go with healthier fresh apricots, plums, and grapes.

Refuse Chewy Foods

Most dentists will tell you they've seen more than their fair share of broken and cracked teeth due to bagels, pizza crust, and chewy breads like baguette. Not only are these starchy treats packed with sugar, their chewiness presents a particular threat because of the pulling motion used to eat them. More people than you can imagine have ended up with damaged teeth after wrestling with a tough piece of bread.

Other chewy foods you'll want to shy away from are beef jerky, fibrous pieces of meat, and meat eaten off the bone. Instead, opt for tender pieces of meat cut into small pieces, if necessary. You should also avoid chewy types of candy that you'd use your teeth to tug on such as licorice and taffy.

Invest Time for the Best Results

Invisalign is one of the most popular modes of teeth straightening today. Suitable for both adults and young people, Invisalign is easy to care for, convenient, and lets your smile show through during the course of treatment. In order for a teeth aligner to be a success, you need to be strict in keeping it clean and avoiding foods that could cause damage and hinder your progress. There are hundreds of foods that are compatible with Invisalign and when your treatment is complete, you'll have a healthy and beautiful smile that was well-worth the time you invested.

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