Eating with Clear Aligners: The Complete Guide

Since clear aligners are removable, you will enjoy not having to deal with dietary restrictions while undergoing treatment with them. Today, our Yarmouth dental team explains some of the other things you should know about drinking and eating with clear aligners.  

Can you eat with clear aligners?

One of the main benefits of straightening your teeth with clear aligners is that you won’t need to restrict your diet.

Unlike with traditional braces, there are no metal brackets or wires on clear aligners that may cause food particles to get stuck. Your custom-made aligners will be made precisely for your mouth's shape. Because clear aligners can be removed, you will be free to keep eating and drinking all the things you like. 

Here, our Yarmouth dentists share some tips for eating with clear aligners.

Remove your clear aligners to eat or drink anything but water.

You should only drink cold water while wearing your clear aligners. Make sure you remove them before consuming beverages or foods other than water. Drinking dark or sugary drinks while wearing your aligners can cause discolouration and the buildup of plaque. 

Eating with your clear aligners in could lead to stains, cracks or other damage to your aligners. Gum will definitely stick to aligners and cause a mess (trust us on this one).

Hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate and coffee can leave stains or discolouration that will be difficult to remove.

Brush your teeth before putting your clear aligners back in.

You should never place your clear aligners in your mouth after eating without first brushing your teeth, since food particles can get trapped between your teeth and your aligners and cause bacteria to grow, which will increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay.

Just like with metal braces, oral hygiene is critical to making sure you achieve the smile that you want. If you can't properly brush your teeth after drinking or eating, you should rinse out your mouth and your aligners with water before putting them back in your teeth.  

Schedule your meal times.

Though you don’t need to restrict which foods you eat, you should plan your meal times carefully.

In order to hit the 20 to 22 hours per day wear time you need with clear aligners, you’ll want to be mindful of the total time that you remove them for each day.

To see the best results for your clear aligner treatment, you should keep them in your mouth as many hours of the day as possible. Although you can remove the aligners when brushing, drinking, flossing and eating, try not to overdo the time they are out of your mouth. You should make sure you are wearing them for at least 20 hours of the day. 

Cut back on snacking.

Since you must remove your clear aligners every time you eat and then brush your teeth, you may find yourself cutting back on snacking quite a bit and being more mindful of what you eat as well. 

On the plus side, you may see your health improve along with your teeth becoming straighter.

You may want to put your clear aligners in and remove them in private.

Especially at the beginning of your treatment, you may want to use a restroom when removing and placing your clear aligners in your mouth. Since they fit your teeth so snugly, some patients have told us they can be a little bit challenging to remove until you get the hang of quickly popping them in and out - a task you may not want to try in public.

Are you interested in finding out whether or not you are a candidate for treatment with clear aligners? Contact our Yarmouth dentists to book a consultation today.

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