Notably, the main difference between Invisalign & braces is that you can take out the aligners. Thus, you don’t have to be as careful about foods to avoid. On the other hand, some foods can damage braces’ wires and brackets.
However, some foods are best limited or avoided with Invisalign and braces. By following the general rules, you can help avoid tooth decay and discolored aligners or braces.
Generally, people love clear braces and Invisalign because you can’t see them. By avoiding foods that stain, you can keep it that way.
Foods that Could Stain Invisalign & Braces
Most of the time, you wouldn’t want to show off a yellow smile. However, if you eat lots of foods that stain, your clear aligners or braces could appear yellowish and discolored. Or, they might look purple, brownish, or reddish, depending on the food. Fortunately, you can avoid this by limiting or avoiding foods such as the ones below.
Staining foods (not a complete list):
- Red Wine
- Soy sauce
- Grape juice
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Some food colorings
If a food would likely stain your clothes, then it is likely to stain your clear aligners. Of course, it’s always best to take out aligners when you eat. However, you can’t do that with braces, so it’s a little more important to be mindful if you have clear braces.
Avoid Hot Drinks with Invisalign
Invisalign’s thin SmartTrack material is a perfect custom fit for your teeth. However, it is susceptible to warping if you drink hot liquids with the aligners in place. So, be sure to take them out before enjoying hot drinks.
Similarly, it’s not a good idea to clean your aligners using hot water. With braces, hot liquids that stain could be a problem, such as coffee.
Limit or Avoid Sugary Sodas and Beverages
As a rule, it’s a good idea to limit surgery foods and drinks. Of course, this is true even when you aren’t wearing Invisalign or braces. However, during treatment, it becomes more important. Why? With braces, it’s trickier to clean your teeth thoroughly.
With Invisalign, you can clean your teeth normally after taking out the aligners. However, sugary foods and drinks coat your teeth with a film that causes tooth decay. Therefore, the American Association of Orthodontists suggests limiting or avoiding sugar with Invisalign.
Since liquids can get under the aligners, it’s best to drink only plain water. Notably, even some bottled waters can pose a problem because they are acidic.
Avoid drinks like these:
- Acidic liquids
- Flavored water
- Fruit drinks
- Sports drinks
- Energy drinks
If you drink something other than water, rinse and brush your teeth soon afterward, wherever possible.
Avoid or Limit Sugary Foods
In our prior post about foods to enjoy with braces, we discussed avoiding foods that are:
Do you have to watch out for these foods with Invisalign? Not as much, but it’s still a good idea to limit sugary foods and hard, crunchy foods, even with Invisalign. On the other hand, an occasional treat is great! We all have a sweet tooth, so just clean and rinse well after enjoying softer treats. We discuss the best candies and soft treats in our previous post about Halloween candy.
Remember, since these foods coat the teeth with a sugary film, they promote tooth decay. Also, hard, crunchy bits can be difficult to clean between teeth. Then, when you put your aligners back in, these particles can be trapped and lead to tooth decay.
Foods to Avoid with Invisalign & Braces
Below, we list some examples of foods best limited or avoided with Invisalign & braces:
- Lollypops and suckers
- Sticky, chewy candies
- Taffy, Caramel, Starbursts, or similar
- Hard candies and jawbreakers
- Gummies and jellybeans
- Sour candies
- Popcorn, chips, hard pretzels
- Nuts and crunchy trail mix
- Chewing gum or bubble gum
If you wear braces, it’s important to watch out for these foods. By doing so, you can avoid an emergency visit to fix a broken or loose wire or bracket. With Invisalign, it’s still a good idea to limit or avoid them to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
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We hope this list of foods to avoid with Invisalign & braces has been helpful. Although it might seem like a lot, remember it helps your treatment go faster and more comfortably. Then, you can reward yourself with any favorites you avoided when treatment is complete.
Of course, the best reward is a beautiful smile to show off for life!
Glaser Orthodontics is proud to offer world-class service to the Jefferson Valley, Westchester, and Putnam Counties, NY.
Call us anytime at 914.739.6500 with any questions about braces, Invisalign, or other orthodontic services.
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