One of the most significant advances in dental technology in the past decade is the introduction of Invisalign clear aligners to help correct orthodontic issues. While many patients prefer this discreet alignment method over traditional braces, they also wonder if eating with Invisalign attachments will be challenging.
Dentists customize Invisalign aligners to fit your teeth so that the aligners can:
- Correct overbites or underbites
- Straighten crooked teeth
- Resolve dental crowding
- Promote gradual changes in the jawline
In addition, dentists sometimes use extra tools, called attachments, to help move teeth more predictably. Invisalign attachments are tiny shapes orthodontists place on certain teeth to help direct them into place through added pressure against the aligners.
However, since Invisalign trays completely cover the teeth, many patients often wonder:
- Can you eat with Invisalign attachments?
- What happens if you eat with Invisalign in?
- Can you suck on mints with Invisalign?
If you’re asking any of these questions about Invisalign or Invisalign attachments, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about eating with Invisalign. As you read, you’ll receive Invisalign eating tips, learn about foods to avoid with Invisalign attachments, and get an answer to, “Can you eat soft food with Invisalign?”
Ready to begin? Let’s start with the basics.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a chronological system of removable aligners that are designed to straighten your teeth and perfect your smile. They’re given to you in graduated steps and may be changed weekly or monthly depending on your orthodontist’s recommended treatment plan.
Orthodontists design trays to gradually shift the alignment of your jawline, improving the overall function of your bite. In addition to gently moving teeth into better positions over time, Invisalign can help create even the most undetectable corrections in your smile, leaving you with the confident smile you’ve always wanted.
Invisalign has revolutionized orthodontics for good. The aligners and attachments are barely noticeable and are a great alternative to braces for many individuals. If made and worn correctly, over time, you’ll find that Invisalign can make your:
- Teeth straighter
- Smile brighter
- Confidence higher
Ultimately, Invisalign is a powerful alignment tool that comes with many benefits for those who use it.
What are the Benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign offers many advantages over traditional braces.
Three of the top reasons that many teens and adults choose Invisalign are that it:
- Is clear and nearly invisible
- Makes cleaning teeth easier compared to wire braces
- Can be removed whenever necessary
However, the removability of trays often brings up many questions, especially when it comes to eating and drinking.
Can You Eat With Invisalign?
One of the main questions that many new Invisalign patients have is whether or not they can eat while wearing their trays.
The short answer is “no.” Invisalign aligners aren’t made to tolerate the pressure required to crush and chew food. Therefore, it’s always best to remove your trays before eating.
But what about when it comes to eating with Invisalign attachments?
We mentioned earlier that orthodontists permanently fix Invisalign attachments to your teeth, so let’s take a look at what eating with attachments looks like.
Foods to Avoid with Invisalign Attachments
It is best to avoid eating with Invisalign trays still in your mouth as it can damage the aligners and keep them from fitting properly.
However, the attachments are affixed to individual teeth and are only removable by your orthodontist. You can eat with attachments in your mouth, but you must take care to ensure these remain intact in order to achieve the best results.
The main foods to avoid with Invisalign attachments include anything chewy or hard/crunchy. You can also always ask your orthodontist if you’re unsure whether the foods you’re eating will damage your attachments.
What Happens If You Eat with Invisalign In?
Since the aligners aren’t designed to be worn while eating, it’s essential to always remove them before you chow down.
If you’re wondering what happens if you eat with Invisalign in, here are five potential risks:
1. Trays Can Become Loose or Damaged:
You should avoid eating with Invisalign trays because they may become damaged or loose from the pressure of chewing. The plastic isn’t sturdy enough to conform to the motions or strength required to break down bites of food.
2. You Can Disrupt or Delay Your Progress:
Damaged trays can disrupt or delay the progress of your alignment.
If you break your existing aligners, you’ll need to wait on your orthodontist to get you a new set. This means delaying and possibly even disrupting the progress that has been made in correcting your smile.
3. They Can Get Stuck in Your Teeth:
In addition, broken aligners may get stuck in between your teeth. This can cause great discomfort or even damage to the teeth.
4. Aligners Can Stain Easily:
The clear plastic orthodontists use for Invisalign trays makes them nearly invisible. However, the clear plastic can be easily stained by colored drinks or food particles that sit between your teeth and the plastic.
Even when you take trays out to eat, you should always clean your teeth and attachments (even if just with water) before you place your trays back in your mouth.
5. Damaged Trays Can Damage Your Dental Health:
Beyond the inconvenience of physical aligner damage, broken aligners can wear down your tooth enamel and cause irritation to the gums. Worn down enamel and irritated gums can lead to further oral health issues that may require dental treatment.
Other Common Questions About Eating with Invisalign Attachments and Aligners
If you want Invisalign tips for eating, here are some other common questions and answers regarding eating with Invisalign.
Can You Remove Invisalign?
Yes! This is what makes eating with Invisalign much easier than other orthodontic solutions like bracket braces.
When you’re ready to eat or drink, remove your Invisalign trays and store them in a safe place. Removing your trays before you eat or drink is the best way to preserve your trays and keep your alignment on schedule.
And, don’t forget to rinse your mouth out and put your trays back on immediately after you finish!
Can I Eat Ice Cream with Invisalign?
Though ice cream is soft, it’s best to avoid eating or drinking anything (even soft foods) with your trays in.
Though the texture of the ice cream itself may not crack the trays, the cold temperature may wear it down or any unconscious biting motions could damage them.
In addition, the sugar from the ice cream can stay on teeth and cause decalcification.
Can You Suck on Mints with Invisalign?
Another common question for Invisalign patients is whether they can suck on mints while wearing their trays.
In most cases, sucking on a mint (sugar-free!) will not cause any problems with the Invisalign aligners. However, you should still always avoid chewing gum or other sugary foods that may cause damage by sitting on the aligners or teeth.
Can You Eat Soft Food with Invisalign?
Even though soft food is gentler on your teeth and gums, the safest food to eat with Invisalign is no food. Avoid any risks to your aligners, teeth, or progress by removing the trays completely prior to eating.
Discover Invisalign with Bates Orthodontics in Richmond, VA
Invisalign is a great tool for straightening teeth and getting a more beautiful smile. The clear plastic orthodontists use to create the trays make Invisalign unnoticeable. In addition, Invisalign promotes good oral health, and you can remove it whenever you want.
But when it comes to Invisalign, many questions people have about Invisalign revolve around eating with Invisalign, like:
- Can you eat with Invisalign?
- What happens if you eat with Invisalign in?
- Are there certain foods to avoid with Invisalign attachments?
In the long run, it’s best to err on the side of caution and follow your orthodontist’s tips and recommendations when eating with Invisalign attachments or aligners. By simply removing your trays before eating and drinking, you can help ensure that your dream smile becomes a reality.
If you live in the Richmond, VA area and want to learn more about Invisalign and whether it’s the right fit for perfecting your smile, contact the Invisalign-certified team at Bates Orthodontics today! Our in-house orthodontist is a Diamond Invisalign Provider, which means he’s in the top 1% of Invisalign providers in the nation. Whether you’re a teen or adult and have serious alignment issues or not, Invisalign could be the way to get the smile you’ve always wanted.
We offer a free Invisalign consultation and evaluation for adults, teens, and children. We can’t wait to bring your smile to life!