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What Foods to Avoid with Invisalign and Braces

If you are wondering what foods to avoid with Invisalign and braces, you are at the right place. This post will try to provide you with an in-depth answer.

It will also tell you what alternative foods you can choose to eat that will not interfere with your cosmetic dental treatment and appliances.

A New Reality

Now that you have taken Invisalign braces to align your teeth, life has somewhat changed for you. You have to respect that change. Because if you do not, your dental treatment will take a longer time to complete. It may even end up creating new complications for you.

That change is more real when choosing your food than in anything else.

You have to know what you can eat and what you cannot. More precisely, you have to know what will affect your dental appliances and how much.

Since you have chosen your treatment, you already know that this was coming. Your dentist must have explained this to you. You have accepted that explanation. Now you have to abide by your decision.

What Can Happen If You Don’t Choose Your Foods Properly?

  • You will compromise the integrity of your Invisalign braces. Every appliance has its limits. Invisalign is thin and fancy. Exposure to specific chemicals in food may affect its longevity.
  • Discoloration of your braces is a huge possibility.
  • Removing tartar from braces is not an easy job.
  • Distortion/Deshaping. Invisalign is custom made. It puts specific pressure on specific teeth to gradually direct a tooth to its desired new position. A distorted Invisalign aligner may send your teeth to an undesired direction.
  • Dental restoration treatments are expensive. You will have to replace your distorted aligners with new ones. You will end up spending much more money than you can imagine.

So What Foods to Avoid with Invisalign and Braces?

Avoid the foods that are:

  • Sticky
  • Hard
  • Chewy
  • Crunchy
  • Hot

With the above in mind, we can come up with a list of popular food items that you should avoid if you wear braces.

  • Raw carrots
  • Food with excessive fibre
  • Popcorn
  • Potato fries
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Chewy meat
  • Nuts
  • Seeds with hard shells
  • Corn
  • Bagels
  • Caramel chocolate or icecream
  • Pizza
  • Thick steaks

Some dentists will also advise you to avoid the following:

  • Chewing gum
  • Sour candy
  • Coffe
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Ice cubes
  • Highly sweet foods
  • Pretzels
  • French or Italian bread
  • Sub sandwiches
  • Hard rolls
  • Burgers
  • Soda
  • Carbonated/sparkling water
  • Smoothies

Compared to other braces, Invisalign offers you the advantage of removing them before eating food. But understand that biting hard bones or shells of dry seeds is never good for the health of your teeth. High pressure can crack them. You may lose part of the layer of the enamel on your teeth, which may make them overly sensitive in the long run.

Is tooth enamel unbreakable?

Enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body. But it is not unbreakable. And once it is damaged, it cannot be brought back.

Certain medications may weaken it. Your teeth-grinding habit can damage it. If your mouth is mostly dry, it may affect the strength of your enamel.

If you eat acidic food items regularly, you may weaken your tooth enamel within weeks. Since the process of Invisalign treatment will require removing some enamel between your teeth to make room for the teeth to reposition themselves, you may want to avoid the following acidic foods:

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pomegranates
  • Blue Plums
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruits
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapples
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Raw Tomatoes

Many of these foods are not good for you anyway, as they contribute to acid reflux or chronic pain. They have low pH levels.

They are also the guiding factors behind growing a stone in your kidney.

What about ice creams?

Ice creams are one of the foods to avoid when it comes to Invisalign and braces, because:

  • The sugar content in some ice creams is high. Avoiding them will be good for you.
  • Ice cream is cold and may be sensitive to your teeth, especially between your teeth. Your dentist may have removed some enamel from there to help reposition your teeth.
  • Ice creams may be too cold for the braces and distort their shapes. Minor distortion may not be come to your attention but may have huge impact to your treatment process.
  • Add-ons to ice creams, such as caramel, syrup or candy bars may stick to your teeth.
  • Pigmented ice creams may contribute to tooth discoloration.

Drinking with a straw

Can drinking with a straw help you? Good question. Dentists have to answer this question every day. That is because taking off your aligners is not the best solution always. If you are at a meeting, or if your hands are not clean, you may not remove your aligners and opt for drinking with a straw.

In our research, we noticed that some dentists believe drinking with a straw is all right while wearing Invisalign braces.

But we dug more. This is what we found.

  • Drinking with a straw is not good for Invisalign or other braces.
  • Hot damage may occur to your Invisalign braces due to drinking hot drinks.
  • Sugar can still travel to your teeth and be trapped between your teeth and Invisalign. This will ultimately cause tooth decay by accelerating plaque build-up.
  • Smoothies can add to teeth sensitivity, especially between the teeth.

Drink water to keep yourself hydrated. You do not need to remove your Invisalign or braces to drink water. You do not need a straw.

instant coffee is the most chromogenic drink when compared to tea, coke, and distilled water to stain your Invisalign and braces.

Dental Materials Journal 27(1): 139-144, 2008

Foods You Can Eat With Invisalign and Braces

Understand that your dental treatment process will come to an end after a certain period of time. During this time your sole purpose should be letting the process bring you the best possible results. That may limit your eating preferences temporarily. But know that there is still plenty of food that you can enjoy.

You may be surprised to see how tasty some of these foods are. Who could tell, you might even grow newer preferences by trying new foods during this time.

Foods to choose from

  • Tofu, or any other soy-based food
  • Milk, yogurt
  • Most fresh vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Most fruits including bananas, apples (do ot bite a whole apple!), watermelon
  • Pancakes
  • Muffins
  • Soft tortillas
  • Tuna salad
  • Salmon
  • Crab meat
  • Lentil (or other beans that are properly boiled)
  • Cheese
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Macaroni
  • Milkshakes
  • Jell-o
  • Pudding
  • Boiled rice
  • Soft cookies
  • Peanut butter
  • Noodles
  • Light crackers
  • Soups
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft foods prepared with eggs

While considering what foods to avoid with Invisalign and braces, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists suggest the following:

  • Instead of eating sugary cereals, eat oatmeal. Add maple syrup or honey to sweeten them
  • Instead of biting an apple, cut your fruit into small chunks. Don’t avoid eating fruits.
  • Don’t chew candies. Try yogurt.
  • Avoid crispy pizza. Eat grilled cheese instead.
  • No to steaks. Yes to fish.

Foods to Avoid with Invisalign and Braces: Final Word

Damaging or distorting your Invisalign or other braces will only slow down your dental restoration process. Besides, eating the wrong food will impact your overall oral hygiene, thus requiring a more rigid dental treatment process than Invisalign or braces in the future.

Your sacrifice will pay off when you will stand before yourself with a beautiful smile. Undergoing dental cosmetic treatment is in itself a sacrifice. When you have accepted that challenge, now you can’t take it back. Feel confident every day thinking you are doing something for yourself. Then you will be able to take your new reality with less trouble.