Drinking, Eating, and Smoking: Is it ok when wearing clear aligners?
SmartSmileCo aligners are both comfortable and convenient. However a few simple guidelines should be followed to keep your aligners and teeth in top notch condition during your treatment.
One of the top benefits of clear aligners is, unlike bracers, they are removable. This makes it simple to protect your teeth and maintain your oral health during treatment. However, you should remember you need to remove them before eating, drinking anything other than cool water, or smoking/vaping.
Without aligner your teeth are naturally irrigated and flushed by your saliva, which help reduce or removes acid, sugar and food damaging you teeth. Clear aligners however reduce the natural flushing of your teeth with a barrier that encapsulates your teeth. The saliva is unable to flush the teeth an effectively.
This makes aligners ideal for bacteria. This may only be a problem if some basic instructions are not followed, such as regular cleaning and remembering to remove them before eating or drinking anything other than cool water.
Let’s look at how drinking, eating and smoking/vaping may affect your aligners and teeth.
Only plain cool water can be drunk when wearing aligners. This is why other beverages should be avoided while wearing aligners:
Hot — Hot tea and coffee or even soup, may warp your aligners. Aligners are precision made to apply specific pressure to individual teeth so if it is warped it will not apply the pressure it was designed to so your teeth won’t straighten well.
Dark — Coffee, tea, cola, red wine, and other dark-coloured drinks may stain your aligners and teeth, even if you use a straw. Straws don’t remove the risk of the drink getting onto your aligners. Before putting in your aligners drink your morning cup of coffee or tea first, . Need a second shot of espresso to wake up? Take your aligner out first before taking a sip.
Acidic — Acidic drinks include tea, coffee, alcohol, soft drink, and citrus juice. Acidic drinks draw minerals from your teeth, weakening them and causing decay. The acidic liquid can also get held in the aligners, lingering on your teeth, multiplying the potential negative side effects to your teeth.
Sugary — Drinks high in sugar, such as juice, soft drink, and “sports drinks”, help to form cavities. If it’s held between the aligner and teeth it may magnify problems.
Carbonated — Soft drinks or alcoholic drinks can be especially dangerous because of their acidity. Even carbonated water, or sparkling water, can be slightly acidic, while they pose little issue they are best to avoid. The magnifying issue is sugar. Soft drinks contain a staggering amount of sugar, but even some sparkling water and seltzer water can contain hidden sugar.
Alcoholic — Consuming alcohol with aligners can also damage your teeth. Some alcoholic drinks are both high in sugar and highly acidic.
Stick to plain cool water, otherwise simply remove your aligners and keep them in your aligner container. Anything else may damage your aligners or teeth through heat, or bacteria proliferation and acid that becomes trapped between your aligners and teeth.
Aligners have a great advantage over bracers, as bracers collect food in them. You have absolute freedom to eat whatever you want with clear aligners, however they MUST be removed first! They are not meant to be worn while eating. This includes ALL food: chewy, soft or liquid; such as steak, mashed potato or soup.
Similar to drinks, food can be acidic and/or sugary. Food particles can get stuck under aligners, increasing the risk of you developing cavities. Hot foods can also warp your aligners.
Avoid lollies for obvious reasons. Gum is also to be avoided – the sticky mess that will result must be avoided at all costs – good luck cleaning that up.
Smoking and vaping:
Smoking and vaping is bad of your smile, oral health, and aligners. This extends to chewing tobacco.
As some use vaping as an aid to quitting smoking, or as a means to have nicotine with a reduced risk, it’s still not advised to vape while wearing your aligners.
Nicotine and tar can stain clear aligners, even if the trays are removed when smoking or vaping as the nicotine and tar lingers in the mouth and can discolour the aligners.
If you smoke or vape, take out your aligners first then brush and your teeth before putting them back in.
What should I do?
Always take out your aligners before drinking anything other than cool water, eating, and smoking/vaping. Also, whenever it’s possible brush your teeth after any of these activities, prior to putting your clear aligners back in.
SmartSmileCo provides affordable clear aligners for a range of orthodontic cases, from simple to complex. Don’t pay a fortune! Give us a call on 0468 388 534 and we’ll help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. Click this link to get your easy, at-home impression kit.