Invisalign is a teeth straightening treatment that is, as its name suggests, nearly invisible as it does its work. The system works by using a series of clear aligners (similar to retainers) to gently guide teeth towards an ever-straighter smile. Yet simply classifying this new treatment as a type of braces brings forth inevitable questions from prospective patients. Chief among these questions is this one, “Will I have dietary restrictions while I’m having my treatments?”
How Aligners are Different from Traditional Braces
Here at Tisseront Orthodontics, we are happy to reassure our patients that using aligners is a system designed to help you achieve the smile you want without any of the restrictions of the past. So the answer to the above question is that you won’t have any dietary restrictions if you opt for aligners.
Here are some of the other major benefits of this newer system of aligners:
- The aligners (retainers) are removable, so you can eat and drink as usual.
- The aligners are made from a clear flexible composite material so you won’t suffer abrasions.
- You can drink beverages without removing your aligners if you prefer.
- When you are ready to brush and floss, just take the aligners out, clean your teeth and mouth, and then put them back in place again.
- The aligners are simple and fast to clean.
What You Can Do with Aligners That You Can’t with Traditional Teeth Straightening Systems
If you have had traditional orthodontia work in the past, you probably still remember your orthodontist’s instructions: no chewing gum, no eating chewy or hard candy, no eating hard foods that could knock teeth out of alignment and definitely no removing your braces for any reason until the treatment is complete!
With your aligners, you can chew gum, eat chewy or hard foods and even take your aligners out for special occasions! So if you have a child about to attend his or her first prom, the aligners can stay home for just this one night (and you can do the same for date night!)
A Word About Healthy Eating and Drinking
While Invisalign as a system is designed so as to interfere as little as possible with your normal activities and lifestyle, there is definitely a motivation to eat and drink as healthily as possible while having the Invisalign treatment.
When you have your initial orthodontic consultation, your orthodontist will explain exactly how the series of aligners will work to correct issues with your bite and your teeth and deliver the beautiful smile you want.
A big part of the success of this system is expertise of your orthodontist and the series of the aligners, of course. But there is much you can do to support your own treatment and ensure the best possible results, including eating and drinking as health-consciously as possible.
When you choose beverages, meals and snacks that are full of healthy ingredients and nutrients, you support your teeth, bone and tissues to do the work with full strength and effectiveness. As the aligners gently move your teeth, your tissues move along with the teeth and the whole underlying structure of your jaw bone is adjusted. The healthier your diet and lifestyle is, the stronger and faster your body will adapt to and integrate these changes.
What to Eat and Some Suggestions on What to Avoid
Again, you can eat and drink anything you want while having treatment. But there are some beverages and foods that may be less conducive to orthodontic work in general.
Here are some foods and ingredients you may want to try to consume less of or avoid entirely while your teeth are being straightened:
- Very sugary, sweet foods.
- Heavy smoking using cigarettes or vaping.
- Heavy drinking of alcoholic beverages.
- Drinking a lot of sodas.
- Chewing a lot of gum or eating lots of very chewy foods.
The reasons you might want to cut back on these categories or even eliminate them while you are using your aligners are as follows:
- Too much sugar weakens enamel and can eventually cause cavities and periodontal disease.
- Drinking sugary sodas can have the same effect as eating sugar foods, but even sugar-free sodas have a high acid content that can weaken enamel.
- Smoking can weaken gums and make tissues more susceptible to infection and less able to heal from injuries.
- Smoking can also cause more plaque build-up and create periodontal pockets between teeth.
- Alcohol can leach the calcium out of your bones and teeth and the acidic content can weaken and erode enamel.
So keeping consumption of these types of items to a minimum is not recommended just while you are having orthodontic treatments, but can be a wise plan for maintaining the health of your mouth and whole body over the long term!
Consult with Your Family Physician As Well
If you suspect that your daily diet could use some improvement or you simply want to know if you are eating the right amounts of the right things, it is always a good idea to speak with your family physician. You can also mention that you are having orthodontic work and show him or her your aligners to get the benefit of any specific recommendations that can best support your treatment.
About Dr. Tisseront and Tisseront Orthodontics
Dr. Tisseront’s orthodontic practice is located in Reston, Virginia. For more than a decade now, Dr. Tisseront and his staff have been serving families and individuals all throughout Northern Virginia. Originally from Paris, Dr. Tisseront holds two degrees: a Master of Science Degree in Orthodontics and a Doctorate in Dentistry. His specialities include children and adult orthodontics, custom lingual (behind the teeth) systems, Wilckodontics, Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs) and bio-mechanics.
We invite you to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Tisseront by calling us at (703)773-1200 or schedule an appointment.