Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional metal braces, consisting of a series of custom-moulded, transparent aligners used to gently move teeth into the required position. Although the Invisalign system is quite straightforward and has many benefits over other orthodontic treatments, there are still some unique quirks for patients to be aware of. Traditional braces are typically made from stainless steel or stain-resistant ceramic so you need not worry about what you drink while wearing them, but this isn’t the case for Invisalign.
Can you drink alcohol with Invisalign?
The primary benefit of Invisalign is that the aligners are transparent and nearly unnoticeable. Unfortunately, many alcoholic drinks have strong colours and can stain the aligners (red wine is particularly bad), making them rather more visible and negating the main selling point. Luckily, Invisalign aligners are safe and easy to remove, therefore, it’s best to take out the aligner when you’re drinking and, if possible, rinse your mouth with water before placing the aligner back in. However, it should be noted that Invisalign recommends their aligners be worn for 22 hours each day – consistently wearing them for less than this can significantly increase your overall treatment time and delay when you can show off your perfect new smile.
What should you drink?
Ideally, you should only drink water while wearing your Invisalign aligners as dark liquids, like coffee or tea, can also stain them. Furthermore, hot drinks can cause the plastic of the aligners to warp, resulting in a poor fit which will not generate the force required to move your teeth into their new position. Sugary drinks should also be avoided, as it’s possible for some of the liquid to become trapped between your aligners and your teeth, greatly increasing the risk of tooth decay.
How to avoid problems with Invisalign
Always try to remove your aligners whenever you drink something other than room-temperature water – this will prevent the aligners from becoming damaged or stained. If you forget to take out your aligners when drinking something other than water, don’t worry. Simply remove your aligners and rinse them in water, then rinse out your mouth and ideally brush your teeth too, before putting the aligners back in as soon as possible. As long as the plastic hasn’t become warped the aligners will still work perfectly well.
In general, try to drink lots of water – this will help to wash away any sugar or acid left behind by other beverages as well as stimulating the production of saliva which is key for neutralising acids and maintaining healthy teeth.
Be sure to practice good oral hygiene – brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice every day, and floss once a day too.