Of all the people who have braces, the majority of them are children. Getting braces during your teenage years is preferred over adulthood, but it also comes with challenges for the child and the parent.
For example, what should you eat with Invisalign aligners, and why does it matter? While teenagers who have Invisalign need to learn how to care for their aligners, taking care of your teeth is just as important.
If you have a child with Invisalign aligners, keep reading to learn more about the foods they eat and why it matters.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a dental treatment designed to straighten teeth using clear plastic aligners. These aligners put gentle pressure on your teeth, encouraging them to move in a straighter position. They’re more comfortable than traditional metal brackets and wires.
For younger people, Invisalign provides transparency of their dental work. Many teenagers enjoy the “invisibility” of Invisalign and the benefit of the aligners being removable, especially for activities and sports.
Foods to Eat With Invisalign
Even with all the benefits of Invisalign, there’s still a question of what foods to eat. Just because Invisalign aligners are removable, doesn’t mean you can eat whatever foods you like. With braces, it’s even more important to promote healthy teeth as they shift.
To keep your teeth as healthy as possible during treatment, eat a variety of these healthy foods.
Eating your greens is important at any age! Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with vitamins and minerals that support healthy teeth and gums. Blend them into a smoothie or enjoy them in a salad.
One great reason to snack on cheese is because of the calcium content. Because your teeth are bones, you’ll need your daily amount of calcium to keep them strong and they go through changes. String cheese as a snack or sprinkled on a salad is an easy way to get your calcium intake.
Another snack for your teeth is almonds. Almonds are a great source of protein and even calcium, which is an alternative for people who are lactose intolerant or don’t prefer dairy. A handful of almonds during lunch is an excellent way to get an energy boost.
4. Crunchy Fruits And Vegetables
No matter what foods you eat, plaque develops on the surface of your teeth. For people with braces, it’s especially important to keep the plaque to a minimum as the excess build-up will create tooth decay. Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables like celery, carrots, onions, cucumbers, and even almonds can help remove excess plaque build-up from your teeth.
Another great source of calcium is yogurt. Not only does yogurt provide an impressive amount of calcium, but it also contains probiotics that can keep your body healthy during your treatment. One caveat is that many yogurts are flavored and contain much sugar, so check how many grams of sugar is in a serving before eating.
Berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are wonderful choices as well. They contain high levels of antioxidants which keep your body healthy and strong. Berries may stain your teeth and their seeds may become wedged in between, so be sure to brush after eating.
Foods to Avoid With Invisalign
There are many healthy foods to eat when you have Invisalign, but what foods should you avoid? The good news is that because Invisalign is removable, there are not a lot of foods that you must keep out of your diet. However, an excess amount of certain foods may cause problems.
Here are some foods to either limit or stay away from altogether.
Sugar is food that you want to limit when you have Invisalign. High amounts of sugar on your teeth will lead to cavities and tooth decay if not properly removed.
Any food that is hard, sticky, or chewy will leave a residue on your teeth and may promote teeth problems like wearing enamel or cavities. If you want to eat candy or sweets, stick to small portions and softer foods.
Popcorn is another food you might want to avoid until your Invisalign treatment is complete. The kernels can be challenging to remove and you don’t want them sitting in your teeth while you wear your aligners.
If you have any questions about other foods you should avoid, be sure to talk to your dentist.
Eating And Caring For Your Aligners
While eating the proper foods during your treatment is important, caring for your aligners is equally important. Here are some tips on caring for your aligners before and after eating and drinking.
You must wear your aligners 20-22 hours per day and only remove them when eating. Leaving your aligners in while eating can damage them and your teeth. You can wear them while drinking water.
If you plan on drinking other beverages besides water, you’ll need to remove your aligners. This is because certain temperatures or beverage components cause your aligners to become deformed and render them ineffective.
Bacteria easily builds up in your aligners if you don’t clean them or rinse them regularly. Be sure to clean them daily and also brush your teeth before putting them back in so they don’t harbor bacteria and plaque.
You Can Eat With Invisalign Aligners
Once you understand how to eat with Invisalign aligners, you can feel more confident in wearing them. Eat healthy foods, brush your teeth often, and care for your aligners, and you’ll soon have an amazing smile.
Are you interested in orthodontic work or Invisalign for your children? Schedule your consultation today to get treatment started!