Clear braces might seem like a no brainer, but there’s still quite a bit of confusion over what you can and can’t do with them in. Here, cosmetic dentist Dr Krystyna Wilczynski answers the most frequently asked questions, once and for all.
When it comes to adult orthodontics, it’s obvious why clear aligners like Invisalign are a popular choice. Famed for their near-invisibility and incredible practicality, many people opt for this kind of brace as it’s the least obtrusive and most subtle option out there. But it isn’t all
Even the simplest things like having a cup of tea or brushing your teeth will be impacted by the Invisalign process. And while the benefits arguably outweigh the downsides, it’s vital to make sure you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into, and confirm that you’re willing to commit.
So if you’re one of the hundreds of people frantically typing questions into Google like ‘can you eat with Invisalign?’ or ‘can you wear lipstick with Invisalign’, we’re about to save you a whole lot of time and effort. Because when it comes to questions about Invisalign, cosmetic dentist Dr Krystyna Wilczynski at White and Co dental clinic, has heard them all. From the rules around eating and drinking, to the best way to clean your aligners, she answers the most frequently asked questions below.
Can you drink with Invisalign?
“When wearing your Invisalign, you should only drink water,” she explains. “Coffee, tea and red wine can stain the trays and sugary drinks can collect under them, leading to cavities.” There’s also the issue of heat when it comes to hot drinks. “If [the drink is] boiling hot, the trays can warp,” Dr Wilczynski adds.
Can you drink through a straw with Invisalign?
Some Invisalign-wearers try to get around the no-drink rule by using a straw, but it isn’t completely foolproof. “This would be the better option but still avoid sugary or acidic drinks.”
Can you eat with Invisalign?
This one is a straight up no. “It is difficult to chew and eat food with them in. For optimal teeth movement, the trays need to be worn for 22 hours a day. This allows two hours where the trays can be left out to eat, which can be spread throughout the day,” she explains. “You should also always brush your teeth/rinse your mouth out following food before putting them back in.”
Can you use toothpaste to clean your Invisalign?
Just like your teeth, Invisalign aligners need cleaning regularly, and for some, toothpaste on a toothbrush seems like the clear option. But Dr Wilczynski disagrees. “Toothpaste contains ingredients such as fluoride, which is needed for health of the teeth and therefore, toothpaste is not needed for aligners,” she explains. “Just rinse with water and use your toothbrush, or you can soak them too. I would recommend using Retainer Bright, which are effervescent tablets that clean the trays.”
Can you wear lipstick with Invisalign?
Unless you’re a pro lipstick wearer, you’re bound to have experienced a smudge of lipstick across the front teeth at some point in your life. Does this mean you should totally avoid lip products when wearing your aligners? Not at all. Dr Wilczynski says it’s totally fine.
Can you get Invisalign with cavities?
There’s a common misconception that Invisalign won’t work on teeth that already have fillings, but that’s not the case. You just want to make sure all your fillings are in good order before you start the treatment. “Ideally you want a dentally stable mouth before you embark on Invisalign, so no gum or teeth problems,” Dr Wilczynski explains. “You want to avoid pain or other treatments during Invisalign. If this cannot be helped, then we can do fillings whilst going through treatment, but it can affect the shape and surface of the tooth which in turn can affect the fit of the aligner.”
That’s why, ahead of the Invisalign fitting, you should ask for a full dental check up. At DR Wilczynski’s clinic, White and Co, they undergo a full consultation. “[This includes] health checks and X rays. If any periodontal (gum or dental work) needs doing, it would be carried out at this point. Following that would be the digital scans for your aligners and Invisalign plan and we should be good to go!”
Can you get Invisalign if you have a crown?
And the same counts for patients with crowns. “You can have crowns before Invisalign,” she confirms. “It must be noted by a dentist which tooth is crowned as you will not be able to use this surface for the Invisalign attachments, [the] buttons which are stuck on the teeth to help with tooth movement.”
Images: Getty Images.