Can you drink with Invisalign aligners on? You may look forward to your morning coffee or a nice glass of wine of an evening, but what’s actually OK to drink while wearing your aligners?
While Invisalign aligners are great to wear on a night out because they are virtually unnoticeable, you have to be careful about what you eat and drink. You can’t just take them out for the entire time you’re out because they must be worn between 20 – 22 hours per day.
So, what can you drink while wearing them? This article will discuss what you can and can’t drink with this orthodontic treatment, and answer the following questions:
- Why do you have to be careful what you drink with Invisalign aligners?
- What are Invisalign aligners made from?
- What can you drink while wearing Invisalign aligners?
- Can you drink through a straw with Invisalign aligners?
- Should you remove your clear aligners before drinking?
Keep reading so you can find out exactly what you can drink during your Invisalign treatment.
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Table of contents
- 1 Invisalign aligners and what they are made from
- 2 What can you drink with Invisalign aligners on?
- 3 Drinking alcohol with Invisalign aligners
- 4 Drinking hot drinks with Invisalign aligners
- 5 Can you drink through a straw with Invisalign aligners?
- 6 Tips to keep your Invisalign trays from staining
- 7 Conclusion
Invisalign aligners and what they are made from
If you are reading this article, you probably already know what Invisalign invisible braces are. However, to get a better understanding of why you can’t drink whatever you like while wearing them, it's important to understand what they are made from and how they work.
Invisalign aligners are clear plastic aligners that are custom made for your teeth and bite. Your Invisalign dentist or orthodontist will take a 3D scan of your teeth and create your aligners. It's always recommended to visit your dentist for a check-up, as you'll need to address any untreated cavities, gum disease, or other issues before you start wearing clear aligners.
They work by snuggly fitting over your teeth and gradually moving them into position. These aligners are virtually unnoticeable when worn, but sometimes they have buttons and attachments to treat more complex orthodontic issues, which are slightly more visible.
They are made from Invisalign’s SmartTrack aligner material which is medical-grade thermoplastic polyurethane, a transparent, flexible material.
How does this affect what you can eat or drink while wearing aligners?
The way Invisalign aligners work and what it is made from affects what you can eat or drink. This is because if you eat acidic or sugary drinks the liquid can get trapped between your aligners and your teeth which can cause tooth decay if you’re not careful. Even though your aligners fit over your teeth snugly, sugary drinks may still find their way into the gap.
Another reason is that the SmartTrack material of your Invisalign aligners can be stained by highly pigmented drinks, and sugary or carbonated drinks can also do damage. Another point to be aware of is that hot drinks like coffee, tea or even just hot water can warp and damage your aligners.
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What can you drink with Invisalign aligners on?
Bearing in mind the damage certain drinks can do to the thermoplastic polymer that your Invisalign aligners are made from, the only thing that you should drink while wearing them is water.
Invisalign providers recommend that you remove your aligners while drinking anything other than plain water. It is also important to note that you will need to rinse your mouth out with water before putting them back in again.
Can you drink sparkling water with Invisalign aligners?
Now that we have established that the only safe drink to consume while wearing your clear aligners is water, you may be wondering about sparkling water? Well, this is OK every once in a while, but not all the time.
This is because acidic carbonated drinks can still cause damage to your teeth even if they won’t stain or warp your aligners. So the reason it’s not recommended is more because it may get trapped between your aligner and your teeth and cause damage to your enamel.
What about drinking flavoured water while wearing your aligners?
Another drink that you may think is OK to drink while wearing your aligner is flavoured water because it is clear. However, the advice is that you should only drink plain water as anything else may damage your teeth or your aligners.
Drinking alcohol with Invisalign aligners
The main question that many people ask is whether or not they can drink beer, wine or other alcohol while wearing their aligners. The short answer is no, but don’t worry, you can still have a drink.
One of the reasons that some people choose treatment with Invisalign aligners is for aesthetic reasons. They want to be able to attend meals or nights out without metal train tracks on their teeth. So, if this sounds like you, then you can still have that glass of bubbly or red wine, just make sure you remove your aligners first.
This may not sound too attractive, but if you can, just excuse yourself to the restroom to remove them. Make sure you take your Invisalign case with you so you don’t lose them though, and rinse your mouth with water before putting them back in.
In the following video, David, a territory manager for Align Technology UK Ltd. (Invisalign) gives his advice on whether or not you should drink alcohol when wearing your Invisalign trays.
Can you drink white wine or gin and tonic while wearing your aligners?
Like flavoured and sparkling water, it may seem OK to drink clear-coloured alcohol as it may not stain your clear aligners. However, both white wine and gin and tonic contain sugar that could cause cavities if left between your teeth and your aligners. And, as a tonic is carbonated, it isn’t wise to drink while wearing your Invisalign aligners.
The same goes for any alcohol or fizzy drinks, all of which contain sugar and are carbonated. So, in answer to another common question: Can you drink beer while wearing Invisalign aligners? No, you can’t, but you can remove them to drink then rinse your mouth with water before replacing your aligners.
Drinking hot drinks with Invisalign aligners
As we mentioned above, drinking hot drinks may warp or damage the SmartTrack material your aligners are made from. You may think some hot drinks are OK to drink with your aligners on because the liquid won’t stain them, but they may still warp them.
Can you drink coffee or tea with aligners?
This is a commonly asked question because so many people like to drink coffee throughout their working day, and especially in the morning! However, coffee and tea are both highly pigmented drinks so it’s best to avoid them completely, even the iced versions that won’t warp your aligners!
If you have Invisalign attachments it's especially important not to drink tea or coffee unless you remove your aligners. Buttons and attachments are very prone to staining if they come into contact with highly pigmented drinks.
Can you drink through a straw with Invisalign aligners?
Drinking through a straw with Invisalign aligners on will reduce the amount of liquid that gets on your aligners, and potentially reduce staining. However, it is not 100% guaranteed to eliminate all staining so it's best to just remove your aligners to drink anything other than plain water. And, again, remember to rinse your mouth out before replacing them.
Tips to keep your Invisalign trays from staining
Even though you should only drink plain water while wearing your Invisalign trays, accidents do happen and you may have a drink with them in. If you think that you may be in this situation, then you can take some precautions to minimise staining including:
- Take a straw out with you to drink through when possible
- Rinse your mouth out with water after you've had a drink
- Take a toothbrush and toothpaste with you to clean your teeth and aligners
- Drink clear drinks
This doesn't mean that you can always drink while keeping your aligners in, but they are good tips in case you occasionally forget.
To get the best results from your Invisalign treatment it’s best to just drink plain water at room temperature and remove your aligners for anything else. If you do drink anything else while wearing your aligners, you risk warping them with heat or staining them with pigmented or sugary drinks.
It’s best to avoid hot drinks like coffee or tea (even clear herbal tea), as well as sugary, carbonated or highly pigmented drinks. You may reduce the staining by drinking through a straw, but it’s not recommended, so best not to risk it.
Most importantly, you may be tempted to drink alcohol wearing your Invisalign aligners when you’re on a night out. But remember, beer and wine are full of sugars and can cause tooth decay and staining if trapped between your aligner trays and your teeth.
Gin and tonic may seem a safe bet, but it’s carbonated. So just remove your aligners before drinking and rinse with water after finishing your drink.
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Invisalign. Material Safety Data Sheet. Consulted 3rd January 2022.