Can You Drink with Invisalign?

Can You Drink with Invisalign?

March 28, 2024

One common question for those considering or starting Invisalign treatment is: Can you drink with Invisalign aligners in your mouth? The answer is yes; you can drink most beverages with your clear aligners in place. However, some important caveats exist regarding drinking habits with Invisalign. 

Certain types of drinks and improper cleaning can lead to issues like staining, damage, and oral health complications. Smart choices are required to keep your aligners intact and teeth healthy throughout the Invisalign process. We will examine the impacts of drinking various beverages with Invisalign and best practices for maintaining your aligners and smile.

Overview of Drinking with Invisalign Aligners

Most drinks are safe to consume with Invisalign trays in your mouth. The virtually invisible plastic is stain-resistant and durable enough for regular drinking. However, some guidelines apply for protecting your aligners and teeth:

  1. Drink clear liquids whenever possible – dark sodas, juices, or smoothies can discolor aligners over time.
  2. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after drinking anything besides water – this prevents sugar residue buildup on teeth under aligners.
  3. Remove aligners for very hot, acidic, or sugary drinks – these can warp or stain plastic.
  4. Avoid sugary cocktails like margaritas – sugar and acid weaken enamel and attract plaque.
  5. Stick to short sipping durations – prolonged contact escalates staining risks. 
  6. Clean aligners promptly after drinking and brush/floss after sugary/acidic drinks.

With smart choices, you can keep aligners clear and teeth healthy while enjoying your favorite beverages in moderation during Invisalign. We will now look at the impacts of specific drink categories in more detail.

Drinking Water with Invisalign

Water is the most aligner-friendly beverage choice. Not only does it hydrate without calories or acidity, but it helps rinse away debris. There are no limitations on consuming plain water with your Invisalign trays in.

Drink water normally throughout your day and with meals. Swish some water around your mouth after eating or drinking anything besides water itself. This prevents food particles and residue from getting trapped under your aligners.

Flavored waters containing lemon, lime, or other fruit essences are also generally fine for Invisalign. But rinse them after drinking them since they contain traces of citric acid. Try to select clear flavored waters rather than vibrant colors that could tint your aligners over time. Overall, water is an ideal choice while wearing your trays.

Drinking Coffee, Tea, and Soda with Invisalign 

Coffee, tea, and sodas can be consumed in moderation with Invisalign aligners in place. However, take precautions to limit staining or enamel damage:

  • Drink quickly rather than slow sipping – minimize total contact time.
  • Choose light roasts, clear sodas, and white tea – these have less pigment.
  • Do not add syrups or lemon – these accentuate staining.
  • Use a straw placed toward the back of your mouth – bypass some aligner contact.  
  • Brush aligners and your teeth promptly after finishing the drink.

The temperature of hot coffee or tea is not a major concern – Invisalign plastic can withstand heat. However, acidic sodas or citrus-infused teas may degrade aligner material over time, so hot or cold water is better for sipping throughout the day.

For coffee drinkers, limit yourself to one or two cups per day with aligners in. Remove trays first if indulging in seriously stained drinks like black cold brew. Be sure to brush well afterward to prevent coffee residue from contributing to enamel wear under aligners.

Drinking Juice and Smoothies with Invisalign 

Fruity beverages like juices, smoothies, and lemonades involve high acid and sugar. Continual contact with Invisalign aligners can erode enamel over time. Pigmented fruits and veggies may also gradually stain your aligners. 

For light fruit juices like apple or white grape, quick drinking through a straw can minimize risks. But resist sipping that orange juice or green smoothie all morning – the prolonged exposure is damaging. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after any fruit drink. Carefully brush stained aligners and your teeth as soon as possible.

Consider removing aligners before consuming seriously staining or acidic smoothies and juices. The shorter your aligners remain immersed, the less chance for beverage components to penetrate the plastic or harm enamel.

Drinking Alcohol with Invisalign Aligners

Moderate alcohol consumption is possible with Invisalign trays in your mouth, but it is not recommended. The study published in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research found that red wine significantly stained the aligners compared to water and clear soda. Numerous studies have established the link between alcohol consumption and increased risk of tooth decay. This association is primarily attributed to the dehydrating effect of alcohol, which reduces saliva production. 

Take these steps for drinking alcohol with Invisalign:

  • Opt for clear liquors like vodka, gin, silver tequila – no bourbon or rum. 
  • Choose light white wines or pilsners rather than dark beers or reds.
  • Avoid sugary mixed drinks with juice, soda, or syrups. These stick to aligners.
  • Rinse your mouth with water between drinks.
  • Remove aligners for seriously staining drinks like red wine.
  • Brush and clean your aligners immediately after drinking.
A Woman Drinking Fresh Water |  Enhance Dental Centre

Oral Hygiene While Drinking with Invisalign 

No matter what you drink with Invisalign, meticulous oral hygiene is mandatory. Sugary, acidic, and pigmented drinks all introduce substances that can adhere to aligners or embed between teeth under trays. Thorough cleaning prevents buildup: 

  • Always brush and floss after eating/drinking anything besides water.
  • Rinse with water after any beverage, especially if unable to immediately brush. 
  • Clean aligners using non-abrasive soap and cool water – never hot.
  • Do not use whitening toothpaste during Invisalign – these abrade plastic.
  • Schedule regular professional cleanings every 3-6 months.
  • Monitor the aligner’s appearance and fit – replace it if cracking, cloudiness, or warping occurs.

The better you clean your aligners and teeth after drinking, the less risk of permanent staining or enamel issues over months of Invisalign treatment.

Avoiding Invisalign Tray Staining When Drinking

Discoloration of Invisalign aligners is inevitable over their typical 18-24 month lifespan as you drink various beverages. But you can minimize staining by:

  • Choosing light or clear drinks whenever possible. Herbal tea over coffee, white wine over red wine, clear sodas over colas.
  • Using a straw to bypass some contact between drinks and aligners.
  • Swishing with water during and after any staining drink. 
  • Removing aligners for seriously pigmented items like berry smoothies.
  • Letting aligners dry completely after cleaning – wetness worsens staining. 
  • Brushing with cool water and avoiding harsh abrasives. 
  • Replacing aligners every 10-14 days ensures no extensive buildup occurs.

Some superficial aligner tinting will still occur over months of wear and drinking. But with smart habits, it should not be severe enough to detract from Invisalign’s clear aesthetics before you switch to a new set of aligners.

Preventing Damage to Invisalign Trays When Drinking

While Invisalign plastic is designed to withstand normal wear, certain drinks and habits can degrade or warp aligners over time:

  • Hot coffee or tea can distort the tray shape if sipped regularly. Always drink hot beverages quickly.
  • Highly acidic drinks like citrus juices may erode Invisalign material. Rinse promptly after.
  • Sugary cocktails allow plaque-producing bacteria to flourish under aligners.
  • Prolonged immersion in any staining solution increases the chances of etching or cracking.
  • Letting aligners dry out without wearing allows moisture loss and brittleness.
  • Removing aligners incorrectly by grasping the outside edges risks cracks. Always use finger pads on both sides to pry trays off teeth.
  • Harsh scrubbing can abrade the plastic surface – handle gently when cleaning.

With proper oral hygiene, smart drinking choices, prompt rinsing, and careful handling, your aligners should maintain structural integrity for their intended lifespan.

Dentist showing Invisalign of a Female Patient |  Enhance Dental Centre

Invisalign-Friendly Drinking Tip

Follow these best practices for drinking with Invisalign to avoid issues:

  1. Prioritize clear, low-acidity beverages like water, tea, and white wine.
  2. Drink quickly rather than slow, steady sipping to limit contact time.  
  3. Use a straw placed toward the throat to minimize exposure.
  4. Swish water around your mouth frequently when drinking anything besides water itself. 
  5. Remove aligners for seriously problematic drinks when possible.
  6. Clean aligners and brush your teeth soon after drinking anything besides water. 
  7. Rinse; don’t scrub aligners to avoid abrasion.
  8. Take aligners out correctly using finger pads.
  9. Stay hydrated with plenty of water for optimal oral health.

Conclusion

You can consume most beverages with proper habits with Invisalign. However, straying from aligner-friendly choices or inadequate cleaning can result in staining, damage, or oral hygiene issues. Drinking primarily clear, low-acid liquids and rinsing/cleaning thoroughly after other drinks minimizes risks. Removing aligners for particularly problematic items like berry smoothies or red wine is best when feasible. With smart precautions, you can keep your aligners clear and smile brightly while staying hydrated with your favorite drinks in moderation.

Disclaimer 

The information on VancouverDentistBC.ca is for general purposes and not dental advice. We do not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Consult a qualified dentist for specific issues. Use of this site implies acceptance of our terms; if you disagree, please do not use the site.

Disclaimer

The information on VancouverDentistBC.ca is for general purposes and not dental advice. We do not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Consult a qualified dentist for specific issues. Use of this site implies acceptance of our terms; if you disagree, please do not use the site.