The Problem with Snacking with Invisalign Aligners

Is it wise to be snacking with Invisalign Aligners?

Continuing to chronicle and document my Invisalign® journey from a dentist’s perspective, this week we discuss the possibility and wisdom of snacking with Invisalign Aligners – even if it’s with soft food.

Weeks 4 and 5

These last two weeks continued to be less eventful.

Invisalign does a great job as long as you wear the aligners. This is why we instruct patients to wear them as much as possible except for brushing and eating.
I always get the question concerning the length of time that they really should be worn.
This usually ends up with a question of only wearing them at night. My answer is always “nighttime only is not long enough to create enough movement.”

To snack or not to snack – That is the question

With that in mind, I have the following dilemma. When presented with food and the chance to eat, I needed to decide as to whether to partake and remove the aligners or forgo the food.

I am not referring to meals. I am referring to the numerous opportunities for snacks during the day.
Many times it is easier to leave the aligners in.

This got me thinking as to whether or not I could be snacking with Invisalign® aligners in my mouth.
After all, I have seen patients without any teeth eating. They don’t eat well, but they do eat.
I learned that food that did not require much grinding was a perfect choice. I became adept at bananas, tangerines, yogurt and some other foods.
If you are currently wearing aligners, why don’t you gave it a try?

Its an issue of cleanliness

The only problem that I see is one of cleanliness.
For example, everyone can drink with the aligners in place.

If you head out to Starbucks and order your favorite latte, you will discover that coffee breath will linger longer than usual.
This is because once the liquid gets inside the aligners, the standard mechanical motion of the tongue and lips will not be present.
Saliva does not reach the area as readily as it does without the aligners. Food or liquid behind the aligners lingers.

If we take this concept to sugary foods, the sugar will stay in contact with your teeth much longer. That, of course, spells trouble.

So in the end, I actually ate less frequently than my new found idea allowed me, but still, more than, I had not come across this idea.

The bottom line is that I want to think like a patient, but I can’t get the dentist out of me.

Jeffrey Gross, DDSFAGD, is an Ohio-licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.

For any questions about Invisalign®  or any of the other dental procedures performed at The Healthy Smile Dental Center please call Megan at 440.951.7856

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