At the end of orthodontic treatment, you’ll have a stellar grin and improved oral health. However, to reach that point and ensure you get amazing results, you’ll want to give your smile and your hardware (or clear aligners) the TLC they deserve. Life with braces won’t require too much extra effort but there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind so your appliances stay in excellent shape and you’re comfortable. To point you in the right direction, the team here at Hawley Orthodontics has compiled 20 helpful Invisalign and braces tips and tricks.
Can you eat chips with braces? Can you eat lollipops with Invisalign? Can you drink coffee with clear braces? These are some of the common questions we hear from our Papillion Invisalign and braces patients about eating and drinking during treatment. Hey, between all of the amazing Omaha-area restaurants and grilling season being in full effect, we get it! You want exceptional braces or Invisalign results without having to give up your favorite foods. The team at Hawley Orthodontics is making things easier for you by covering all of your food and beverage-related braces and Invisalign questions.
Can you eat chips with braces?
You can eat chips with braces depending on the type. Since really hard foods can break your appliance, avoid chips that are, well, really hard like Doritos and corn chips during your treatment. Chips that are easy to chew, such as certain baked chips or alternatives like cheese puffs, are okay to eat with braces. Eat one chip at a time and, if possible, go with smaller pieces of chips instead of large ones, so you don’t accidentally break a braces bracket or damage a wire.
There is one thing to note: since chips are starchy and the bacteria in the mouth feed on starches and sugars, which can result in cavities, enjoy chips in moderation. Getting cavities during your braces treatment could make your treatment last longer and, in extreme cases, you may need to have your braces removed to have the cavities treated. Be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly after indulging!
Can you drink coffee with clear braces?
Yes! You can drink coffee with clear braces. The clear braces we use at Hawley Orthodontics are durable and stain resistant. While the clear elastics often used with traditional clear braces can become discolored from beverages like coffee, our braces are self-ligating braces that don’t require elastics or ties, so you won’t need to worry about that.
Can you drink coffee with Invisalign?
You can drink coffee with Invisalign as long as you take your aligners out first. Hot beverages, including coffee, can warp the thermoplastic material the aligners are made from, which could affect the fit of your aligners and, ultimately, your Invisalign results. Drinking coffee with Invisalign aligners in your mouth will also cause the aligners to become discolored.
Can you eat ice cream with braces?
Oh yeah! While we do recommend cutting back on sugary treats to prevent cavities during your treatment, you can eat ice cream with braces in moderation. In fact, it’s preferable to many other desserts, because it rinses off the teeth easily and won’t get trapped in your hardware. Ice cream is an excellent option for when you first get braces put on. It’s super soft and cold enough to numb your mouth a bit.
Can you chew gum with braces?
No. Unfortunately, you can’t chew gum with braces. At Hawley Orthodontics, we use self-ligating braces, which have a door that opens and closes to put the wire in. The sticky gum can open the doors on the brackets. Believe us, your fantastic new smile will be worth temporarily giving up gum!
Can you chew gum with Invisalign?
While you can chew gum with Invisalign, take your aligners out first and opt for sugarless gum. Sugar-filled gum can cause cavities and no one wants cavities when they’ve invested in getting straight teeth and a healthy smile! While sugarless gum isn’t as sticky as regular gum, it still tends to stick to aligners. Plus, you’re also exposing your aligners to constant chewing forces as you enjoy your gum. This could potentially interfere with the fit of your aligners or damage them.
Can you eat lollipops with Invisalign?
You can eat lollipops with Invisalign as long as you remove your aligners first. Since lollipops are sticky and full of sugar, they can cause a mess and/or lead to cavities if you eat them with your aligners in.
Can you eat peanut butter with braces?
Absolutely! Peanut butter is an excellent choice when it comes to soft foods to eat with braces. It has protein, fat, important nutrients and doesn’t require a lot of chewing, making it ideal for when your teeth are feeling tender after first getting your braces put on and following adjustments. Brush your teeth after eating the peanut butter to remove it from your brackets and wires.
Can you drink water with Invisalign?
Yup! You can drink plain water with Invisalign. If the water isn’t hot, you don’t need to remove your aligners first.
What can you eat with Invisalign?
Since the clear aligners are removable, there are zero Invisalign food restrictions. You can eat and drink whatever you want during treatment. The caveat? Take your Invisalign aligners out before eating or drinking anything aside from plain water.
The aligners fit snug against your teeth and saliva isn’t able to flow freely beneath them to wash away any lingering debris or residue from your food or drinks. This means eating or drinking with Invisalign aligners in will allow the food or beverage to sit against your teeth for a longer period of time, increasing your risk of tooth decay and the staining of your teeth and/or Invisalign aligners.
On that note, you’ll also want to brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in after eating and drinking. This will ensure your teeth are clean and your aligners aren’t trapping anything beneath them.
Can you eat chocolate with braces?
Yes, you can eat chocolate with braces. Since things like nuts and caramel are among the foods you can’t eat with braces, go with plain chocolate like a Hershey’s bar or Hershey’s Kisses. Anything without hard bits that will melt in your mouth is okay. For more information on the candy you can eat with braces and the candy to avoid during treatment, check out our “Guide to Halloween Candy and Braces.”
Can you eat popcorn with braces?
It may seem like you can eat popcorn with braces without a problem, however, unpopped kernels can damage your brackets and wires. Additionally, popcorn is notorious for getting caught in braces and around the gumline, leading to inflammation. That’s why we usually tell patients to avoid popcor
Can you eat pizza with braces?
Breathe a sigh of relief, because, yes, you can eat pizza with braces. However, pizza crust, especially if it’s really chewy or hard, can damage your appliance, so stay away from it. If the crust is nice and soft, cut or break it into small pieces to eat.
What are the best soft foods for braces when your teeth are sensitive?
As for what to eat with braces the first week or following adjustments when your teeth are feeling a little sore, go with soft foods, as well as cold foods and drinks. Some of the best soft foods for braces include soup, yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, Jell-O, applesauce, scrambled eggs, peanut butter, mashed potatoes, popsicles and fudgesicles, ice water, ripe bananas, macaroni and cheese and protein shakes. Pro tip: Stock up on braces-friendly foods before you get your braces put on so you have plenty to eat from the get-go. Once you feel ready to tackle your normal diet again, you can still eat most of the foods you love with a few exceptions.
Again, while there are no Invisalign food restrictions, your teeth can be sensitive when you start your Invisalign treatment and, sometimes, after putting in a new set of aligners. Choosing soft foods that require minimal chewing will be helpful as you adjust.
What foods can’t you eat with braces?
Foods to avoid with braces include anything really hard, chewy or sticky that can damage your appliance. Skittles, hard candy, caramel, taffy, toffee, hard taco shells, whole, raw apples and carrots, hard pizza crust, hard rolls, Starburst and nuts are some examples of these types of foods.
Are there special techniques to use when eating with braces?
How to eat with braces is just as important as what to eat with braces. Break or cut food into small, bite-sized pieces and chew with your back teeth. Never tear at food with your front teeth. Take corn off the cob, take meat off the bone and cut things like raw apples into small, thin slices before eating them.
Now that you’re an expert on eating and drinking with Invisalign and braces, are you ready to kick-off treatment? Whether you want to get started or you’d just like to learn more about your teeth-straightening options, schedule a complimentary consultation with our Papillion orthodontist, Dr. Hawley, today!