One of the best parts about the holidays – aside from spending time with your closest family and friends, of course – is indulging in all of your favorite holiday foods.
One great aspect of choosing Invisalign over braces is that no foods are totally off-limits. You can take advantage of this to enjoy all of the foods the holidays have to offer.
Foods That Can Stain Aligners
Many foods can stain your Invisalign aligners and your teeth. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever have them, though. In general, enjoying these foods in moderation is just fine. But you don’t have to hold back during the holidays. Just be sure to remove your aligners while you eat, plus care for your teeth and aligners properly, especially if you are planning to indulge in some of the foods on our list.
It isn’t Thanksgiving without this sweet and tart addition to your turkey dinner. Moreover, cranberries can be used in many other holiday recipes. These vibrant little fruits are delicious and festive, but they can certainly stain teeth and Invisalign if you don’t take precautions.
Pies With Dark Fruit
Similarly, the holiday dessert spread may contain a variety of pies. Some types of pie contain darker fruits that can stain. Cherry, blueberry, and rhubarb are just a few tempting possibilities. As we’ve said, enjoy your pie! But follow our steps below to avoid stains.
Another sneaky ingredient that can stain aligners is food coloring. This isn’t a big surprise since food coloring is meant to give your holiday treats their bright colors. One of the most common places to find food coloring is cakes and cookies, especially icing.
Any alcohol is bad for Invisalign and can degrade the materials, so make sure you keep your aligners out while enjoying a holiday cocktail. Wine can be especially troublesome due to the tannins and natural dyes in red wine.
Coffee & Tea
Coffee and tea also contain the same types of pigments as red wine. Avoid drinking coffee or tea with your aligners in every day, including holidays, and be sure to brush after finishing that last cup.
Remember to Remove Your Invisalign
Aligners should be worn as much as possible to keep your treatment schedule on track. That means you should aim for 20+ hours per day of wear, every day, only removing them to eat and brush your teeth, if possible.
But we understand that holidays are rare and special occasions. If you are going to be indulging in several courses and sipping cocktails, it is better to keep your aligners out for the couple of hours of feasting.
Brush After Eating
As soon as you are finally stuffed from all of the delicious food, it will be time to put your Invisalign aligners back in. But before you do so, it is essential to brush your teeth. After having these foods, the pigments can stick to teeth and transfer to your aligners when you put them back in.
If you are not eating your holiday dinner at home, plan ahead by packing your oral hygiene essentials. Brink a toothbrush, travel toothpaste, and floss so you can thoroughly clean your teeth after your meal.
Keep Your Aligners Clean
In addition, be diligent about cleaning your aligners. You should gently brush your aligners clean before reinserting them every time, if possible. If it is not possible to brush your teeth and aligners before putting them back, rinse them thoroughly under water and swish water around your mouth to remove dyes and debris. Soak your aligners regularly in aligner cleaner as well.
Stick to Your Treatment Plan
If your aligners do start to get a bit discolored, don’t worry. Remember, you will only be wearing each set of trays for a short time until you move on to the next set.
In addition, make sure to make and keep all of your Invisalign appointments to keep your treatment plan on schedule! If you need to schedule your next follow-up or are interested in a consultation to discuss Invisalign treatment, contact our office today.