Many teens and adults choose Invisalign and other forms of clear braces because they are virtually invisible when worn. However, their invisibility would change if they were to stain. At Strickland Orthodontics, we would like to help you keep your clear braces in good condition by helping you avoid foods that could stain them.
Drinks that Could Stain Clear Aligners, Like Invisalign
Clear aligners, like Invisalign, stain very little because they are changed every week! By the time they start to yellow or discolor, it’s time to switch to the next tray. However, individuals who wear clear aligners should still watch what they drink while wearing the trays. Avoiding foods that stain is less important with clear aligners because they are removed for eating.
Drinks that Should Be Avoided
A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything that stains your mouth or teeth because it could stain your aligner trays. We recommend only drinking water while wearing the aligners and warn against drinking anything that has sugar or carbonation. However, since we recommend patients to wear them for 20-22 hours a day, it may not be feasible to remove them every time you want a drink.
- Berry Smoothies – With clear aligners, you’ll remove your trays while eating berries, but you may be tempted to drink a fruit smoothie with your aligner trays in your mouth. This could cause the trays to stain or discolor. Not to mention, if any of the liquid gets inside the tray, you’ll end up bathing your teeth in sugar.
- Coffee and Tea – Coffee and tea can stain your teeth and will also stain your aligners. Not to mention, these drinks are often served hot, which could warp your trays and affect your treatment length. Many of our adult patients are big coffee lovers and there are different ways that we can make sure you can still enjoy your cup of Joe and get the beautiful smile you have always wanted.
- Cola and Caramel Colored Drinks – Any drink with caramel coloring could stain your aligners. This includes “Diet” drinks that don’t have real sugar. Many of these are also highly acidic and carbonated, which can cause damage to your teeth.
- Drink Mixes (such as Koolaid) and Energy Drinks – Heavily dyed drinks can stain your aligners. A good rule of thumb is to avoid drinks that you know stain your mouth, because they could also stain your trays. And neon blue trays loose their “coolness” quickly.
- Fruit Juices – even natural – Fruit juices, especially juices colored red or blue, could cause your aligner trays to discolor. Another cause for concern is the high sugar content. Even natural sugars will cause damage to your teeth.
- Wine – Red wine is good for your body, but not good for your aligner trays. It can stain your trays. If you’re old enough to have a glass of wine, have a glass with dinner while your trays are already out of your mouth, and always remember to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly after eating and drinking, before you reinsert your trays.
Avoiding Stains with Ceramic and Clear Traditional Braces
If you have clear or ceramic braces, it’s even more important to avoid foods and drinks that could stain the ties of the bracket. Modern brackets that we use are very hard to stain but the ties that are used to hold the wires in place can become stained over time. We will replace these at every appointment but here are some tips to help keep them looking beautiful. In addition to the above-mentioned drinks, you should also avoid eating:
- Berries – Berries, especially blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries can stain your clear braces. While they do contain valuable nutrients, it’s best to be cautious while you are straightening your teeth.
- Curry, Turmeric, and Tomato Sauce – Tomato sauce and certain spices, especially turmeric and curry, can stain your teeth and your clear braces. A good rule of thumb is to avoid spices and sauces that you know stain your mouth because they can stain your braces.
- Dark Vegetables – Dark vegetables, especially beets and tomatoes, can stain your braces. If you do consume vegetables that cause staining, it’s best to brush your teeth 30 minutes after you eat to minimize the risk.
Learn More About Clear Aligners
If you avoid these foods and drinks while wearing your aligner trays, or clear traditional braces, you’ll reduce your risk of staining the teeth straightening appliances. Want to learn more about your teeth straightening options with our orthodontist at Strickland Orthodontics?