For those looking to straighten their teeth without traditional metal braces, clear dental aligners like those produced by Invisalign can be a lifesaver. These items do, however, come with a few eating and drinking restrictions that are distinct from those associated with old-school braces. As such, many folks wonder whether they can enjoy their morning cup of coffee or afternoon pick-me-up without removing their aligners. Unfortunately, the answer isn't as simple as yes or no.
Generally, most orthodontists recommend only drinking cool or cold water while wearing your Invisalign aligners. For foods or drinks beyond this, you should typically take them out. Others, however, say you can drink coffee while wearing Invisalign, as long as you take precautions to protect them.
First, you'll need to skip the steaming cup of fresh coffee, as hot liquids can warp the aligners, thus harming the straightening process. Opt for iced coffee, or at least let your regular cup cool down to a lukewarm temperature before you take a sip. Additionally, you'll want to remove your aligners and rinse your mouth out after your coffee. Be sure to clean your aligners, too, as this will help prevent staining from the coffee or buildup from sugar or other substances on the exterior.
Pros And Cons Of This Braces Alternative
While these extra steps might strike some as annoying, Invisalign is still generally less restrictive than traditional braces when it comes to eating and drinking. After all, the aligners can be removed at mealtime, allowing you to eat whatever you want, while old-school braces restrict your diet for the duration of the treatment. Drinking coffee with your aligners on can also prevent staining by providing your pearly whites with a rinseable shield from the dark-brown brew, a common source of tooth discoloration.
Those concerned about their dental health, however, may want to find a different beverage altogether. When you drink coffee every day, staining may be the least of your problems, as it can also cause the growth of bacteria that leads to tooth decay and bad breath. The solution is to brush your teeth after drinking, but only after waiting half an hour or so to avoid damaging your softened tooth enamel. Invisalign users should keep all of this in mind before drinking their next cup. They might even want to switch to some coffee substitutes, like matcha.
Read the original article on Mashed.