What is one of the most significant advantages of Invisalign braces has over those old school metal braces? While there are many, many orthodontia wearers cite the ability to eat their favorite foods throughout the entire course of their orthodontic treatment.
We reached out for expert advice on this topic to Dr. Holly Gregory, an orthodontist who offers Invisalign in Humble, TX. She shared with us a few key reasons why so many people today are opting for clear liners over metal braces.
6 Key Reasons That Patients Prefer Invisalign Over Metal Braces
- Invisalign reduces the length of treatment by as much as 50 percent by maximizing the efficacy of the treatment. That’s all the sooner these patients get to show off their new, straightened smile off to the world.
- Patients are not embarrassed by their smile with clear tray orthodontia. The orthodontic appliances are barely even noticeable!
- Athletes can participate freely in their game of choice without fear of breaking wires or brackets. There are no sharp brackets or braces that can impact the inside of their cheeks or lips. And, they can remove the trays if they play a contact sport.
- Invisalign trays are far more comfortable for the patient to wear.
- Ease of maintaining proper dental hygiene during the many months of treatments. This ability to brush and floss without pain means that Invisalign patients will maintain gum and tooth health during their treatment.
- And, wearing Invisalign enables patients to eat their favorite meals and treats without any restrictions.
Today, we are going to take a deeper dive into that final benefit—the ability to consume anything you like without worrying that you’ll bend the wires of your braces or pop a bracket off a tooth.
How Does Invisalign Offer This Freedom to Eat Any Food?
For those who are new to the concept of Invisalign, let’s start with a basic overview. Invisalign braces are not really braces. Instead, they are orthodontic appliances that consist of clear liner trays. The patient wears them most of the day but can remove them and reinsert them at will. At mealtime, for example…
You are planning to eat your favorite food with your meal. Let’s pretend that food is corn on the cob. Because of the risk of bending the wires, you’d be forced to cut the corn off of the cob to eat it if you wear metal braces.
On the other hand, the Invisalign patient removes the trays, places them into a convenient storage case, and enjoys every last nibble of corn, right off of the cob. After dining, this patient places the orthodontics back into their mouth. Easy!
While this example illustrates one specific food, there are many foods on the no-no list for metal braces wearers. Take a look.
Foods That Are Very Chewy
Any foods that are very chewy in texture present a risk of damaging metal braces. The repeated chewing motion places a strain on the metal wires that run across the fronts of the teeth.
Some of the foods that come to mind in this category include:
- Chewy dinner rolls
- Thick pizza crust
- French bread
Any Foods You Must Bite Into with the Front Teeth
Think about some of the foods that you have to really bite into to get a taste of, and they are also on the no-go list for metal braces. That deliberate biting motion puts excessive strain on the brackets of your front teeth and can loosen them if you bite wrong.
What are those foods?
- Corn on the cob
Hard and Crunchy Foods
Hard foods are among the most damaging to the brackets. Once loosened, the bracket no longer serves its purpose and you must get to the orthodontist for a repair asap.
The foods that may cause this are:
- Tree nuts
- Meats on the bones (ribs or chicken—eat them with a fork and knife)
Sticky Foods and Candy
Finally, we reach the last category of foods that are not orthodontist-approved. Sticky foods and candy can pose two problems.
First, the sticky nature of the food can bend the wires of braces. And, second, the sugar dissolves and can trigger excessive plaque build-up. Plaque is particularly hard to get rid of while wearing braces!
Therefore, avoid the following:
- Hard candy
- Breath Mints
Invisalign Requires No Food Restrictions
Because of the removable nature of Invisalign, you will be under zero food restrictions if you opt for them for your orthodontic treatment. The convenience of eating what you want, when you want it, without fear of damaging your braces, is a significant reason why patients love the brand.