Demand for orthodontic treatments like Invisalign spiked during and after lockdown in a phenomenon that dentists have called the “Zoom boom”. It turns out all that time spent on videocalls made us self-conscious about our looks and straight teeth are top of our wishlist. Whether you took the plunge on ortho treatment or are still considering it, we’ve got some some food-related truths and tips you should bear in mind.

Can you eat with aligners in?

Can you? Probably. Should you? Hell no! Your aligners are not made to withstand the impacts and pressure associated with eating. There is a high risk of them cracking and even if they don’t there’s every chance you’ll get mushed up food stuck inside them and it will look awful.

On that note, any food stuck inside your retainers is also being held against your teeth and greatly increases the twin risks of decay and bad breath. If you fancy a snack you need to remove your aligners beforehand and fully brush your teeth afterwards before you pop them back in.

What can you drink while wearing aligners?

First up, you should really avoid drinking anything hot. Orthodontic aligners are made from thermoplastics which become soft and pliable when heated. The last thing you want is for your aligners to warp and become useless for the sake of your morning tea or coffee.

Which brings us to the second point, coloured drinks. Both your aligners and teeth are prone to staining, if a bit of your latte gets trapped in the aligner it’s probably going to leave a mark and if this keeps happening it will also start to show on your teeth. Fizzy/sugary drinks are out too due to the damage they can do to your enamel so the best bet is to play it safe with still water.

What’s the best way to clean ortho aligners?

Given that ortho aligners typically need to be worn for 20+ hours a day, you need them to be thoroughly cleaned, really fast if you want to avoid bad breath and staining. Sterilisation can kill off germs and scrubbing with a brush should dislodge any food that found its way in there but to be 100% sure we thoroughly recommend Dr Mark’s HyGenie Cleaner.

Why is HyGenie the best aligner cleaner?

Dr Mark’s HyGenie is a patented cleaning system that uses a unique cage and brush design to get in all the nooks and crannies of your aligners. HyGenie has two built in brushpads and each of these has five toothbrush-sized clusters with rocket-shaped bristles. Effectively it’s like having 10 toothbrushes scrub your appliance simultaneously! The rocketed bristles get into what dentists call the “undercuts” to make sure nothing is missed and the whole process takes a leisurely 90 seconds.

Properly caring for your aligners

Ortho treatments can have incredible results but they don’t come cheap. Don’t waste your investment, order yourself a HyGenie cleaner and start using it for your aligners immediately. HyGenie is available in the UK from specialist dental and denture care retailers. If you’d like more information on where to buy drop us an email at or call on 01474 560 618.