Drinking Beer With Invisalign

Two facts: I am an adult and I enjoy beer.

Let’s face it.  For those of you who are of legal drinking age and are also undergoing Invisalign treatment, you will most likely at some point or another, end up in a social situation where you might want to have a some drinks.

We should all be aware of Invisalign’s most basic rules by now (unless you dove into this with your head suspended in a cloud of ignorant bliss).

1. No eating while wearing your aligners.

2. No drinking while wearing your aligners… water being the exception.

That second rule can really put a broom stick in your bike spokes. I guess it’s for good reason though. Who wants weakened enamel, stained aligners, and cavities?

I however, am shamefully breaking the rules.  As I mentioned before, I frequent the beach quite often.  Though many people wouldn’t imagine Texas as a tropical climate, where I live the summers long, humid, and hot. They begin in March and end in early December. But beach season isn’t limited to only those months! For me, it’s year-round.

I’m lucky because my paradise is just steps from my door.  Literally.  And it’s guaranteed that there will always be someone I know out on the beach… see Figures A-K.

Figure A.

Figure B.

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Figure C.

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Figure D.

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Figure E

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Figure F.

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Figure G.

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Figure H.

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Figure I.

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Figure J.

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Figure K.

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These are not special gatherings… this is every weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  These people are my social life and second family; I’d have a difficult time putting that on hold for fourteen months… ’cause let’s face it, drinking water at the beach is just not that fun.  SO,  over the past several weeks, I’ve conducted a few experiments.

The first one was a complete and total FAIL but we won’t go into that… I’m just going on the record here and saying that cinnamon whiskey ain’t the answer.

During the second week of my second set of trays, the aligners became harder to clean- like I couldn’t remove this sort of permanent ‘cloudiness’.  I figured it was either from the abrasive whitening toothpaste I was using to clean them, or from drinking beer the weekend before.  I went the entire duration of the next set of aligners without brushing them with toothpaste which isn’t allowed in the first place (notice that in my experiment, I eliminated the toothpaste variable first) and ultimately, that seemed to make the ‘cloudiness’ problem a lot.  Even with drinking beer, and cleaning of course, they remained fairly clear with minimal cloudiness on the outsides of my back molars.  Solution?  Refrain from cleaning your aligners with toothpaste;  water and a separate toothbrush is the ticket.

Anyway, I have my first cleaning appointment next week and I’ll be getting an assessment on how I’ve been doing as far as cleaning.  I suspect the outcome will be good since I have become somewhat of a teeth cleaning Nazi lately.  I’d also recommend having your teeth cleaned quarterly rather than twice a year… that’s just my opinion though.

UPDATE! (6/18/12)

I have since moved across the country and alas, I’m no longer able to spend long days at the beach drinking grown-up drinks with my friends.  My skin is thanking me.  All is not lost though (except a dress size!)  I now have zero problem keeping my aligners in their right-out-of-the-bag condition.  I soak them several times a week in Polident (buy this stuff… you won’t regret it don’t use Polident on the new SmartTrack material. It worked like magic on the old plastic, but not this new stuff.) and simply take care of them as I did before.

FYI… I still do quite a bit of blog reading on the subject of Invisalign.  Something that still leaves me completely baffled is when people say their aligners start taking on a bad smell. You might think that mine do too, and that I simply just have a poor sense of smell.  Not true.  My husband used to joke with me and ask if I was absolutely sure I wasn’t pregnant.  Sometimes I think I may have been born with a macrosmatic olfactory system because I’ve always been able to smell everything pleasant and unpleasant.  I truly don’t understand how someone’s aligners can harbor stench if they clean them after every meal.  Even just rinsing (as I have been guilty of on occasion) until the next available time for a brushing should do the trick.  I am not on a high horse… I’m just sayin..  I don’t get it.

Here’s a question to ponder:  Is it actually these people’s aligners that smell?  Or is it just their breath?  Any normal human can experience the latter.

To read more on how my teeth fared after all my partying days of drinking with Invisalign, click here.

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23 thoughts on “Drinking Beer With Invisalign

  1. First of all, I just found your blog, and I am LOVING it… 🙂
    Second, I find my aligners start smelling sometimes. Usually after I’ve drank alcohol, but not always. A quick soak in denture cleaner freshens them right up! Also, when I notice it, it’s a horrible stench when I take them out of my mouth, and it’s not my breath, it’s the trays. I don’t notice it when there in, it’s more as if taking them out released the trapped in smell. I know this is all probably more info then you wanted, but I’m just trying to clarify my experience. I also at least rinse them, if not clean them, every time they’re out of my mouth – so I’m not sure exactly what the random culprit is.

    • Thanks, Christina! Yes, Polident has definitely become part of my daily ritual. I do believe that I was in denial when I used to drink a lot of beer and couldn’t figure out where the cloudiness was coming from. I still drink beer on say, football Sunday for several hours straight and because of that, I then get some ‘cloudiness’. Nothing a good scrub down *without* toothpaste can’t handle though. 😉

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Hi Cay, thanks for your question. I hate to admit it, but my whole social life used to revolve around beer drinking which yes, I did do with my aligners (and all 14 attachments). I believe I paid the price though, with a cavity simply because I was extremely diligent on the care of my teeth otherwise.

    Through this process, I have found that the absolute best way to keep aligners clean is to soak them once a day in Polident and brush them with a clean toothbrush and just water before you put them in (every time).

    I’ve had to wear the same bottom aligner for months and used this process and it still looks brand new.

    • LOL. I just read my comment. I am not sure how I could have made that many wacky typos at 7:34 in the morning! I live in Texas and understand the beer drinking completely. I love my Shiner Light Blondes. My issue is that I play golf and of course, there’s nothing better than a cold beer after a round. Or several. I’m scared to death to drink beer with my aligners (I only have 9 attachments!), as I don’t want them to get cloudy. On the other hand, I hate taking them out when I’m hanging out after golf or whenever, having a few beers. Do you think the cavity was from the sugar in the beer? My instructions said NOT to use Polident, but if you say it works, then I’ll give it a shot. I’ve been using a very soft brush, very warm water and antibacterial hand soap to clean mine. I Water Pik and/or floss, then brush each time I put them in. I occasionally swirl a bit of Colgate Peroxyl or Listerine before I put them in, as well, although I rinse that before I reinsert them. Thanks so much for your information.

      • Haha that’s funny! I figured maybe you were missing a few fingers or something… joking 😉

        My problem was that I had preexisting trouble spots between a couple teeth. I had kept them at bay for over four years due to my newfound diligent hygiene habits (before then, I was a disgusting human being and didn’t floss nearly as often as I should have which I regret to this very day!). I’m assuming that these “spots” finally gave in to all the sugars in the alcohol. If your teeth are in great condition, then maybe you’ll have a different outcome!

        Oh, and Polident… I use it religiously, every morning. In fact, I just finished my breakfast and so they’re still sitting in the Polident right now!

  3. I’m on my 5th aligner and I still read blogs, like yours! I am also confused about the smelling comments. Even the ones I’m finished with and have cleaned with water and a little toothpaste, taking them out of their bags they don’t smell. Maybe we are just lucky?!

    • Thank you for reading my blog! I will say that the new SmartTrack material holds minty smells. I guess it’s better than funk, right? I’ve come to the conclusion that some people simply have different hygiene habits. I’ve been wearing aligners for almost two years and have never had issues with smells. Seriously! Even with old aligners that I’ve kept stored in their original bags.

  4. Hi! So I read your blog and was wondering how long each time did you drink for? Like 1-3 hours or 2-5 or even more? Because I am going to padre with some friends during spring break and of course we are going to be drinking a lot. Mostly beer and some liquor! Would drinking beer for about 5 hours straight permanently ruin my trays? Or even worse give me a cavity?

    • Hey Peter, sorry to leave you hanging for this long. I’m embarrassed to admit that we did a lot of drinking… like the whole day. Too often. I’m assuming you have the newer Invisalign material? I wouldn’t worry too much about beer staining your trays. Worst case scenario, they’re tinged and you’re forced to wear them for -gasp!- another 10 days! 😉 Just be sure to rinse often for the sake of your teeth. I was always real careful to not to stain my aligners though (with the old material which was very easy to maintain) because of the slight chance of something happening to the next ones; I’d have to move back and put on stained aligners. Ironically, I never had that happen until my very last lower tray. It’s hideous in comparison to new trays, but guess what? I’m wearing it right now and though it looks almost yellow when I hold it to the light, it isn’t noticeable to anyone but me.

      As far as cavities go, a couple days of drinking won’t hurt your teeth if you rinse and brush at least twice a day. And liquor? My motto is, ‘if it will stain your tongue, it’ll definitely stain your aligners’. Have fun in Texas!

  5. Hey! So I am somewhat new to Invisalign, I started my first tray the end of January; I’m going on my 5th tray. I’m not a huge social drinker but now that spring has come, more people are visiting San Diego and more people want to go out and party! I’m concerned about staining my Invisalign trays, though! I really do not want to take them out for hours on end just to prevent staining, ya know? I wonder if a quick trip to the restroom while socializing would work…and just take them out to swoosh around mouth wash or even water to get rid of any sugars would be okay?

    My daily routine has come to this: I take them out to brush my teeth, then let them soak in Hydrogen Peroxide (and sometimes a little mouth wash with a little water to dilute) for about 5-10 minutes (or longer if I’m still getting ready) then scrub them with a toothbrush that has not been in contact with toothpaste (because I noticed, like you said, they were getting foggy after the first week).

    As for the coffee drinkers, I used to drink coffee once or twice a day everyday for the last year. I knew with Invisalign that wouldn’t be as easy so when I started my treatments, I actually stopped drinking coffee and have been drinking more water. It’s not super easy as you will experience headaches but you get over it within a week or so. Since January, I have periodically had an iced coffee or two with friends and I’ve noticed my trays during yellow a lot quicker.

    You will also notice you are snacking A LOT less. I am skinny, and there’s no need for me to loose any weight, so it’s tough sometimes when I’m hungry and I can’t just pick up a chip or two I see at a party! My treatment is only suppose to be 9 months so I have til October (7 more months!)….YAY!!!!!!!!!! It’ll be over soon, just a small phase outta life!

    • October is way closer than you think! Oh, and about the alcohol thing- I’ve found that certain red (yes, red!) wines don’t stain my aligners at all which is surprising. I totally think the occasional evening of drinking won’t do any harm, especially if you’re rinsing. Thanks for reading, Jill 🙂

  6. I’m glad someone else has been able to corroborate my “drinking beer with Invisalign” experiment results. I subscribe to pretty much the same routine as you: Efferdent (not Polident) in the morning while eating breakfast, cleaning the aligners without toothpaste before putting them back in.
    If I feel the need to drink coffee, getting an iced drink and using a straw doesn’t seem to stain them – I just make sure to rinse the aligners and either brush or use mouthwash right after I’m done.
    The weight loss thing is there too – I didn’t think I was really a snacker, but my afternoon lattes are the most likely culprit.

      • Hi, I started my Invisalign journey with my first tray last Tuesday (5 May 2015) and finding my first week really difficult! No snacking, no drinking tea through the day and no alcohol!. Anyway I can deal with reduced snacking but I can’t deal with the fact I can’t go out for a beer or wine at the weekend. I’m frustrated (and it’s my first weekend haha). I was told not to drink anything but water. What is your suggestion when I go for a drink… What should I drink and what should I do about cleaning whilst in a bar or wait till I get home to rinse them?
        Ps. Ive been told not to use any products to clean them… only water and toothbrush.

  7. Just started this past week with Set #1 (of 28 total . . . I suppose that’s what you get for waiting until you’re 50 to get your teeth straight), and find myself with an evening stretching before me and nothing to do but drink me a coldbeer. My orthodontist recommends cleaning with a solution (mild, of course) of regular (the blue stuff) Dawn dishwashing detergent (anything that cleans cars, black powder weapons, and Invisaligns equally well has got to be some Good Stuff). So now I have a cup and an extra toothbrush at the office and house. I take them out for my daily 5-9 cups of coffee, brush, floss, and scrub after every meal, and of course in the morning and evening. Thus far no discoloration issues. No untoward odors. No discomfort. Will report back after sobering up.

      • So far so good. I don’t drink any alcohol other than beer with them in, and about the only thing I’ve noticed while drinking beer is that it feels like the trays are getting progressively shrink-wrapped onto my teeth. But they (and the teeth) still clean up easily. Dawn (and a separate tooth brush for same) appears to be The Ticket. Generally, no real discomfort but rather a vague sense of displacement for about two days after starting new set of trays. By the end of the two-week cycle there’s no sensation at all of anything like movement. So I can’t tell if the plastic is moving my teeth or my teeth are moving the plastic. In fact, the only really painful part of the process so far has been the floor jack they shove into your mouth while putting those damned attachments on; it felt like they were driving tent pegs into my jaw. I mean, c’mon guys: How hard would it be to put a pad over the contact points?

  8. Omg thank you for this blog! Every April is Country Thunder here in AZ. Which means 4 days of non-stop drinking. Where beer starts with breakfast and water is only for brushing your teeth. I just started my trays and I was so nervous. I’ll just have to brush my teeth more often there and luckily it ends on a Monday and my new trays start on Tuesdays. 🙂

  9. Just got my 1st yesterday. Am in a lot of pain today and I feel like I look like a monster so the thought of not drinking beer was awful. Or I thought of starving myself all day then having as many beers as I could in 2 hours.

    Has anyone tried gin n tonic ? Wasn’t sure about the sugar content.

  10. Pingback: RiteBite and Invisalign, just over a year in | Bus error: Jake Billo's weblog

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