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Invisalign and long rides - how do you fuel?

typekittytypekitty Posts: 188
edited August 2016 in Training, fitness and health
Usually the Google would answer my question but not finding any helpful cycle-specific answers, so thought I'd ask the question here:

Does anyone have Invisalign and fuel successfully for long rides? If so, what do you do?

Invisalign is basically a clear, plastic retainer worn to correct crooked teeth. It has to be worn for for at least 22 hours a day for X months and while you can take them out to eat, you have to scrub and floss your teeth before chucking them back in.

I'm deciding between old school metal braces and the plastic retainer and cycling is actually is the deciding factor – whether or not all the faff is worth it.

I suppose an option is to take a travel toothbrush kit with me but I can't imagine flossing while doing a 100+ ride after every single bite of a bar or banana. And you aren't meant to eat with the retainer in because it can break them / get in between your teeth and cause cavities / etc.

Of course, the other option is to leave the retainer at home but then that's 6-7 hours per ride that teeth aren't being straightened. So kinda defeats the purpose,

Any help from people with orthodontics installed would be much appreciated.


  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I have considerable experience of big distances with old school metal braces and had no specific issues with it. But could not imagine doing it with a retainer (or Invisalign), but if it were just a day ride, then just leave the retainer/invisalign off for the day (and don't tell your orthodontist!). Teeth don't move that fast, one day will do little harm to progress (clearly I am not a medical professional and feel free to disregard the advice!).
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,443
    I used to buy some bigger gels... 200 calories each, you only need one every 40 minutes or so... choose 3-4 different flavours and it won' get too boring... up to 6 hours is bearable... you only need one after 2 hours, then another 3-4 during the rest of the ride
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'm all too familiar with Invisalign; I've recently spent quite a lot of time at the dentist and he has the bloody promotional video playing on a loop in the waiting room.

    If you go for it I'd say stick to energy drink and gels on the bike, but only if you find your digestive system copes with them. And have water in the second bottle so you can rinse afterwards?

    I much prefer proper food, so I'd probably be opting for the wire braces
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I went through Invisalign. Ended up being about 4 years all in due to an accident knocking out my two upper front teeth near the end of the process which set everything back another year; after the aligners were done, I had about five months of wearing the retainers all day as well (ie the aligners are to move the teeth and the retainers to ensure that they stay put). The latter I had to wear during my three month tour of Norway.
    So, yes, you need to wear them on the rides - if you don't then the process will take forever and may not work properly - which will mean a redesign of the process and a lot of extra expense.
    I did my best to keep the retainers and teeth clean on rides but ultimately it was a bit of a hopeless task for me. I mostly only need to feed at café stops but it still wasn't great and I would avoid gels and energy drink (unless sugar free) like the plague. The result was a number of fillings I probably wouldn't otherwise have needed and the complete loss of one tooth (which, to be fair, was a bit of a wreck anyway). Everything is fine now but ultimately it is a bit of a wearing procedure and although I am very happy with the result I may not have bothered had I known what was involved (and that despite getting much of the Invisalign costs for free).
    Wire might in this respect be better but I reckon it is pretty mediaeval compared to the Invisalign approach.

    Hope this helps!
    Faster than a tent.......
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