Did you know that there are around 4 million people in the United States who are wearing braces at any given time? Of those 4 million, many of them are wearing clear aligners, otherwise known as Invisalign aligners.
But with the different types of braces, there are different ways you need to care for your mouth and the braces themselves. Ready to learn more about how to keep up with oral health while getting an Invisalign treatment?
Brush and Floss
While it’s important to brush your teeth two times a day, when you are wearing braces or aligners, it’s more important to keep your teeth clean.
This means you need to spend more time on your oral hygiene.
To do, you should brush and floss after every time you eat. If food particles get stuck between your teeth, and then you put your aligners back on, you will be trapping the food particles there. They will not move until you take the aligners back out.
During this time, the bacteria can build up, and the more you do this, the more bacteria there will be. Over time, this can lead to decay, and cavities may form.
To stay up with your oral hygiene, you will need to brush and floss much more than you were doing before!
Create a Mini Travel Kit
Since you are most likely not home all of the time, brushing and flossing may be difficult after meals. For instance, if you work at an office or go to school, you may not have access to your toothbrush and floss.
This is where creating a min travel kit can come in handy! In this kit, you should put the following:
- Toothbrush (it can be a travel size or mini toothbrush)
When you need to brush your teeth after you eat, you can place the aligners in their case and brush and floss. Then you can use mouthwash for extra cleaning purposes before you put the aligners back into your mouth.
Avoid Drinks That Stain
Since you need to wear your aligners for a majority of the day and only take them out when you eat, you may drink with them in.
However, you want to avoid drinks that cause stains while you are wearing them such as coffee, tea, and wine.
Just as these drinks can stain your teeth over time, they can also stain your aligners. The combination of heat from the coffee or tea and the ability for it to stain makes it easier to stain due to the heat.
To avoid any of this while still enjoying the things you love, remove your aligners to enjoy the coffee, wine, or tea. Then brush your teeth before replacing them.
Just keep in mind that the longer you have them out the longer it will take to complete the treatment.
Do Not Wear Lipstick
If you are a lipstick lover, you may not want to hear this. However, if you want your oral health to thrive while you are getting treatment, you should heed this advice.
Do not wear lipstick or lipgloss. Both of these types of makeup can adhere to the aligners. When this happens, they may not properly adhere to your teeth.
If that happens, then you are not actually correcting misalignment at all and are wasting your time and money!
These lip products can also stain the aligners or get trapped against a tooth and cause discoloration, which you most likely do not want.
While you should not use lipstick or lipgloss, you can use a clear chapstick or Vaseline if you have chapped lips.
Keep Your Invisalign Aligners Clean
Another thing you need to do to stay up with your oral hygiene when using aligners is to keep the aligners themselves clean. It’s one thing to keep your teeth clean, but you also need to keep the things you are putting on your teeth clean. This means cleaning your aligners.
- Take out your aligners before brushing and flossing your teeth, then rinse out your mouth with mouthwash before replacing the aligners back in your mouth
- Use a special cleaning solution to wash your aligners – this could even be something like denture cleaner (this can be purchased from a drugstore or provided by your dentist)
- Store your clear aligners in a case when you are not using them so they are away from the elements
By following these steps, you can ensure that your aligners will stay clean!
Have a Discussion With Your Orthodontist
Everyone is different. That means it will take a different amount of time for one person to wear the aligners for correcting misalignment than another.
You can have a conversation with your orthodontist about what the expectation is when it comes to your aligners and your lifestyle. They will be able to advise you on how to go about wearing them on a day-to-day basis since you want to make sure that you are wearing them for at least 22 hours a day.
Maintain Your Oral Health
When you are getting an Invisalign treatment, it can be difficult to stay up with your oral health needs and everything else expected of you when it comes to wearing your Invisalign aligners.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your teeth and gums will stay in great shape during treatment!
Ready to get started? Request an appointment with us at Red Rock Orthodontics.