While metal braces make keeping up with oral hygiene more complicated, routine teeth cleaning is a breeze with Invisalign® clear aligners. It is important to maintain strong healthy teeth throughout a straightening treatment, as tooth decay and gum disease can present serious health concerns. In addition, oral hygiene improves the aesthetic results at the end of a treatment, as routine flossing and brushing can prevent teeth staining or unsightly damage from cavities.
When it comes to caring for the teeth and mouth during straightening, a primary benefit of the Invisalign® trays is the ability to carry out normal hygiene activities like twice-a-day brushing or flossing between the teeth without difficulty. Metal braces can make it hard to get the toothbrush bristles in all the cracks or crevices around the brackets, often creating frustration and missing out on a thorough cleaning. Removable trays allow individuals to spend time cleaning their teeth without any obstructions, but extra care should be taken to practice proper oral hygiene throughout the day as well.
Brush and floss regularly
In addition to recommendations to brush and floss in the morning and evening, those who wear aligner trays should brush their teeth before putting the trays into the mouth. This is particularly important after eating. The trays can trap food particles onto the teeth and cause the particles to get wedged between the teeth or down into the gumline. Trapped bacteria and particles can lead to gum disease and decay. Carry a travel toothbrush and toothpaste to use throughout the day.
Protect against staining and discoloration
There are no food restrictions when wearing clear aligner trays, but there are cautions against certain beverages. Drinks like wine, tea, coffee, colored juices, and soda can potentially stain the teeth. Aligners should be removed when drinking anything besides water to prevent the liquid from getting trapped inside the tray and against the teeth. Colored liquids could also stain the aligners and mar the invisibility of the trays.
Sugary drinks also increase the risk of cavities due to encouraging plaque development on the teeth. Acidic drinks wear the enamel of the teeth and make the teeth more susceptible to decay. If it is not possible to brush the teeth after consuming such drinks, thoroughly rinse the mouth with water to help wash out the sugar or acid.
Use mouthwash to keep both teeth and aligners clean. Never put dirty aligners back on the teeth; whenever the trays have been removed for eating or drinking, soak them in antimicrobial mouthwash.
Use the right equipment
Placing aligners in a protective case when not in use helps reduce picking up bacteria that is put directly into the mouth. Invest in a deep cleaning kit made specifically for Invisalign® trays to keep a buildup of germs to a minimum.
Following proper oral hygiene during the teeth straightening process protects the gums and teeth to create a healthy, beautiful smile. Schedule a consultation to find out more about clear aligner therapy.
Request an appointment or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at 602-547-9007 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.