Eagan, MN – Proper oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment is crucial to ensure a healthy mouth and teeth when treatment is complete. Invisalign aligners can be removed, making it easy to brush and floss without wires and brackets getting in the way. But, it’s important to brush and floss after all meals, before placing the aligners back in the mouth.
“Patients love Invisalign for its convenience and ability to fit into their daily lives,” says your ORTHODONTIST. “It’s a wonderful technology, but as with anything, there are drawbacks to it. If you immediately place your aligners back in your mouth after eating, and don’t pay close attention to your oral hygiene, you could be playing host to the potential of plaque and decay setting in.”
When we eat, the food particles mix with the bacteria in our mouths, and can then turn into acid that can attack our teeth. Our saliva works to naturally wash these particles away, helping to clean the mouth. But if you place your aligners back in immediately after you finish your last bite, you might be trapping those dangerous acid-producing bacteria right next to the teeth.
“After any of us eat, it’s important to either brush right away, drink a big glass of water, or rinse with mouthwash to try to stop the acid attack that can follow,” says your ORTHODONTIST. “Getting cavities while undergoing Invisalign treatment, or any orthodontic treatment, is typically rare, but it depends on your commitment to your oral hygiene.”
Keeping your aligners clean is also important. Rinse your aligners every time you take them out. This can remove dried saliva and any plaque that may be on them, and can remove any odors from bacteria that are lingering on the aligner. To clean the aligners, you can soak them in denture cleaner, retainer cleaner or purchase special Invisalign cleaning products. You may also opt to simply brush your aligners with your regular toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste.
“One of the biggest advantages to Invisalign is the ability to remove it,” says your doctor. “It makes keeping your teeth clean a snap, but that’s only true if you remember to brush after each meal. Invisalign is form-fitted, so if you don’t brush and floss properly, you can actually trap the harmful particles between your teeth and the aligner. And this can spell trouble in the future.”
With proper care, you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile when your Invisalign treatment is finished. Don’t let the hard work being done during treatment be at risk by failing to properly brush and floss.
If you have any questions during your treatment, your ORTHODONTIST and her staff are always available to help.
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