Protecting Your Oral Health During Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign Treatment

You can have that perfect smile you deserve and always want with Invisalign clear plastic aligners. You would have to wear the aligners for at least 20-22 hours daily for them to work. You are only supposed to take it off when eating, drinking, brushing or flossing. As the aligners are invisible, they cover all parts of the teeth up to the edge of the gums.

One of the downsides of Invisalign is that it increases a person’s risk of cavities and periodontal disease because it prevents the saliva from reaching the teeth and gums. Although it creates an increased risk of cavities, it is still less than the risk created by traditional metal braces. In some other patients, aligners also increase the risk of TMJ by impacting the joint, as in the case of those who are already at risk of TMJ.

With this piece of information, the problem is what you can do to ensure that your mouth and teeth continue to remain healthy even as you undergo treatment. Below are some tips and ways to protect your oral health during Invisalign treatment.

Protecting your oral hygiene

It is never a bad idea to have a good oral hygiene routine already; however, when you begin to undergo treatment using Invisalign, it becomes more important to take your oral health more seriously. With Invisalign aligners in your mouth all day, it is no longer possible for saliva to wash through your teeth as frequently as it used to. This prevents a lot of activities like the re-hardening of the enamel and washing away bacteria on the surface of the teeth.

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The increased risk of cavities and plaque makes it necessary to continue practising oral hygiene. Below are some oral hygiene practices you should continue with to maintain the health of your teeth and mouth.

  1. Brush and floss regularly

It is vital to brush twice daily. With Invisalign, you can brush as many times as possible after eating or drinking. We would advise you to brush in the morning before putting on your aligners and before going to bed. You can brush in-between after each meal as well. Also, remember that flossing is equally important as it removes food particles lodged in the teeth.

  1. Only stick to drinking water when wearing aligners

It is sometimes normal to forget that you are wearing aligners, but this can cause you to also forget that the aligners are made from clear plastic material. They can get stained, warped or cloudy. Besides that, any liquid you drink besides water can seep into the aligners and get to your teeth. This is not always a good thing, especially when there is a limited amount of saliva to wash it off. To be safe, it is better to drink plain water, so you do not affect your teeth in any way, nor damage or expose the aligner to food particles.

  1. Rinse the mouth before re-inserting the aligner

Although it is ideal to clean your mouth of any food particles after eating, it is often not enough. In some cases, you may be out of home and, as such, not within reach of any brush or floss. In this case, it is advisable to clean your mouth with clean plain water. You should not use sparkling water for this exercise, but plain water only. Be sure to swirl the water vigorously in your mouth before re-inserting the aligner.

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When you get the chance, you can brush fully or floss properly.

  1. Only use recommended products as directed by your dentist

As long you are consistent with your visit to your dentist, they are likely to recommend some oral hygiene products for you, especially if you are at risk of cavities or periodontal disease. Some examples may include fluoride mouthwash after brushing or flossing or a special toothpaste or gel for cleaning the teeth.

When these recommended products are used, they will protect your teeth and gums and keep them clean and healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.

  1. Do not ignore TMJ symptoms

Although the risk of TMJ is not increased during orthodontic treatment, it is always safe to know the dangerous symptoms to look out for. If you notice any of the symptoms below, do not hesitate to inform your dentist at once

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Pain in the ears or in front of the ears
  • Locking sensation when the mouth is closed and difficulty opening the mouth
  • Clicking or popping sounds when you chew, open or close the mouth
  • Locking sensation when the mouth is open and difficulty closing the mouth

If any of these symptoms are worse when wearing the aligners, stop wearing them until the symptoms improve. In the case of severe TMJ, the individual will have to revert to wearing traditional metal braces instead of aligners.

  1. See your dentist regularly

You are undergoing orthodontic treatment should not stop you from seeing you from going for your regular dental cleaning and checkups. Although you would have to see your dentist every two weeks for progress evaluation of the treatment, you should still make efforts to schedule appointments for regular dental checkups and cleanings.

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Seeing your dentist regularly will make it easier for any dental problems or defects to be spotted early enough to be treated, and recommend oral hygiene practices that will reduce your risk of diseases.

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