Are you thinking about Invisalign treatment for yourself, your teen or your child? Have you been told you do not qualify for Invisalign? These are common questions, so we have put together some of the best practices to follow when deciding to invest in Invisalign treatment.
Oral Hygiene Tips To Follow While Using Invisalign
Because of Invisalign’s many attractive advantages, it is a very popular alternative to traditional metal braces. And, these near-invisible thermoplastic aligners can correct various dental issues such as overbites, crowding and spaces – just like their metal counterparts.
Besides their barely noticeable appearance, Invisalign also requires fewer lifestyle changes than opting for metal braces. One of the best examples of this is how you brush and floss with Invisalign – simply remove your aligners and resume your normal routine. Just remember to report any missing attachments that were placed on your teeth by your orthodontist. Most patients notice these missing attachments when they are brushing or flossing. Luckily, this is a rare occurrence, unlike loose braces.
Below, we take a look at a few of the things you will want to incorporate into your Invisalign hygiene daily routine:
- Brush and Floss Your Teeth First
While it is recommended that patients wear their aligners for a majority of the day (the average ranges from 18-20 hours per day), you will still have to remove them whenever you eat or drink anything, except for water. Then, to keep your teeth as healthy as possible, it is important to both brush and floss after you have eaten and before replacing your Invisalign aligners into your mouth.
TIP: Keep a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste in your locker, bag or car. This way, when you dine out or eat at school or work, you can brush your teeth on the go.
- Limit Your Intake of Beverages That Cause Stains
Even though there are no true restrictions on what you can and cannot eat and drink for the duration of your Invisalign treatment, it is a good idea to limit stain-causing drinks such as coffee, tea, and red wine or decay-causing beverages like soda and juice. Remember, all foods and drinks have the capability to cause decay. Less frequent snacking, less sugary foods and drinks and a better oral hygiene routine all help to combat tooth decay.
TIP: Swap out these stain-making tipples with other options such as spritzers, white wine, and herbal teas. This should help tip the scale in the direction of a cleaner mouth and a cleaner Invisalign aligner system.
- Brush Your Aligners Properly
Like you would your pearly whites, do not forget to clean and brush your Invisalign aligners, too. As you can imagine, if not cleaned correctly, your aligners can become a breeding ground for nasty germs and bacteria. You will need to brush your aligners lightly but thoroughly and you should always avoid using toothpaste on the aligners.
TIP: Whatever you do, do not use whitening toothpaste, as these can include harsh and abrasive ingredients such as silica, aluminum oxide and phosphate salts. A mild detergent or soap is better, but ask your orthodontist which products will work best.
- Use an Invisalign Cleaning Kit
Invisalign cleaning kits are a great way to ensure that your aligners are ready to go for a busy day at school or work. These nifty cleaning kits keep your aligners odor-free, hygienic, and clear. Cleaning kits contain special cleaning crystals that remove plaque from aligners in about 15 minutes.
TIP: If you are out of kits, you can clean your aligners by putting them in a glass of water along with a denture-cleaning tablet.
- Store Your Invisalign Aligners in a Case
When you are not wearing your aligners, it is ideal to maintain them in water. This will reduce the amount of biofilm that forms on the aligners. Ask your orthodontist if they have ultrasonic cleaners for purchase or find one that suits your needs. For optimal dental hygiene, do not leave the aligners on your bedside table or in your sink where they can pick up germs and bacteria. Plus, your dog might easily mistake them for a new chew toy!
TIP: Use an aligner case provided to you by your orthodontist to transport your aligners to the office, work or school. This way, they will not get damaged. Keep your case in your bathroom cabinet, and better yet, keep an extra one in your bag or at your desk so that you can keep them germ-free all the time.
Invisalign & COVID-19
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is to be extra vigilant when practicing personal hygiene. If you are using Invisalign, now more than ever, it is crucial to be vigilant with both your personal and Invisalign hygiene. Here are a few noteworthy tips:
- Before inserting or removing your Invisalign aligners, make sure you thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water
- Because access to soap and water is not always possible, remember to carry hand sanitizer with you and to keep one in your bag, on your desk, and in your car
- Just as you avoid touching your nose, mouth, and face, do not touch or fidget with your Invisalign once it is placed in your mouth
- When brushing your teeth after a meal in a public restroom, be sure to store them in the case and to not place them on any surfaces
- Keep your Invisalign aligners clean at all times, and use a cleaning kit to eliminate bacteria and germs
We hope these tips on Invisalign hygiene have been helpful if you already have aligners or if you are considering them for orthodontic treatment. If you would like to find out more about Invisalign for yourself, your teen or your child, contact Lux Orthodontics. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about Invisalign, Invisalign hygiene, or any other orthodontic treatment options.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Erin Cohen today at 424 279 1444.
Are you also looking for reliable and trustworthy pediatricians in the Beverly Hills or Studio City areas? Beverly Hills Pediatrics cares for your children, from infancy through adolescence. Head to their website to book an appointment or to find out more information about common pediatric topics such as ear pain, croup, and rashes.