If you are looking to straighten your teeth without using traditional metal brackets and wires, Invisalign might be for you. These clear plastic aligners come out of the mouth for easy cleaning and eating. The aligners can correct many orthodontic problems, including overbites, underbites and crossbites. While the aligners will not as significantly impact your oral hygiene routine as traditional metal braces would, you will still need to make a few changes.
During a patient’s Invisalign treatment, the patient should continue to brush for at least two minutes at a time and floss the teeth every day. However, patients may need to brush their teeth more often. It is a good idea for patients to brush after every meal or beverage other than water. Food particles can become trapped against the teeth by the aligners, which can increase a patient’s risk for decay of the teeth.
If patients ate foods such as popcorn or apples, the food particles may have become wedged between the teeth. If any food is stuck between the teeth, the patient should also floss before placing the aligners in the mouth again.
Patients should also try to brush the teeth after beverages other than water. This is especially important for ones such as soda, juice, coffee and tea. These beverages can stain the teeth and the aligners and they can also leave sugar on the teeth.
If patients cannot brush after every meal, it is a good idea to at least rinse the mouth out with water. Sometimes, a dentist may recommend an anti-cavity or an anti-microbial mouthwash for some patients.
Caring for Invisalign aligners
Brushing the teeth regularly will not be beneficial if patients do not also care for the Invisalign aligners. Patients should rinse off the aligners every time the aligners come out of the mouth. Patients should then place the aligners in a hard plastic case and securely close it.
During the morning and the evening, a patient should work to clean each aligner thoroughly. This includes brushing each aligner’s entire surface with a soft toothbrush and soap. Patients should never use toothpaste because it can scratch the surface of the aligner. The rougher surface provides more places for harmful bacteria to live.
If brushing the aligners is too difficult to do twice a day, patients can also purchase special cleaning tablets designed for retainers and aligners. These tablets dissolve in water and the aligners are dropped in the solution for 15 to 20 minutes.
Visit a dentist today
If you are considering getting Invisalign or if you have questions about how to care for your aligners, visit a dentist. A dentist will be able to use your oral health history to determine if any specific changes are needed for your hygiene routine. If you have attachments, a dentist can also show you how to clean around them. It is important to visit a dentist for regular cleanings during Invisalign treatment.
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