Tooth decay affects one-fourth of Americans. The last review of Adult Oral Health in the United States from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2020 reveals an alarming 26% of adults with untreated tooth decay. In addition, cases of gum disease affect approximately 46% of adults over 30 years old. But why is this information so important?
The main reason to be concerned about these numeric figures is that tooth decay and periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss that inevitably affects patients’ quality of life. Losing dental pieces affect the masticatory ability, negatively impacting digestion and nutrient absorption. There are even more harmful consequences of tooth decay and periodontal disease from poor oral hygiene:
- Excessive pain;
- Costly reparatory treatments;
- Infections that can spread through the bloodstream;
- Affectations to the mandible bone and;
- Cosmetic or Aesthetic reasons.
Consequently, paying particular attention to practicing good oral hygiene habits is crucial to maintaining a good quality of life. This statement is vigored when considering orthodontic treatment.
A study reveals orthodontic patients that showed inadequate oral hygiene at home were prone to develop periodontal disease. The study reveals that following a conscious hygiene habits program must be a priority for orthodontic patients.
This article addresses the importance of oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment, emphasizing treatment with Invisalign. How to clean Invisalign? What can a patient eat during orthodontic treatment with Invisalign, and complementary information on what to do if losing Invisalign trays?
How to Clean Invisalign?
Invisalign is a well-known orthodontic system trademark. So yes, being a system allows Invisalign to provide patients with oral scans with the iTero scanner that enhances reliability in evaluating cases and appliances’ precision.
Thanks to its advanced materials research, Invisalign delivers superior traction control with SmartTrack, offering an elastic material that achieves softer and more constant forces that improve control of dental movements.
Part of Invisalign’s system includes its cleaning peripherals. Here we will describe a manufacturer-recommended utensil and DIY forms to clean your Invisalign trays to manage and improve your oral hygiene routine while wearing Invisalign.
Invisalign Cleaning System
Invisalign includes a cleaning kit as part of its system. The kit is a package that contains fifty cleaning crystals and a tub. First, you can pour water on a recipient and insert a crystal and the aligners. Then, leave the aligners for fifteen minutes, and they will be ready for reuse. We recommend patients clean the aligners every night.
Retainer Brite is not yet a DIY cleaning method and yet is an excellent option regarding costs. In fact, it might be used similarly to denture cleaners with the core benefit that it won’t stain or damage the retainers.
As we see more and more options, they are also more cost-effective. Have you ever had a small open wound that needed disinfection? You may have poured Hydrogen peroxide on it without knowing.
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent antibacterial. You can add a cup of Hydrogen peroxide and a cup of water and soak your clear retainers for fifteen minutes.
Vinegar is also an effective product. Similarly to Hydrogen peroxide, patients must mix vinegar and water in halves and soak their trays for 15 minutes. Vinegar has a strong taste, so patients should ensure to rinse their trays thoroughly before putting them back in their mouths.
The mechanical action of brushing combined with antibacterial soap is an effective method to get rid of bacteria in Invisalign trays and is also the most cost-effective. Everyone has liquid antibacterial soap at home, so obtaining t isn’t a problem. We recommend patients rinse their appliances thoroughly before using them again.
Can I Eat With Invisalign?
You can eat with Invisalign; that is not a problem. You don’t have to have a diet restriction like in braces treatment. However, you need to take your Invisalign trays off before eating.
Don’t try to eat anything with your trays on at all. Eating with Invisalign trays on your mouth will damage your appliances. Chewing generates inadequate pressure that affects the shape and, consequently, the tray’s effectiveness.
You should not drink coffee, or colored sugary drinks, just water. Coffee or artificially colored drinks can stain your appliances. In addition, sugar-added drinks favor bacteria accumulation on trays, resulting in biofilm formation and eventual tooth decay.
During meals, you can adopt any of the previously mentioned recommendations shown in the How to clean Invisalign? section. If this is not possible, opt to rinse your Invisalign trays before placing them back on your teeth.
What Happens if I Lose My Invisalign?
Don’t panic. Emergencies happen to all of us. There is a solution if you lose your current appliances. The first thing to do is not alarm yourself. Instead, call your orthodontist and provide all the information needed.
Secondly, do not rush into your next set of trays. Invisalign appliances work in stages; doing so might be counterproductive. But, again, only your Orthodontist specialist can determine if it is ok to move forward with the next set of appliances.
Meanwhile, you can use the last set of appliances you wore before the ones you lost; this will keep you on track until you get your replacement appliances, which might take a week or two.