When it comes to receiving orthodontic treatment today, most people tend to prefer steering clear of the traditional metal braces used in years past. Although this original form of orthodontics is still quite viable today, Invisalign has gained popularity for a number of reasons. Invisalign works through a series of customized trays that are switched every two weeks. The benefits are that the clear, plastic aligners are very discreet, and can be removed for eating and oral hygiene practices. We believe that these are beneficial features of treatment, but also advise patients on the best ways to maintain oral health while undergoing Invisalign treatment with the skilled orthodontist in our Redlands practice.
Although Invisalign aligner trays are removable, this does not indicate that oral hygiene can continue as it always has. While teeth are being moved into their proper position, the changes in the mouth need considerable attention for the avoidance of tooth decay and gum disease. These two risks are decreased with aligner trays versus metal brackets and wires, but not so much so that extra care is not warranted. Throughout treatment, gums should look pink and smooth. Should gum tissue begin to swell, redden, or bleed during brushing and flossing, this is a sign that bacteria are causing irritation. To remedy any issues, oral hygiene practice needs to be heightened.
With braces or without, it is recommended that we all brush our teeth twice a day, and floss once a day. Brushing for thirty seconds, however, does not constitute excellent oral hygiene. Using non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft toothbrush, teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, with attention paid to every surface of every tooth. Without this level of care, bacteria will remain in the mouth. Following the brushing routine with flossing is essential for the maximum reduction in bacteria. Since the toothbrush cannot fit in between teeth, floss is needed to get into those hard to reach places to eliminate bacteria and the damage they can cause.
When undergoing Invisalign treatment, it is necessary to clean aligner trays so bacteria do not thrive in the appliance. After meals, and during daily oral hygiene practice, aligners should be gently brushed and rinsed with cool water. This not only eliminates bacteria and keeps teeth and gums healthy, but also keeps aligner trays from developing a foul odor.
To improve your smile and oral health, contact us for more details on orthodontic treatment.