Having straight, beautiful teeth is a goal for many people, and Invisalign makes that achievable with virtually invisible aligners. However, keeping your teeth healthy while wearing plastic trays over them for most hours of the day poses some oral hygiene challenges.
Proper care is crucial since accumulated plaque, tartar, and bacteria can lead to stained aligners, gum inflammation, cavities, and other dental issues. Not taking measures to prevent these problems could undermine or extend your Invisalign treatment.
Luckily, maintaining excellent oral hygiene to prevent such complications is very doable with Invisalign if you utilize the right tools and techniques. Below we’ll explore in-depth how to fully care for your mouth, teeth, aligners, and gums while ensuring your straightening progress stays on track.
Oral Hygiene Importance with Invisalign
Before outlining specific methods for optimal hygiene, let’s review why it’s so vital when wearing aligners full-time:
- Prevents tooth decay and permanent damage to enamel
- Avoids costly dental procedures like fillings or extractions
- Reduces plaque buildup keeping gums healthy
- Minimizes stains on natural teeth and Invisalign trays
- Ensures proper aligner fit needed to shift teeth
- Prevents halitosis (bad breath)
- Allows you to smile brightly and confidently
Committing to thorough daily hygiene keeps treatment moving smoothly while protecting your investment in a beautiful new smile. Now let’s explore how to achieve this effectively with Invisalign.
How to Thoroughly Brush and Floss with Invisalign
The foundation for cleaning your teeth with Invisalign involves these simple yet essential steps:
- Remove aligners – Trays must come out to access all tooth surfaces for brushing and flossing.
- Rinse thoroughly – Rinse away debris from your mouth after eating before scrubbing.
- Brush properly – Spend 2-3 minutes gently brushing fronts, backs, tops, and along the gumlines of teeth.
- Floss carefully – Gently slide the floss up and down between all teeth, including behind-back ones. Be slow and cautious to avoid painful gum damage.
- Rinse again – Swish water in your mouth to wash away any lingering toothpaste and particles.
Follow these steps after each meal before putting aligners back in. Doing so prevents film, bacteria, and acids from sticking to teeth or trays which keeps your mouth fresh and healthy.
Keeping Invisalign trays themselves clean is also imperative for proper oral hygiene. Follow these methods to remove debris, stains, and bacteria:
- Brush weekly – Use a soft brush and soap/toothpaste to clean inside and out
- Soak in solution – Use Invisalign-safe cleaners weekly too
- Avoid hot water – Heat warps the custom-fit shape
- Travel with case – Protects aligners when out and about
- Don’t use whitening products – Can damage the plastic material
Spotless aligners keep your smile gleaming rather than dulled by buildup.
Caring for Gums and Mouth with Invisalign
Your gums and oral tissues require dedicated care as well while wearing plastic trays snugly against them 22 hours a day. Here’s how to keep them happy and healthy:
- Massage gums daily – Helps stimulate blood flow reducing sensitivity
- Rinse with warm saltwater – Soothes inflammation and freshens any sores
- Use orthodontic wax – Coats rough aligner edges preventing rubbing
- See your hygienist frequently – Regular cleanings ensure gum health and catch any early gum disease
Don’t neglect your gums just because the aligners cover them up! Monitoring their health prevents pain plus aesthetic issues like recession which expose more tooth roots.
Adjusting Diet and Habits Supporting Oral Health
Certain lifestyle factors also impact oral hygiene success with Invisalign:
- Eat cleaner – Limiting sugars and acids minimizes enamel erosion and decay.
- Hydrate frequently – Drinking lots of plain water neutralizes mouth acids protecting teeth.
- Kick habits – Curb tobacco use staining teeth/aligners and increasing gum disease risks.
- Visit your dentist – See them every 6 months for professional cleanings and checkups catching any problems early.
- Replace aligners – Discuss wearing new trays sooner than every 2 weeks if they appear blurred or grimy.
Making your lifestyle more tooth-friendly bolsters the benefits of diligent hygiene.
Achieve Oral Health Goals with Invisalign
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene while wearing Invisalign full-time entails effort and diligence with brushing, flossing, aligner care, and routine dental visits. But doing so ensures:
- Healthy gums free of inflammation
- Clean and sparkling aligners
- Protection against cavities and enamel erosion
- Fresher breathe throughout your day
- Confidently white and beautiful smile
Contact Lansdowne Family Dental if you have any questions before starting treatment or need help getting your oral care routine on track once aligners are in place. Our skilled clinicians help you balance efficiency with comfort at every step so you complete Invisalign on time with a gorgeous new smile.