During your Invisalign treatment, you'll wear each clear aligner for about two weeks. However, don't be misled - this is ample time for germs and plaque to form on them. Our dentists at Toothworks King-York Dental offer some advice about how to care for your aligners and keep bad breath at bay during your treatment.
If your Invisalign clear aligners aren't properly cared for, you might have issues such as discolouration of your plastic aligners, foul breath and even problems with your overall dental health.
If your Invisalign aligners are smelling foul, you likely need to improve your dental hygiene routine. Most of the time, bad breath during Invisalign treatment is caused by not taking proper care of your aligners. When properly cared for, your teeth and breath should feel fresh and clean.
Follow these recommendations to help you get the most out of your orthodontic treatment while also preventing unpleasant bad breath from developing.
Brush and Floss After Eating
It's possible for food particles and bacteria that are still in your mouth to become trapped under your aligners if you place them back on your teeth before brushing. In the long run, this may cause issues with foul breath and potentially lead to oral health problems.
Try Using Mouthwash Too
You may want to add mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine to give your mouth an extra boost of minty freshness. Use it after every meal and after brushing your teeth and cleaning your aligners. There are even mouthwashes designed expressly for dry mouth, so there may be a solution to all of your Invisalign-related problems.
It's possible that you'll follow these recommendations but still experience foul breath or dry mouth due to an underlying reason. Try contacting our dental office at Toothworks King-York Dental in Ontario for a consultation and to find out whether this is indeed the case.
Drink Water with your Aligners in
While you can drink water while wearing your aligners, it is generally recommended that you remove them before consuming anything else. Caffeinated beverages, like coffee or certain teas, can distort plastic, while dark liquids, such as red wine or cola, can discolour transparent aligners.
In fact, an excellent way to address Invisalign's dry mouth is to maintain a good flow of saliva. Saliva acts as the mouth's natural cleanser, which is all the more reason that drinking a healthy amount of water can help alleviate bad breath. So keep drinking lots of water throughout the day, even slightly more than you would normally drink because of the need to keep that saliva flowing.
Do Not Use a Toothbrush or Toothpaste on Your Aligners
Take care to wash your aligners with a bar of mild anti-bacterial soap after each use. This will guarantee that they remain fresh and free of microorganisms that might be hazardous or make them smell unpleasant. Toothbrushes and toothpaste can be abrasive and create tiny scratches in your plastic aligners where bacteria can flourish, causing an unpleasant odour.
Avoid Smoking While Wearing Your Aligners, or Plan to Quit
In addition to discolouring and smell, the chemicals in cigarettes can cause the aligners to become discoloured and retain part of the cigarette's scent.