You may have heard the likelihood of cavities may increase with braces since the brackets and wires can make it much more difficult to clean the teeth properly, but is it the same with Invisalign? Can Invisalign aligners cause cavities?
Invisalign and Your Teeth:
Well, with Invisalign, one of the greatest benefits is that they are removable! This means that, unlike braces, you can clean the teeth much easier and like you’re used to. Proper teeth cleaning should include brushing twice a day, flossing in between the teeth and rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash like Listerine before bed to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. You should be aware that if proper dental care or an effective at-home oral hygiene routine is not kept up, it is possible to get a cavity while undergoing Invisalign treatment.
Additionally, the aligners shouldn’t be worn unless the teeth have been properly brushed and cared for. This includes after meals when the aligners are removed from the mouth. After eating, if food particles remain on the teeth and the aligners are placed back in the mouth this can create a situation where harboring bacteria would be more likely.
In fact, certain foods can also impact the growth of bacteria. As a rule of thumb, it may be helpful to avoid or limit the intake of sticky candies, hard candies, sodas, juices, and tea or coffee as these particles if stuck on the teeth could cause growth of bacteria under the aligners, which could lead to a potential cavity. Again, make sure to properly clean the teeth before inserting the Invisalign aligners back into the mouth after eating or drinking these types (or any type) of foods or drinks.
Don’t think that one night off from brushing or flossing your teeth would permanently damage your healthy at-home hygiene routine forever, but it certainly won’t help it! Do be sure to stick to a good system that works for you and your Invisalign aligners!
If you have any questions regarding Invisalign and cavities or would like some pointers on what may work best, please contact Gladwell Orthodontics today!