It is popularly known that aligned teeth allow patients to have better oral hygiene. But, it is also known that having braces makes oral hygiene challenging. We don’t mean to say braces aren’t a good choice. In fact, they remain the best option to solve severe teeth misalignments. Still, orthodontics dramatically evolved in the last two decades, and one of its major advantages of it has a lot to do with oral hygiene.
Braces have accompanied us for over a century and evolved from metal bands wrapping the tooth to which the orthodontist bonded the bracket, making the process painful and lengthy, to more sophisticated self-ligating braces with smaller brackets that have fewer nooks and crannies. But Invisalign Clear Aligners revolutionized these major developments taking orthodontists to a whole new level.
Before we enter into this fascinating world and discuss the benefits of Invisalign, we must remind our readers that solving crooked teeth misalignments, clinically known as malocclusion, brings patients several benefits:
- It prevents unwanted teeth wearing that can produce small chips and cracks that could make a tooth break requiring expensive cosmetic treatment, including crowns, veneers, or implants.
- In some cases, unwanted tooth wearing makes the tooth piece that remains attached to the bone, through the periodontal ligament, useless, calling for extraction.
- In some severe malocclusion cases, It helps improve the patient’s facial profile, making it more symmetric and aesthetic.
- Aligned teeth are a sign of good oral care and aesthetics. In fact, this is one of the main reasons for patients to start orthodontic treatment.
There are countless benefits patients can get from orthodontic treatment. But perhaps one of the most evident is improved oral hygiene, which could help them preserve their teeth longer and save money on expensive corrective treatments.
What Oral Problems Cause Poor Oral Hygiene?
Oral health is a major concern worldwide. The World Health Organization – WHO utilizes the term Non-communicable Diseases – NCD to refer to diseases that are not necessarily caused by an acute infection but might require long-term treatment and care and are, therefore, chronic in their nature.
Dental Caries is an NCD that might consume 5 to 10% of a household’s resources in industrialized countries. The National Health and Examination in Nutrition Survey – NHANES, is a tool that has been in use in the U.S. for over five decades to help determine the dental status of Americans. Data collected through NHANES show that it remains the prevalent chronic disease in the U.S.
But despite the prevalence of caries as a major health concern, poor oral hygiene also causes what is commonly known as gum disease, which clinicians define as periodontal disease. Let’s check on what these oral health problems consist of.
The mouth is the house of millions of bacteria that enters the body with a simple sip of water. Some of these bacteria are good as they help with digestion, and some others can produce harm. Oral hygiene helps reduce bacteria buildup to controllable proportions.
However, when patients don’t practice a good oral hygiene routine, bacteria colonies increase. Food particles, especially sugars and starches, remain in the mouth and teeth, serving as nutrients for bacteria that grow in population number.
Bacteria process residues into a sticky, acidic matter that impregnates the teeth. Let’s leave bacteria aside for a moment and concentrate on teeth. Enamel is the tooth’s outer layer, comprised of a complex bond of minerals that makes it the hardest part of the human body.
However, as in any story, the bad guys have a lethal weapon. Bacterial acidic residues act like kryptonite producing a demineralization of this complex bonding structure, making the tooth weak and penetrable. This process is what we know as tooth decay.
Let’s get back to analyzing bacteria. The acidic matter serves as a breeding and housing source for bacteria, forming a film-like structure named biofilm, which is also referred to as dental plaque. Biofilm bacteria take advantage of a weak tooth and penetrate it.
Once bacteria penetrate further layers of a tooth, it produces dental caries. Treating caries is crucial to prevent bacteria from advancing further layers of the tooth. The bad news is that patients might not even know they have caries because it presents no symptoms.
Lastly, bacteria might advance to the tooth’s pulp, which is the innermost layer of the teeth. Once bacteria gets to this point, the patient might start experiencing excruciating pain and might require corrective dental treatment that includes a profound caries cleanup and a root canal.
Plaque might accumulate on the border of the gums and start attacking the gums from within. Periodontal disease is a staged infectious process. A sign that a patient might develop periodontal disease is Gingivitis which is a preventable gums problem.
Gingivitis symptoms include red, swollen, and tender gums and mild bleeding at brushing. Dentists might recommend some oral hygiene techniques that could help resolve the issue. However, if left untreated, Gingivitis might advance to a destructive process.
Indeed, periodontal disease’s main characteristic is that dental plaque might damage the periodontal ligament, which is a layer of fibers that connect the tooth with the bone. A dental specialist treats moderate periodontitis with a procedure named root scaling and planing that consists of debriefing plaque below the gum line and from the root of a tooth.
However, more advanced levels of periodontal disease might affect the gums producing a recession and damaging the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. All of them comprise the support structure of the tooth that loosens and falls.
Invisalign’s main advantage is that the Clear Alignment Trays are removable, which allows patients to practice their regular oral hygiene routine. Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign patients don’t have to devote a meticulous, time-consuming routine to clean their teeth, braces, wires, and ligatures.
Yet, patients must keep their trays clean, so we will check some tips for sanitizing the trays in the next section. For now, let’s revise other Invisalign benefits for orthodontic patients.
Good oral hygiene is the leading Invisalign advantage from a pure orthodontic perspective. As we have revised, oral problems might affect the course of treatment. Yet, discreteness is, for patients, the most important reason to opt for Invisalign, and we can’t blame them. Factually, we applaud Invisalign advancements that enable them to make stain-free invisible thermoplastic trays that are also quite efficient.
Invisalign is an orthodontic system that uses state-of-the-art technology advancements to improve the patient’s smile. On the first orthodontic visit, the specialist uses the iTero intraoral scanner device to obtain a full-range scan of your mouth that is then transmitted to an Invisalign center to mold your clear aligners.
The scanner prompts an image of your mouth, and a specialized software named Clincheck creates an image of the final result before you start with the treatment, making it possible to devise a realistic outcome.
Invisalign also uses the latest technology in nanomaterial composites with a patented thermoplastic named SmartTrack that offers patients enhanced traction for safe teeth displacements.
SmartTrack materials are gentle with the teeth and gums, snuggly adapting to the dental arches and the gums borderline.
How to Clean Invisalign?
The first thing patients must consider is to avoid eating and drinking anything other than water with the appliances on. Eating with the aligners might cause slight mishaps that could affect treatment results, and colorants you can find in colored sodas might stain the plastic trays.
Also, we recommend patients get a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush the trays after meals gently and before placing them back in their mouths. One last recommendation is to sanitize the aligners at night before sleeping to decrease the possibility of bacteria accumulation at night when saliva levels decrease.
Now, check on these two sanitizing methods and choose the one that you think is best to disinfect your Invisalign trays.
Brand Cleaning Methods
Invisalign has a proprietary product named Invisalign Cleaning Crystals to sanitize plastic aligners that consist of a container that patients can fill with water and dissolve a package of the crystals’ content. Then the patient should immerse the trays, agitate the container, and let the solution work for fifteen minutes. After rinsing the aligners, they will be ready to use.
At-Home and Over-The-Counter Sanitizing Methods
At last, patients might also opt for non-conventional but effective methods to have their aligners tidy and clean, but more importantly, to avoid bacteria from growing and causing oral problems. Let’s review some of these suggestions as follows:
How to Clean Invisalign With Vinegar?
Use a bowl or container and soak your Invisalign aligners in a mix containing half water and half white vinegar. Leave this natural antiseptic solution act during your meal or fifteen minutes before going to sleep and rinse with warm water.
How to Clean Invisalign Hydrogen Peroxide?
You can repeat the same process as with vinegar. Please note you must dilute hydrogen peroxide with water because peroxide is too strong for direct use.
How to Clean Invisalign With Baking Soda?
Dilute a tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate in a container with a cup of water in it. Let your trays soak for forty-five minutes in the cleaning solution, and then rinse them in lukewarm water.
How to Clean Invisalign With Retainer Cleaners?
Soak your aligners in a container with water and insert a tablet and let it work for fifteen minutes. Then rinse the aligners in cold water, and they will be ready for use again.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Invisalign Clear Aligners?
We recommend patients brush their aligners after meals with liquid antibacterial soap. You might also sanitize your Invisalign aligners with any of the methods mentioned above after meals and after gently scrubbing their inner surfaces. Please remember it is recommended to sanitize your aligners every night before bedding and make this part of your tray’s cleaning routine.
Get the Best of Your Keizer Invisalign Treatment
Dr. McDonald gives patients advice about the best orthodontic options customized for every patient’s malocclusion needs. Invisalign Keizer is a first-rate choice for patients seeking an aesthetic and hygiene optimum option for orthodontics. Schedule a visit today and start enjoying having the most applauded orthodontic system in the world for a healthy and beautiful smile.