Chino Hills/ La Habra, CA – No one wants to be in an embarrassing situation where you’re trying to hide a case of bad breath. So how can you avoid unwanted attention during your clear aligner treatment? Follow this advice from Dr. Robert Gire who works with both Spark Aligners and Invisalign.
- Always brush your teeth after eating and drinking. While it’s not always convenient, try to floss, brush and rinse after you eat. After you eat, food particles can be left behind. If you don’t brush them away before putting your aligners back in, you’re simply trapping those particles under the aligners. And this can create bacteria that can cause bad breath.
- Use mouthwash. After brushing, rinsing with mouthwash can kill any leftover bacteria and get rid of bad breath. There are many mouthwashes on the market these days but only a few have true antibacterial effects. Try to stick with Listerine brand mouthwash or, if the alcohol content is too much for you, use Crest Pro Health.
- Always take your aligners out before eating or drinking anything other than water. Eating with your aligners in can not only damage the aligners but it can also trap food particles between the aligners and your teeth. Your saliva won’t be able to wash away the food particles and the bacteria that live in your mouth will have a feeding frenzy.
- Rinse your aligners before putting them back in. Your aligners are in your mouth all day and can develop saliva and plaque build-up. When you take your aligners out to eat make sure you always rinse them before putting them back in. Ideally, one should brush their aligners every time you place them back in but sometimes that may not be convenient (see the next item).
- Don’t forget to brush your aligners. Food and bacteria can build up quickly on your aligners, so it’s important to take proper care to clean them. You can simply use clear liquid soap to clean the aligners. Try to avoid toothpaste as some have pumice and abrasives that can damage your aligners. Use a mild, anti-bacterial soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean your aligners for the best results.
- Remember to soak your aligners. Soaking your aligners at least once every couple of days helps to remove any build-up that could cause bad breath. At Gire Orthodontics we recommend soaking them in clear/white vinegar. No need to dilute, fill up a cup just enough to cover the aligners, let them soak for about 15-20 minutes while you’re having dinner for example, remove, brush/rinse the aligners and you’re good to go!
- Don’t forget to floss! Since clear aligners are removable, flossing is easy!
- Keep your regular dental appointments. You should continue to visit your dentist every six months, in addition to seeing your orthodontist regularly. This will ensure your smile is as healthy as possible which can keep bad breath at bay.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated can help reduce dry mouth which can in turn help prevent bad breath. Water can also help wash away leftover food particles as well.
Clear aligner treatment is an excellent way to get the smile you’ve always wanted. By paying attention to your care of both your aligners and your teeth, you can keep your smile fresh throughout your treatment.
If you have any questions about your Invisalign treatment or concerns about how to care for your aligners, call 562-690-1199 (La Habra) or 909-393-9911 (Chino Hills).