Mealtime With Invisalign: What If You Are Unable to Brush After Every Meal?

Dentist Blog

When you first begin your treatment with Invisalign, your orthodontist will advise you to take your trays out for each meal and brush your teeth before putting them back in again. Brushing your teeth after meals prevents the trays from trapping food debris and acids. However, depending on your situation, it isn't always possible to brush after every meal.

Placing your trays back on your teeth while there is food debris on your teeth is not advisable. Because the trays trap food particles, the bacteria present on your teeth will begin to break down the sugars contained in those food particles. This produces acid. Acid erodes enamel. So, if you are required to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day, leaving them out isn't an option.

Fortunately, there are several ways of dealing with this situation.

Rinse Your Mouth out with Warm Water

If you have forgotten your toothbrush and toothpaste, then you can instead rinse your mouth out with warm water before replacing your tray. This will at least remove the food debris and protect your teeth against the risk of tooth decay.

Chew Sugarless Gum

Sugarless gum such as Freedent can act as a good substitute for a toothbrush when there is nothing else available. Chew a stick of sugarless gum for 10 minutes before replacing your tray. The stickiness of the gum should easily remove most of the food debris.

Brush and Floss each Morning and Night

The biggest risk to your teeth is not the food itself but the bacteria that reside on the surfaces of your teeth. When a person doesn't brush their teeth enough, a thin bio-film forms on the surface of their teeth. While at first, this film contains good bacteria, if teeth are left dirty, the bad strains of bacteria, such as streptococcus mutans, take over this bio-film.

The film then becomes what is known as plaque. Because this film contains millions of tooth decay-causing bacteria, placing your trays back on your teeth and trapping the food debris there will leave your teeth at the mercy of the those bacteria. As they metabolize the food stuck to your teeth, the acidic byproduct they produce will eat away at your teeth.

However, if your oral hygiene is normally excellent, then there may not be any plaque on your teeth. In this instance, you can replace a tray after eating as there will be much less threat to your teeth. Remember, you need to keep your trays in for 20-22 hours. Keep this in mind if you are unable to brush your teeth after meals. 


22 November 2017

Fillings: Everything You Need to Know

Hi! Welcome to my blog! My name is Kerry, and this blog is focused on dental fillings. It looks at the history of fillings, options for contemporary fillings, how to protect your fillings, when to replace them and much more. If you have ever had a cavity filled or if you are planning to get a tooth filled, you will find the information in this blog useful. I try to look at fillings from all angles, and I even plan to look at how to avoid fillings through proper dental hygiene and sealants. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find the info intellectually "filling."