Cavity Prevention with Invisalign
Questions about Invisalign occur regularly in our office so we thought we would review some of the most popular queries. Namely, many of our patients are worried that Invisalign aligners will lead to cavities due to the prevention of the teeth from normal contact with their environment.
Consistency of Wearing your Invisalign Aligners
Typically Invisalign retainers should be worn anywhere from 20 to 22 hours per day to ensure effective treatment. Wearing Invisalign 20-22 hours each day does prevent some saliva from coming into contact with teeth, and washing away harmful bacteria.
Saliva is important to help keep the mouth clean as it is the mouth’s natural defense against bacteria, so simply increasing water intake during the day while wearing Invisalign can help maintain a more normal fluid-filled environment for the teeth.
Keeping your Invisalign Aligners Clean
Invisalign aligners and retainers are made of special plastic and are temperature sensitive, so only use room temperature or cold water to clean them. Never put the aligners or retainers in boiling water. Cleaning your teeth after eating and before reinserting the aligners is important, otherwise, you could be trapping harmful bacteria and food particles up against your teeth.
One simple rule is to not put the aligners in until after you have cleaned your teeth. If it is impossible to brush and floss before putting your aligners back in, be sure to drink plenty of water to wash away the remaining food particles until you are able to get a chance to properly brush and floss your teeth.
So…Do Invisalign Retainers Cause Cavities?
No, Invisalign aligners and retainers do not cause cavities. The best way to fight against tooth decay is to properly brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis. Crooked, overlapped, and crowded teeth are harder to keep clean, and therefore teeth in those positions are more prone to decay with or without active Invisalign treatment. Our suggestions are to brush and floss regularly, consistently drink water while wearing the aligners, and always clean your teeth before reinserting the aligners. If you have any other questions about Invisalign aligners and cavity prevention, please reach out to our Raleigh and Cary area Orthodontists or call to schedule a free orthodontic consultation.
Posted by: Dr. Nathan Kryn, NCOSO Orthodontist