Invisible aligners have become a common treatment method for mild to moderate cases of malocclusions. Most people are now ready to spend a little extra on their orthodontic treatment than before to have a discreet and pain-free experience with clear aligners. Patients of all ages are getting invisible aligner treatment to correct their malocclusions and are heading the way to better dental health and beautiful smiles.
While clear aligners come with many benefits, there are some specific discomforts associated with them that can be addressed by talking to your dentist. One of the most common, nonmedical issues is dryness of the mouth. In this blog, we learn how to manage mouth dryness while undergoing invisible aligner treatment.
Clear aligners: The treatment
Clear aligners are made-to-measure using soft, hypoallergenic plastic to fit onto the patient’s teeth. Before the treatment, the patient’s degree of malocclusion is evaluated and digitally scanned to create the aligner trays. During the treatment, the patient is asked to wear the aligners for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day- except for mealtimes- to gently apply pressure on the teeth and push it into position. Every two weeks, the patient will have to change to a new set of aligner trays that are fine-tuned to apply pressure to specific points on every tooth. Unlike traditional braces, this method doesn’t cause a lot of pain as the pressure is consistent.
During the treatment, the dentist recommends not to eat or drink colored drinks with the invisible aligners on to avoid damaging or staining the aligner trays. Patients are allowed to drink water as much as needed while wearing the clear aligner. As the aligners are completely removable, oral hygiene is not much of an issue during the treatment. Along with one’s teeth, patients are encouraged to keep their aligner trays clean using lukewarm water and denture solution. No colored liquids and abrasives including mouthwash or toothpaste must be used on the invisible aligners to keep it clear.
In general, clear aligner treatment is not as troubling or painful as traditional orthodontic methods. Even so, patients may face a few difficulties from time to time, which can be rectified upon consulting with your dentist.
Dealing with dry mouth
Dry mouth is a common side effect of using clear aligners. Thankfully, this issue can be fixed easily by understanding why it occurs. When a patient wears the invisible aligners continuously for hours on end, the plastic may irritate your gums. This in turn reduces saliva production for a while, leading to dry mouth in the initial days of starting the treatment.
Although this is not such a horrible condition, dryness of the mouth must be rectified for overall oral health. The presence of saliva is not only necessary for digestion, it also cleanses the mouth by removing food particles and bacteria from clinging to your gum and teeth, causing cavities and other problems. So here are 5 ways to avoid dry mouth while wearing clear aligners.
Staying hydrated is easily the best way to keep your mouth from drying out during the treatment. Water stimulates saliva production and helps keep the oral cavity clean when there is not enough saliva.
Wearing clear aligners must not be an excuse to skip on your brushing and flossing. It is recommended that you brush and floss twice daily and wash your mouth thoroughly after every meal to keep your mouth clean and your teeth healthy. Make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly before popping the aligners back in every time.
Use clear mouthwash, mouth spray, or sugar-free mint to avoid your mouth from drying out. Mouthwash and spray are known to help maintain the moisture of the oral cavity. Chewing gum will stimulate the salivary glands and reduce the dryness you feel. However, ensure that you are not chewing gum with your aligners on.
Clear aligners are prone to buildup if not cleaned properly. Food particles and bacteria that cling to the aligner trays can cause discoloration and plaque buildup on the trays, which in turn irritate the gums, leading to reduced salivary production. To avoid this, rinse them out every time you take them out to eat, drink, floss or brush.
Using a humidifier at home/ office will increase the moisture in the air. This in turn stimulates saliva production in your mouth. Using a humidifier regularly will help reduce the issues caused by not mouth dryness.
Clear aligners are here to stay- there is no doubt about it. To improve the treatment experience and maintain oral health, make sure to follow the rules and recommendations from your dentist. If you are having any discomfort from your invisible aligners, contact our dental clinic in Dubai and talk to a dentist today!