Back To School Clear Braces Tricks and Tips
The summer months are a great time for families to catch up on important matters like dental care. This break from school often provides the best opportunity to begin ongoing treatment such as Invisalign. It allows the teen to get accustomed to new fixtures in the mouth, and to learn healthy habits before the "busyness" of school begins.
More and more teens are asking for Invisalign as an alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment with braces. Invisalign is an aligner system in which there is not a single bracket, nor any wire. At most, a patient may have small "buttons" placed in strategic positions within aligners, but these buttons are usually temporary rather than the norm from the beginning to the end of treatment. In addition to being more discreet and more comfortable, what teens tend to love about Invisalign is the ability to remove aligners so they can eat normally and perform oral hygiene.
The importance of oral care:
Because aligners can be removed, and there is nothing to stand in between the toothbrush or floss and teeth, there may be a teensy weensy bit of confusion when it comes to oral care. Teens undergoing Invisalign treatment are encouraged to maintain vigilant oral care practice. This is because teeth are fully covered during most of the treatment program. Conventional braces cover only part of the tooth, and this is concerning in its own way; but to have the entire surface of each tooth covered pretty much 24/7 could spell disaster if brushing and flossing fall short.
Oral bacteria can accumulate on teeth and also in aligners. For this reason, patients are encouraged to brush twice a day, at least. Brushing after each meal is ideal, but we cannot imagine most teens would want to carry their toothbrush in their backpack every day, nor to brush their teeth in public. As an alternative, what a teen can do is rinse the mouth thoroughly after meals or snacks. Aligners can also be rinsed with cool water before they are inserted into the mouth after meals.
Taking a few extra measures during Invisalign treatment can help a teen (or adult) avoid problems like gingivitis, tooth decay, and bad breath.
If you are in the Antioch, CA area and want to learn more about Invisalign, call East Bay Dental at (925) 777-1719.