Thursday, March 1, 2012
Cavities and Invisalign in Toronto... How to Avoid Them!
One of the biggest concerns of patients with Invisalign is whether using aligners will increase the number of cavities during treatment. The truth is that with proper care, many patients actually see an improvement in their oral hygiene, resulting in healthier, whiter teeth and strong gums.
On the other hand, there are a select group of patients that may notice staining or develop cavities when they "cheat" and have food/drink without removing their aligners, or do not clean properly afterwards.
Keep in mind that prior to all orthodontic treatment, a visit to the dentist is required to make sure there are no cavities. Many patients who seek Invisalign care have not been visiting a dentist regularly and begin treatment with cavities that preexist, only to discover them during treatment. There may situations where teeth were overly rotated, whereby making it impossible to see the cavity before the tooth is aligned.
It is important to understand that normally, the teeth are exposed to a natural cleansing process with the saliva that bathes them. With aligners on, there is less exposure to the saliva and actually an aligner that can trap undesired sugars against the teeth. Simply brushing after a meal may not be good enough. Proper and thorough brushing, flossing, and rinsing will be required. The best way to think about it is that food may still be stuck between the teeth that cannot be reached by a brush and sometimes when you have a drink, your saliva is still coloured like that drink for several minutes after you've had it.
At MCO Orthodontics, we have a lot of patients spanning the teens through young professionals and adults that use Invisalign. We emphasize proper care and provide them with everything they need to take care of their teeth in treatment. It would be a shame to invest in straightening teeth without taking care of them to avoid cavities. This is a consideration when looking at fixed braces or Invisalign.