Recently, my entire family got the flu. I know I am supposed to throw away my toothbrush when I am sick. Should I also throw away the Invisalign aligners I am currently wearing? It is a lot cheaper to throw away a toothbrush than it is aligners, but I will do what I am supposed to. If I need to get rid of them do I move on to the next pair of aligners or do I ask my dentist to make another set?
The idea that you need to throw away your toothbrush every time you have an illness is something that has been invented by the toothbrush companies which has been quite effective in upping their sales numbers. Unfortunately, it has misled a lot of people. When you have a virus, your body builds up antibodies and you are no longer at risk of catching that same strain. You can catch another strain but not the same one.
The same is true for your Invisalign aligners. I would recommend keeping up with your normal cleaning regimen, but there is no reason to get rid of them. You did bring up a good point about aligners though. Let’s say while you are eating, some little gremlin comes in and steals your aligners, because you’d never misplace them, of course. What do you do?
If you are very close to the end of your next set, it would be safe to just move on the next pair. I wouldn’t do that too often because your teeth need time for the bone to integrate with it. If you jump the line too often, then you are in danger of causing your teeth to become loose. If you’re not close then it will be time to call your dentist and get another set made.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy During Invisalign While Sick
There was one other issue I wanted to bring up about your illness. It is important you stay hydrated with any illness. Sometimes people turn to things like Gatorade and such, to help with their electrolytes during an illness. The only problem with that when you are wearing Invisalign is that the liquid will pool in your aligners. Sports drinks are loaded with sugar, which will sit on your teeth and eat away at the enamel.
While hydrating, try to do it with mostly water. If you need the sports drinks, just do it all in one go and then rinse out your mouth and your aligners in order to keep your teeth as sugar free as possible.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.