Invisalign isn’t nearly as mysterious as it was several years ago. Now, many people know someone who has improved their smile with this aligning system. More than becoming familiar, Invisalign has also become a valuable treatment option for a wider range of patients. Teens and adults of all ages are able to correct mild to moderate issues related to the way their teeth sit in the mouth and the way they fit together.
From a few crooked teeth to an over- or underbite, there are numerous concerns that can be resolved with Invisalign. At the same time, we also have to touch on the fact that there are concerns that may arise during Invisalign treatment, if we’re not careful. Here, we want to discuss why oral care is a must from the moment that very first set of aligners is inserted.
Erosion and Your Teeth
Only a few years ago, erosion wasn’t a term we would normally associate with the mouth. Usually, it is the chance of getting a cavity that comes to mind when the topic of dental care comes up. This makes perfect sense, because we are taught that we want to avoid cavities from the time we are very young. This early teaching stays with us for life, especially if we suffer a cavity or two. Cavities can be a problem, but they have now been joined by erosion as something we want to prevent.
In recent years, dentists have seen a steady increase in the prevalence of erosion to tooth enamel. This has coincided with the development of tasty beverages such as sports drinks and the energy drinks that had become so popular a few years ago. These are just two examples of highly-acidic and often consumed products that have a detrimental effect on teeth.
Erosion, or the wearing away of enamel, can also occur from soda, fruit juice, lemons, and any food item preserved or flavored with an ingredient like ascorbic acid. This is because the acid from food and beverages sits on teeth and, as an acid will do, it eats away at the surface it touches.
What does this have to do with Invisalign?
Erosion is no different than cavities and gum irritation when it comes to Invisalign treatment. Because teeth are covered by plastic aligners nearly 24-hours a day, there is a lack of oxygenation and saliva to support tooth structure. If, then, acidic ingredients sit on teeth that are covered, there is a higher risk that enamel will weaken over time.
Studies suggest that enamel can begin to erode within a week’s time if acidic ingredients are consumed daily. Keep your teeth healthy during and after Invisalign treatment by limiting consumption of acidic beverages like coffee and soda, and by rinsing the mouth with water after meals and snacks.