Are you one of those people who doesn’t floss as directed? I was, too…and then I got Invisalign. I used a water flosser for years but wasn’t consistent with traditional floss. Your hygienist isn’t misleading you, though; if you’re avoiding flossing due to discomfort or bleeding then consistent, daily flossing will make that go away after a brief adjustment period.
Oral-B Pro-Health Deep Clean (silver pack!)
In my mind, there’s only one floss. There are several in this line, including a Pro-Health Multi-Protection Floss sold in bulk packs at Costco. Unfortunately, that one is nowhere near as good (it shreds) as the Pro-Health Deep Clean.
Even an amazing toothbrush doesn’t get you far without a good toothpaste! Toothpaste should be slightly abrasive and have some sort of restorative property (i.e., fluoride or xylitol). Here are my favorites.
Crest Complete Whitening Expressions Extreme Herbal Mint
Let’s face it, mouths are gross – even when you aren’t eating or drinking, that means your trays can be gross too. Brushing your aligner trays with your toothbrush keeps them clean throughout the day. In addition, I like to perform a daily deep clean to keep them clear and fresh – especially since I occasionally partake of (unsweetened, no dairy!) cold brew coffee with my trays in. After all, coffee-stained trays aren’t terribly invisible. If your goal is to prevent people from knowing you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you need to become a zealot about tray cleaning.
Personally, I’m fine with people knowing I have Invisalign – but I still obviously want my aligner tryas to be clean and crystal clear. These items help me achieve that.
Method Fragrance Free Soap
Although you can definitely just use toothpaste on your trays, I prefer to rinse my toothbrush of paste and use an abrasive-free liquid soap for tray cleaning. Method’s fragrance- and dye-free gel hand wash is perfect for this purpose. At only $5-6 for a 34oz bag, this is inexpensive to boot.
In early December, I had another round of IPR. I am amazed every week at the movement of my teeth! Above is the picture of tray 25 I shared on Instagram a few weeks ago – I start tray 25 next freaking week! Week after next I have my last IPR appointment – from there it’s just periodic check-ins to pick up new trays and make sure I’m tracking properly. As you can see from the picture of 25, above, I still have a ways to go – but if you compare it to my baseline it is already like night and day. Even though my course of treatment involves drastic movement which can involve discomfort, it has been milder than I thought. This has absolutely been worth it to me.
The success of an Invisalign treatment protocol depends heavily on the patient taking the commitment seriously. Part of that commitment is caring for your teeth, trays, and gums. My adherence to stringent oral hygiene Invisalign requires has left my teeth and gums in better shape than they have ever been. Since I’ve been at this for six months now, the healthier habits I’ve cultivated will stay with me and enable me to take better care of my mouth.
Invisalign Oral Hygiene Series
I’ve gone through some trial-and-error to figure out what works best for me. Originally, this was going to be one really long post, but I figured it might be a bit tl;dr. Over the next few weeks I will cover the following oral hygiene product topics: