With all the information floating around the internet about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we thought it would be fitting to discuss how to reduce your risk of infection if you are one of many Invisalign users. Afterall, one of the main recommendations by the CDC is to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Yet, if you’re an Invisalign user, you have no choice but to put your hand(s) in your mouth multiple times a day to put on or remove your aligner trays.
So how can you reduce your risk of exposure to germs and viruses while still maintaining your Invisalign regimen? Here’s a list of recommendations that are applicable any time, not just during a pandemic!
1. Wash your hands before touching your aligners
Whether your aligners are in your mouth or in their container, always wash your hands before touching them as they will inevitably end up in your mouth at some point. Before touching your trays, wash your hands for 20 seconds with lukewarm water and soap. If soap is not available, a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol will get the job done.
2. Keep your trays stored in a container
It makes no difference if you prefer to use the original case your Invisalign came with or an alternative retainer case, as long as the case is sealed and fits your trays comfortably. We definitely do not recommend storing your trays in a napkin between meals! This is also important to prevent misplacing them…remember that time they were almost accidentally thrown in the garbage?
3. Keep things clean & disinfected
It’s always important to clean and sanitize your aligners and accessories, but this is especially crucial during a pandemic or regular flu season. Run your retainer case through the dishwasher or simply wash with soap and water on a regular basis, especially if you tend to leave it on frequently used surfaces that may be contaminated. Regularly using an aligner detergent, such as Polident, is also important to remove any germs that could be clinging onto your trays. These can also be found at your local drugstore!
4. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water is generally good practice to help your body fend off any germs or viruses! A dry mouth is also more vulnerable to harmful pathogens. Try to avoid relying on sugary electrolyte drinks, such as Gatorade, to stay hydrated. It’s almost equivalent to bathing your teeth in sugar all day as the sugar can become trapped between your teeth and aligners!
For more everyday dental tips and tricks to maintain a healthy smile, be sure to follow us on Instagram. To book an appointment with Dr. Parham Kargar to discuss if you are an ideal Invisalign candidate, click here!