As of 2023, more than 14 million people, of which 3 million are teens, have used Invisalign clear aligners to transform their smiles. So, it is no surprise that Invisalign is the most sought-after method for treatment preferred by patients.
From the almost-invisible appearance of the device to the convenience it provides, the benefits of choosing Invisalign are plentiful. Despite this, wearing Invisalign does not guarantee that you will be free of cavities. Cavities affect adults and teens alike. So, you must be mindful of them through your clear aligner treatment.
If you are considering this restorative procedure and wonder if your cavity problems would affect your treatment, this article will definitely help you.
Can Aligners Cause Cavities?
Cavities are a possibility with or without Invisalign. Clear aligners don’t directly contribute to cavities. But having an appliance in your mouth for over 20 hours a day means you should be more diligent with your oral hygiene. Having a solid oral hygiene regimen is crucial to maintaining good dental health.
Clear aligners wrap around your teeth. If you do not brush your teeth before wearing clear aligners, food particles get stuck between your teeth resulting in plaque which can further lead to cavities and enamel erosion.
Without a proper routine for oral hygiene, dental devices like braces and Invisalign can increase your risk of dental caries, gum diseases, and plaque. That is why caring for your teeth and aligners is of utmost importance during treatment.
What Teeth Are Not Suitable For Invisalign?
If your teeth are in a healthy condition, then you could be a candidate for Invisalign. Your orthodontist will perform an investigative procedure to assess your dental health before recommending clear aligners for your orthodontic treatment.
Disciplined people who care about their oral hygiene are good candidates for Invisalign. If your oral hygiene isn’t up to scratch and you are not dedicated, needless to say, Invisalign isn’t for you.
If you comply with the rules prescribed by your orthodontist and follow a robust regimen to maintain it, you will ensure that your teeth get the most out of the aligners.
Can You Get Invisalign With Cavities and Lots of Fillings?
A common query among Invisalign prospects is whether they can get Invisalign treatment with cavities and fillings. Yes, you can get an Invisalign with cavities. But orthodontists often recommend treating your cavity before getting the invisible trays.
Filling a cavity will change the shape of your tooth and Invisalign should be made to fit this new shape.
Since Invisalign is designed to fit the shape of your teeth, having existing fillings is perfectly fine. Getting Invisalign with fillings does not pose any problem.
What To Do If You Get Cavities During Invisalign Treatment?
If you develop a cavity during the course of Invisalign treatment, you must address the issue as soon as possible. For most patients having to deal with a cavity while adjusting to treatment can create undue frustration. That is why it is best to rectify these by treating the cavity before the aligner treatment begins.
Your dentist will use dental fillers or relevant restorative procedures to treat it. You may notice some soreness while wearing Invisalign for a few days after filling your tooth.
If it is a small filling and the sealant doesn’t change the shape of your teeth drastically, then your current set of trays should work just fine. But if the tooth has been restored in a way that has altered its shape remarkably, you may require a revision in your treatment plan.
Your orthodontist will take new impressions of your teeth. Time is of utmost importance here. Any delays in this stage could delay your treatment.
What Steps To Take To Avoid Cavities With Aligners?
Maintaining a healthy smile is a process that requires diligence and dedication. To curtail your risk of developing cavities while wearing clear aligners, you must, first and foremost, exercise exceptional dental hygiene all the time.
Here are some things you should do to avoid developing cavities:
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth gently after every meal or at least thrice a day. Brush thoroughly for two minutes. It is preferable to brush your teeth before you wear your clear aligners.
Always remember to brush your tongue to ease the buildup of bacteria.
If you plan to eat out, carry a travel toothbrush. If that’s not possible, you should swish your mouth with some water before applying your aligners. Always use a toothpaste that has fluoride.
Floss between your teeth. You could even use an interdental brush as a viable alternative.
Use an antimicrobial mouthwash or gargle with warm salty water whenever you can. It will keep the bacterial activity in your mouth at bay.
- Clean your clear aligners
Brushing your clear aligners eliminates bacteria from the trays and prevents them from transferring to your teeth. You could use denture cleaning tablets or Invisalign cleaning kits to accomplish this.
- Limit your intake of food and beverages
Foods that are sugary or acidic in nature, like caffeinated drinks, aerated drinks, processed fruit juice, etc. These can quickly erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities.
- Avoid smoking
Cigarettes and tobacco in other forms can cause a host of oral health problems. According to CDC, people who smoke have a greater risk of developing cavities, problems with the gum and tooth decay.
- Avoid frequent snacking or grazing
These are major sources of dental caries or cavities. Snacking constantly creates an acidic environment in your mouth. It encourages bacterial growth leading to cavities and enamel erosion.
- Schedule regular dental visits
Visit your dental hygienist and get some deeper cleaning done once in six months.
So, with some simple but mindful dental and eating habits, it is possible to avoid cavities and progress with your treatment. With wearing a revolutionary device like Invisalign comes great responsibility! So be wise and take good care of your teeth.
Can You Get Invisalign With Cavities? (Clear Aligners With Tooth Decay)
I feel very fortunate to have found a profession as rewarding as the field of Orthodontics! For over 20 years, I have enjoyed creating custom, beautiful smiles for our family of patients all over the Northern Virginia area. You can even find some of our loyal patients across the country and abroad!