You might have experienced waking up with a dry mouth and bad breath after wearing your invisible aligners all night. This is mainly because your mouth is irritated by the presence of a foreign object, causing it to produce less saliva which is your mouth’s defense against bacteria.
While this does not happen to all patients, it can still be a hassle, especially for first-timers. Dryness in the mouth and the self-consciousness that comes with having what might be bad breath can make wearing aligners difficult for the prescribed 20 or more hours.
If you are worried that this can affect your overall teeth alignment treatment using invisible aligners, you can relax a bit. These conditions are totally manageable and a few common-sense steps will allow you to uncover your smile in the way that you want to.
Keep reading to learn effective ways to manage dry mouth and bad breath and make your experience with aligners more pleasant and enjoyable.
What Causes Invisible Aligners Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a common side effect experienced by people who wear any type of orthodontic appliance, including invisible aligners. These orthodontic treatments are unnatural for the body, so when wearing them, the body’s initial reaction is to reduce the production of saliva in the mouth.
When you wear your aligner, your mouth will feel drier than normal which eventually leads to irritation and gum-swelling. You might also notice that you feel more parched and dehydrated while wearing your aligners.
Persistent dry mouth can also cause a number of other inconveniences, including difficulty in chewing, swallowing, and speaking. Additionally, it can put your overall oral health at higher risk for more serious conditions like tooth decay or infection.
Why Does Invisible Aligners Cause Bad Breath?
Another possible unwanted side effect of wearing your aligners is bad breath or halitosis. Some people might think that this is because of the material of the aligners themselves, which is plastic, or because you have to keep the aligner tray in your mouth for at least 20 hours. However, those are not the direct causes of bad breath.
There can be many reasons why you have bad breath, just as there are many sources of bacteria in your mouth. Some causes can be minor, like eating certain foods that are notorious for causing bad breath, such as onions or garlic. On the other hand, bad breath could be caused by serious conditions like odor-causing bacteria in your tongue, periodontal diseases, or even respiratory conditions.
But in most cases, for invisible aligners users, bad breath is caused by the aforementioned dry mouth. One of the functions of saliva is to rinse the mouth out and remove excess bacteria in it. Because the mouth produces less saliva when wearing an aligner, it becomes much more hospitable to bacteria. The bacterial build-up in the mouth causes the foul smell and might even lead to more serious oral health complications down the road.
How to Avoid Invisible Aligners Dry Mouth and Bad Breath
While a dry mouth and bad breath are common side effects, take note that they are totally manageable. Now that you know what’s causing them, let’s take a look at some good practices to keep their impact to a minimum.
- Drink lots of water
Of course, hydration is key. Even if you have made it a habit to drink plenty of water prior to wearing invisible aligners, you might find yourself drinking more water than usual. Staying hydrated will help maintain a steady saliva flow. We recommend having a water bottle with you at all times, so you won’t have to deal with dryness in the mouth so much.
- Practice good overall oral hygiene
In general, it’s a good idea for everyone to always practice proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth, ideally after every meal. Remember that food particles tend to embed themselves in the nooks and crannies of the teeth. This can cause many different oral health issues, so make sure to brush and floss thoroughly to keep your overall oral health at its best. Also, do not leave out your tongue from brushing as bacteria tends to multiply there as well.
- Always keep your aligners clean
One important thing that can keep these unpleasant experiences to a minimum is to keep them clean, alllthe time. Bacteria thrive in unhygienic environments, so to prevent your aligners from becoming a hospitable environment for bacterial, be sure to clean them as much as possible. Clean them after meals with lukewarm water (but not hot water, please!) and recommended cleaning materials. Also, avoid eating or drinking anything except water while they are in your mouth.
- Avoid tobacco or caffeine
You may want to consider eliminating tobacco and caffeine from your routine, as both can contribute greatly to dry mouth or bad breath, especially when wearing invisible aligners. This goes for all types of tobacco (cigarettes, hookah, chewing tobacco, etc.). For coffee lovers, you might want to switch to decaffeinated coffee or tea while you have your aligners. Instead, consider healthy energy-boosting snacks like bananas or whole grains.
- Mouthwash can help
To refresh your mouth and give it a clean, minty feeling, try to include mouthwash in your daily oral hygiene routine. Persistent dry mouth can also be solved with mouthwashes specifically formulated for this condition.
Getting aligners? Get it from the best
Interested in finding out how ALINA works? Here’s what you need to know.
ALINA aligners not only allow you to create your most beautiful smile. With our AlinaSmile technology, we analyze your entire face to gently and effectively move your teeth into their optimal positions. With 30 years of expertise in cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry, ALINA aligners will give you the best experience, and at invisible aligners prices that will provide exceptional value. Simply book a consult now and get to talk to our dental professionals to see if invisible aligners are the best treatment for your teeth. To know more, contact us directly at 0917-626-5348.