The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a whole host of questions and uncertainty with regard to the potential reach and impact the illness may ultimately have on our health and our society in a broader sense. However, one of the key takeaways from our experience thus far is that solid hygiene practices are essential to limiting the transmission of the virus. A key part of this relates to the correct handling and maintenance of removable orthodontic appliances such as Invisalign aligners.
Keeping Hands Clean
A constant theme throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been that handwashing is one of the linchpins of safety during this time. Prior to placing or removing Invisalign appliances, it is necessary to wash your hands for no less than 20 seconds. This takes on additional importance if you have just been in a public space, or you have touched surfaces at risk of COVID-19 contamination. If you lack access to soap and water at a given time, make sure to utilize a hand sanitizing product containing no less than 60% alcohol.
Aligner Cleaning Tips
Invisalign aligners should always be subjected to a routine cleaning regimen, and this has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aligners should always be brushed first thing in the morning as well as at night. If possible, an after-lunch brushing is also a great idea. Manual brushing of the aligners helps get rid of plaque accumulations and bacteria that otherwise would sit atop the aligners. Making sure to rinse the aligners once they have been taken out of the mouth is also crucial to ameliorating nasty buildup.
Another useful tip for keeping aligners clean is to soak them in a commercial denture cleaner or by using cleaning crystals as a means to lower the amount of dangerous bacteria and buildup. If you do not have access to either of these products, you can make a homemade solution consisting of half lukewarm water and half distilled vinegar. You can also use a soak made of 0.5-3 % hydrogen peroxide. Do not soak aligners in mouthwashes such as Listerine, because these are likely to cause permanent staining.
Cleaning Your Case
The cases in which Invisalign appliances are stored do not always get the attention they require when it comes to cleaning, and this can lead to the accumulation of odor and bacteria. It is best to wash these cases every couple of days using soap and warm water to prevent the buildup of grime and other contaminants.
It is understandable that many are experiencing ongoing anxiety as a result of the global health crisis. The fact remains, though, that provided everyone adheres to the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as regular handwashing, mask wearing, and social distancing, we can navigate these trying times in a safe and effective manner.
No matter your dental care need, the Houston Dentists at Post Oak stand ready to provide a range of healthy solutions. From routine oral hygiene to veneers and Invisalign treatments designed to give you the smile you desire, our team is committed to delivering unrivaled service and personal attention. Contact us today to learn how we can help.