When you feel bad with the flu, it’s because your body has detected a new invader and your immune system is going into overdrive. You get a surge of immune system-stimulating biochemicals called cytokines. While this revs up your body to attack the virus, the inflammation leads to many of the flu’s worst symptoms. Alright, you get it, the flu makes you feel terrible. You want to avoid being in that predicament if possible. You are also enjoying how your Invisalign trays are changing your smile for the better. Even with the cold and flu season wrapping up, it’s important to keep yourself healthy with your teeth headed in the right direction, so check out these tips from your dentist in Clinton Township.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dry mouth is common for people who wear clear braces, so you should already be drinking more water than you used to. If you do get sick, you’ll breathe through your mouth more often, which will accelerate dry mouth and make it easier for bacteria to attack your teeth. Beyond elevating your water intake, chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol helps combat dry mouth by stimulating saliva flow.
Keep Aligners and Accessories Clean
This is always an important tip, especially during flu season. Clean and sanitize your trays and accessory surfaces regularly. Giving them a thorough handwashing should do the trick. Also, change your toothbrush out more often in the winter, especially anytime you get sick. If you use an electronic toothbrush but feel a cold coming on, switch to a manual toothbrush until you are doing well again.
Keep “Bad Stuff” Off Your Teeth
Buy only sugar-free cough drops and don’t bite down on them. Cough syrup has a lot of sugar, so if you take some be sure to rinse out your mouth before going back to bed. And, since stomach acid is hard on teeth, if you do happen to throw up, be sure to rinse out your mouth as soon as possible.
Be Mindful About Your Hands
Wash your hands often and especially before you touch your Invisalign trays. It’s not always practical, or even possible, to wash them when removing your trays. Try using OrthoKey, which is an aligner removal tool that is small enough to fit in your retainer case.
Keep Your Workspace Clean
You may think your desk area is just “your germs.” Unfortunately, microbiologists at the University of Arizona discovered that cell phones contain 10 times the bacteria of most toilet seats, and the average desk is host to 400 times more germs! Don’t lay your aligners on your desk or a notebook – keep an extra retainer case available in every place you need to remove your trays.
Whether you are trying to avoid getting sick or trying to get better with spring on the doorstep, it’s important to have a plan. It’s crucial to stay with your Invisalign regimen, even during the cold and flu season, so you can get the smile you’ve always wanted!
About the Author
Dr. Milad Rabban earned her dental doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy. A proud member of the Michigan Dental Association, she values the importance of staying current in the dental field and has completed many continuing education courses in sedation dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and more. If you are interested in clear aligners, Dr. Rabban has advanced Invisalign training to help you get results faster than with traditional braces while being comfortable along the way. To schedule a consultation, visit her website or call (586) 416-1444.