As a husband, father, former clear aligner patient, and caring clinician I’ve learned a lot over the years about people’s breath. Here are a few things in particular.
One, morning breath stinks, no matter who you are. Two, there's about a four minute delay between reinserting aligners and feeling self-conscious about breath. And three, wearing plastic trays for 22 hours a day is going to dry your mouth out. Big time.
So here are my three best tips for staying fresh and secure about your breath during the smile journey.
Drench Your Mouth In Water
Now unfortunately, you won't fully eliminate bad breath and dry mouth from your smile journey. But there are things you can do to manage it. First, maintain a healthy saliva flow (as gross as that may sound). Saliva is our mouth's natural cleansing agent and is the number one way to keep breath fresh and teeth safe during treatment.
Keep that saliva flowing by drinking lots of water throughout the day. But sometimes you’ll need a boost, and not to mention a break from la agua. When you need some flavor, try Movemints, a sugar free mint that fits between your trays. Sweetened with xylitol, a natural substance that stimulates salivary flow, Movemints are great alternative to chewie foam when you are out living your life.
Keep Your Clear Aligners Clean and Clear
Don't eat or drink anything other than water with them in, for as long as you can help it. We realize that’s easier written than done, so if you absolutely do have to sneak a coffee or light snack, rinse out your mouth and trays out as soon as possible.
Always brush your teeth after every meal, and try a pump of EverSmile White Foam in each tray before you reinsert. This wonderful substance is our favorite wearable whitening foam that also cleans your invisible braces. Use it up to four times a day.
Stains will be more of a problem if you are on a three week cycle, so keep that in mind when you cheat. If you are replacing trays every two weeks, you can afford to get a little loose after the tenth day.
Brush Your Tongue
This is one of the best tips for fighting bad breath. Very much bacteria lives on your tongue, so you’re missing an opportunity to clean if you aren’t scrubbing your tongue. Try a scraper like the Asana Tongue Cleaner from Boka. The curved stainless steel design is gentle and effective.
Upgrade Your Toothpaste
Anyone who has been in a drug store or supermarket knows there are plenty of options for toothpaste. But are they all created equal? Of course not. Brands offer many different formulas, each promising one benefit or another.
Some toothpastes are best for whitening, while others promise to help people with sensitive teeth. Others are milder for kids, while others promise to remove stains. It can get a little overwhelming. Ask your dentist or orthodontist what they recommend, or check out this article from Reader's Digest that shares their research into what toothpastes dentist's actually use for themselves, and why.
Stay Fresh & Clean Throughout the Smile Journey
Unfortunately, when we cover our teeth with clear aligners, we hinder our own body’s self cleansing mechanism, and we dry out our mouth. But if you follow these tips, you can mitigate your bad breath and dry mouth. So give your mouth and teeth the pampering they deserve by drinking lots of water, incorporating Movemints into your daily routine, and using EverSmile to keep those trays sparkly clean!