Keeping Yourself Safe and Healthy with Invisalign During COVID-19

The trials and tribulations caused by COVID-19 may have interfered with plans and forced us to put some projects on hold, but they won’t stop you from achieving a straighter smile. Seabreeze Orthodontics is proud to offer a variety of treatment options for anyone looking to improve their oral health, including Invisalign clear aligners! This innovative system is already popular with our teen and adult patients due to the removable design and clear, comfortable material. Thanks to the extra measure of flexibility they offer, using Invisalign and keeping yourself safe and healthy during COVID-19 is no issue at all!

While we have spent the past several months getting accustomed to COVID-19’s “new normal,” we have come to realize that Invisalign remains a great option for attaining a healthier smile during a pandemic. Treating your smile with clear aligners is safe and effective, and easy to manage even during these socially-distanced times. Read below to learn why more patients than ever are choosing Invisalign for all their orthodontic needs! 

Invisalign makes maintaining your oral health simple

Frequently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been advised to keep our hands away from our face and mouth to limit the spread of germs and slow the overall rate of infection. Unfortunately, Invisalign patients are unable to avoid touching their mouths during the treatment process, which means it is more important than ever to maintain good hygiene! Invisalign’s clear, removable aligners make this an easy task. 

Patients with Invisalign will find it a simple task to care for both their oral health and their aligners. The trays are designed to be removed before eating, drinking anything other than water, and brushing and flossing. We recommend patients wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before removing aligners from the mouth, as washing your hands is the first line of defense against germs and infection. This CDC video shows viewers how to do so quickly and effectively!

If soap and water are not available, you can instead use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizers are fast-acting, quick to dry, and will significantly reduce the number of germs on your skin. Take special care to thoroughly clean your fingernails and fingertips since these surfaces will make the most direct contact with your mouth, aligners, and other spots vulnerable to infection.

Whenever you remove your aligners, you should place them in a clean, sealed container or leave them to soak in an approved cleaning solution. This will protect them from germs and bacteria, and prevents them from being accidentally misplaced or tossed in the trash! Before putting aligners back in their mouth, patients should thoroughly wash their hands again and wash their aligners. Caring for aligners in this way will quickly become incorporated into your daily routine, and will significantly help protect your oral and total body health.

Invisalign is convenient

Clear aligner treatments have been popping up everywhere in recent years, which means even those who have never received an orthodontic procedure are probably aware of them. Though they are simply designed, aligners are as effective as traditional braces at moving teeth. Like braces, Invisalign shifts teeth by continuously applying gentle pressure over time.

To produce the force needed to move your teeth, the aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day. Additionally, each aligner is switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the gradual movements the teeth are making. When you follow these simple instructions, Invisalign is just as effective as braces at correcting common orthodontic issues.

We typically provide Invisalign patients with several weeks’ worth of aligners at a time, which can be extremely convenient during socially distanced times like these! If you run out of your current set of aligners before your next scheduled appointment, we can easily arrange curbside pick-up so there is no need to physically enter our Myrtle Beach office. If you have any questions, you can even set up a virtual appointment to speak directly with Dr. Juan and discuss your concerns. These options allow you to practice safe social distancing while continuing to care for your smile. 

Invisalign mitigates risk in case of an orthodontic emergency 

Traditional metal braces have brackets and wires that, in extreme cases, can lose their shape or break entirely. This can lead to orthodontic emergencies that require immediate attention. Because Invisalign aligners are just one piece, easily removable, and made from a durable plastic called SmartTrack, emergencies with them tend to be few and far between. They are not indestructible, though—aligners can still tear, crack, or break, especially if they are not handled with care.  

We ask patients to let us know any time an aligner is damaged or lost. If the damage is relatively minor and does not significantly impinge the shape or function, the aligner may still be worn until it is time to wear the next in the series. Patients should refrain from using an aligner that has cracked or split in a way that prevents it from holding its shape. Besides potentially causing pain, a damaged aligner will not be able to provide consistent pressure in the exact direction needed to move the teeth correctly. In a case like this, Dr. Juan will either recommend that we either make a replacement or proceed to the next aligner in the series.

Invisalign makes troubleshooting treatment easy

Once you have finished wearing your last course of aligners, the treatment may be complete. Occasionally, however, we will need to perform a revision scan to determine if additional aligners will be required to achieve the desired results. Temporary closings and stay-at-home orders have sometimes made it difficult for our patients to come in for scheduled appointments like this, but Invisalign aligners make it easy to troubleshoot solutions!  

For example, anyone currently in aligners can continue wearing the last set they were given if we are not able to provide them with a new set right away. There is one difference—these “holdover” aligners should be worn for only 10-12 hours a day instead of the normal 20-22 hours. Doing so will help the holdovers last until we are able to meet with you. This will keep the patient’s treatment plan on track and ensure that no progress is lost. 

It is very important to keep continuous pressure on the teeth both during treatment with aligners and after treatment with a retainer. Without continuous force, the teeth will start moving back into their previous places. This can happen more quickly than one might think and may lengthen the duration of the procedure. For this reason, we recommend that patients always keep their aligners from the previous stage on hand in case they are needed while waiting for a new set to be delivered.

Safe and effective treatment from Seabreeze Orthodontics

Invisalign makes it easy to achieve a healthier smile safely and effectively – even during a pandemic! To learn more about this innovative treatment option, get in touch with us to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Juan!