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. It floods your body with a host 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. Keep reading to learn tips on how to wear your Invisalign during the cold-and-flu season while giving yourself the best chance not to get sick, as well as how to get through it if you do.
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 your hands when removing your Invisalign. 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 that 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 contains 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.
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 drinking water, 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 the cold-and-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 this time of year, 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 of 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.
Whether you are trying to avoid getting sick or get better, it’s important to have a plan. It’s crucial to stay with your Invisalign regimen, even during flu season, so you can get the smile you’ve always wanted.
About the Author
Dr. Alexandria Arditti loves working with her patients to improve their oral health and self-confidence. She earned her dental doctorate from the prestigious Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California. Dr. Arditti offers a wide spectrum of dental services, and her experience as a yoga instructor comes in handy to help patients who get anxious during office visits. If you are interested in Invisalign, she is ready to help you treat crowded or gapped teeth, as well as bite alignment. You can schedule a consultation on her website or call (714) 592-4294.