How to Prevent Cavities with Invisalign

My Invisalign Smile
My Invisalign Smile | Source

It's Not Just Good Dental Hygiene

I lost a baby tooth as an adult. I don't have an adult tooth underneath and in order to get a tooth implant, I need to wear braces for a year to widen the gap and the tooth roots on either side to make enough room for the implant. My teeth are pretty straight and nice looking (except for the gap right in front) so I was a bit upset about this added expense, but I went to different orthodontists to get quotes.

All but one orthodontist told me I'd have to have braces on both the top and the bottom because, since I have a "deep bite", moving the bottom teeth would affect the top. I expect most orthodontist see people who want their top teeth to look better. I really didn't want anything done to my upper teeth. They're naturally straight and even. But when three orthodontist brought up the same issue, I submitted to the idea that I'd have to get braces on top too.

Sometimes I wish I went with the one orthodontist who had the cheapest quote and would have only put regular braces on the bottom teeth (and some sort of holding plate for the top teeth.) But he estimated the whole process would take maybe 15-18 months. I went with the orthodontist who recommended Invisalign for both the top and bottom, and she said it'd take a year. She's a premier provider of Invisalign, meaning that since I'm able to tighten my teeth on my own with new Invisalign trays every 2 weeks, the whole process will be faster. She also brought up some good points about how having an implant is permanent (meaning once the implant is in, unlike your other teeth, it can't be moved), and that's why she recommended having braces on both top and bottom, since she'd be able to better control the process. One of the things I liked most is she had books of pictures of her own Invisalign patients and how their teeth looked before and after. I'm happy with her except the Invisalign themselves I find annoying for many reasons.

What They Don't Tell You About Invisalign

What no orthodontist tell you that I now believe, is that you are actually more likely to get cavities with Invisalign than with regular braces, even with good hygiene. This is because your saliva washes off your teeth regularly but with Invisalign the plastic trays prevent saliva and your tongue from doing its job. Even with proper hygiene, which means brushing your teeth after you eat and flossing before putting on your Invisalign, you are still at risk, because you're not able to "self clean" your teeth with the plastic there.

Furthermore, there are a lot of things about Invisalign that I've experienced that I find to be a pain. Here are some pros and cons.

First, the Pros:

  1. My teeth look ok. The gap is hidden by white paint inside the Invisalign tray, so when I'm wearing the Invisalign, it looks like I don't have a gap at all.

  2. The Invisalign are supposedly more comfortable than regular braces. The edges along the insides of my cheeks are plastic, so no need to wax the edges and no scratching or boo-boos in my mouth. I've never worn regular braces but I can attest that these are ok.

  3. I'm lucky in that since my teeth are relatively straight, I haven't had much of a problem with the tightness of the trays. After a few days of wearing them they feel less tight.

  4. Overall, because I have a "premier provider" of Invisalign, my total time with braces is going to be a lot shorter.

  5. It is easy to brush and floss my teeth because the trays are out.

  6. The quote I got for the Invisalign was $50 less than the quote for regular braces from that same orthodontist.

Now the Cons:

  1. Invisalign are expensive, but from my experiences when I was getting quotes, so are regular braces. Mine are $6000 something. I've been able to get a 0% payment plan but yeesh.

  2. After I signed the contract to get Invisalign, I found out I was supposed to wear them for at least 22 hours every day. That leaves only 2 hours each day to eat and get my teeth back in excellent dental hygiene order before putting the Invisalign on again. This has been the biggest pain that I think most people don't realize when considering Invisalign. The lack of flexibility with Invisalign is really hard on most people's lives. First off, you have to have your Invisalign tray container, a good toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste with you at all times. When you eat, you always have to have a bathroom or clean water source nearby. You also have to give yourself time to properly clean your teeth after you eat. To give you some examples of the annoyance these things cause, for instance, if you go to a barbecue in a park you have to traipse around looking for a bathroom to clean your teeth after you eat, or leave earlier than you want to get to a bathroom. Or you can just weird out everyone and do your dental hygiene out in the open. If you go out on your lunch hour and eat at a restaurant with others it can be really hard to fit in time in the restroom to really get your teeth clean after eating. At dinners out everyone else will be enjoying talk at the table and you'll be in the restroom cleaning your teeth. No more eating in the car unless you're on the way back home or to a restroom to clean your teeth some more. If you're out and about and want to eat you have to plan for how and when you'll get your teeth cleaned. It's a big nuisance. It's no wonder some people give up and go a day or two wearing Invisalign with only water-rinsed teeth. I don't suggest that. You are just asking for cavities.

  3. Besides the time annoyance factor, Invisalign often include what are called "buttons". These are tooth-colored sharpish enamel-like buttons on the teeth that help the Invisalign trays move the teeth. The buttons are attached to your teeth and don't come off. When I have my Invisalign trays out, I can feel the buttons with the inside of my cheeks. They're not scratchy but they're not smooth either. They also making chewing pretty difficult. I don't know if it's my bite or what but I really had to get used to my bite not meeting any more. If I bite down, my top teeth will hit the buttons on my bottom teeth. So I chew really awkwardly now and not as thoroughly as I was able to before. With the trays on the buttons stick out and I gotta say, it looks really stupid and I'm embarrassed about it. So don't think Invisalign will be invisible. Most people in passing don't really notice but when I smile the sides of my teeth really do have these weird tooth-looking parts sticking out. I think regular braces look better and besides you get to pick colors for the rubberbands sometimes.

  4. The other big con with Invisalign is how easy it is to get cavities with them. If you want to know, just do a google search like I did of cavities and Invisalign and read the reports from real people who wore them, not just from the dentists, orthodontists, or others who sell Invisalign. What I found out was that many people who took great care of their teeth get cavities when they wear Invisalign, sometimes their first cavity ever! This is not cool. Because of this, I decided to write this article to warn others and also because I've compiled all the tips I know of to prevent cavities when wearing Invisalign.

  5. I have read complaints online that Invisalign is not able to do everything that regular braces can do. Since I'm not an orthodontist, you'll have to look into that yourself. I have also read that while with regular braces the orthodontist is working with your actual teeth, with Invisalign, they are working with a 3D model of your teeth in a computer program. I think this is somewhat true but maybe isn't a problem for everyone since there are a lot of happy Invisalign wearers out there. So if you have to have special kinds of work done, it is best in my opinion to be a very thorough researcher and ask a lot of questions.

  6. Taking the Invisalign out can be pretty gross. There's your saliva slime which collects in the trays. If I want to gross anyone out and embarrass myself at the same time, I just pull my trays out in front of them. So think about this if you're considering Invisalign. Any time you want to eat with others and not gross them out you have to run to the bathroom both before and after you eat.

  7. In the morning the slime factor is even worse. You can tell how well you've brushed and flossed the night before by how bad your breath is in the morning. In order to prevent cavities with Invisalign, you're going to have to treat your nightly dental hygiene routine like you're about to kiss someone you love for the first time.

My Invisalign Trays
My Invisalign Trays | Source

A Disapointment

Since preventing cavities was a big issue for me, I was a bit angry when I did a google search about cavities and Invisalign and found that a lot of people with excellent hygiene still get cavities. One of the big reasons I chose Invisalign over regular braces was because I thought preventing cavities would be easier since I could take the trays out to clean my teeth. While the dentists and orthodontists blame the cavities that Invisalign wearers get on poor dental hygiene, I think differently. It's really work to get your teeth in perfect bacteria-free order to prevent cavities with Invisalign when you don't have the added benefit of your saliva being able to clean your teeth naturally over the day. I feel that Invisalign traps any bacteria in your teeth and to prevent cavities, you have to get all that bacteria out before you put the Invisalign on.

This not only takes a bit of time to do (three times a day, or more if you eat more often than that), but can often be pretty inconvenient.

Now for the Preventing Cavities Tips

These are the tips I've researched and picked up from other Invisalign wearers, from dentists, orthodontists, and online searches. If you do them all your chances of preventing cavities with Invisalign are very high.

  • Follow this rule: Do not wear Invisalign unless you've cleaned your teeth. By "cleaned" I mean brushed and flossed thoroughly. This means after every meal or any time you eat, not just flossing once at night or when you feel you need to. Understand that there is a lot more to preventing cavities than just good dental hygiene.

  • Get your teeth sealed by your dentist if you can afford it before you get your Invisalign. This will really cut down on your chances of getting cavities.

  • I recommend eating less processed foods and more whole plant foods. It's healthier and the food is better for your teeth. It would also be wise to cut out hard candy, sticky candies, and sweet drinks like soda, juices, and sweetened coffee or teas.

  • Take your trays out to eat or drink anything except water. The only thing you can eat or drink when you have your trays on is pure, clean water. That's it.

  • Use a toothpaste that has Xylitol in it rather than other sweeteners. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that has been shown in studies to reduce cavities.

  • Wait after you eat before starting your dental hygiene routine. Swish your saliva around and rinse your mouth with water. Give yourself 5-10 minutes or so, don't just immediately brush and pop the Invisalign trays back in. The waiting gives your mouth time to self-clean.

  • Use a gum with Xylitol as the sweetener in it after you eat. This helps you get any food particles out of your teeth and increases the saliva in your mouth, to help you self-clean your teeth. So the first step after eating is to self rinse your mouth, then wait and rinse with water, and then wait a bit more and chew Xylitol gum.

  • After you've chewed all the flavor out of your Xylitol gum, get rid of it and rinse your teeth with water again. Now you want to floss your teeth using a waxed floss tape. The floss tape is better than regular floss which can be too cutting on the gums. Get a waxed floss tape with a little thickness to it, so it can easily get out anything in your gums. Floss carefully every single tooth and gum side. Rinse your mouth as your floss and try to use new floss as you go, rather than the same used section of floss.

  • Brush your teeth gently and thoroughly using the Xylitol toothpaste. Remember to also brush your tongue and inner cheeks, and your gums very gently. Rinse your mouth again with water, a couple times if you need to.

  • Before putting your Invisalign on again, clean them. I use a different soft toothbrush and liquid soap and water. Yes, just regular soap and water will do if you are thorough, or you can use an antibacterial liquid soap (preferable) and water. Make sure you use cold water only so the plastic won't get warped or melted. It is also a good idea if you can to put your Invisalign trays in a bowl of cold soapy water (with a liquid antibacterial soap in it, like Dial) to soak while you eat. This isn't always possible, but it helps keep your trays super clean.

  • Keep your "chewables" very clean. Soak them in soapy water (antibacterial, like Dial) and rinse them with water after you use them. Chewables are these soft white rubber rolls that you chew with your Invisalign on to make sure the Invisalign fit right.

  • I don't recommend most mouthwashs as I feel most of them just mask bacteria with scent and over-dry out the mouth (not good since we need lots of saliva to help keep the mouth and teeth clean). The one mouthwash I'd recommend is called ClosysII. I like it because it works by using a patented Chlorine Dioxide (CIO2) to kill sulpher compounds that cause bad breath. (By the way, another reason it's good to be eating a mostly whole food plant diet is you reduce the sulpher compounds you eat.) ClosysII is also alcohol, zinc, and flavor-free. When I use ClosysII I do so after I've flossed and brushed my teeth, and then I rinse my teeth with water after using the ClosysII.

  • I recommend getting a good electronic toothbrush like Phillips Sonicare. For one thing, it is automatically gentle and thorough since there is a timer on it. It's less work. It does more work in less time that you'd be able to do manually, and cleans every single tooth. I got one based on the recommendation of my old boss who said he hadn't had a cavity since getting that toothbrush. You still have to floss thoroughly. I find it's easier to use a regular toothbrush when you brush your tongue and inner cheeks though.

  • Get a prescription for Sodium Fluoride gel from your orthodontist. I expressed my worries about cavities to my orthodontist and she gave me a prescription for 1.1% Sodium Fluoride gel which you brush on with a dry soft toothbrush after brushing and flossing each night before going to bed. It only costs about $16.
  • Remember, it only takes one time to ruin all the work you put in. So don't ever wear your Invisalign unless you've really cleaned your teeth. I'd rather wear the Invisalign a bit longer in the long run and not have to have more drilling done to my teeth. Just do your best to get to a bathroom as soon as you can.

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Comments: "How to Prevent Cavities with Invisalign" 68 comments

danielleantosz profile image

danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida

Wow! I had no idea there were so many issues with Invisalign. Thanks for sharing.

carozy profile image

carozy 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Yeah, I hope people find it helpful! Thanks for stopping by!

spentwaytoomuchforthis 4 years ago

Ugh I just got Invisalign 2 weeks ago. I'm sooo worried about cavities. I've never had one in my entire life, so now I'm freaking out about this! I too, was never told about all this maintenance. I have a fast metabolism and I eat at least 5 times a day.. having to do this 5 times a day ....ughhhhhhh. Starting to regret my purchase. Probably should have just gone with regular braces. :(

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

That's how I felt when I first got mine! That's why I wrote this article - this info is just not out there. I would recommend getting the fluoride prescription from the orthodontist or your dentist. That will give you additional protection at night when you sleep. I hope the tips in my article help you prevent cavities!

F.E. 4 years ago

Excellent article. I will be bookmarking it so I can refer to it often. I'm freaking out about cavities, too, but your article made me feel like there's something I can do about it.

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks. I think if you follow the tips I've put in there you have a good chance of avoiding cavities.

Jay 4 years ago

Did your dentist inform you of the risks about the cavities?

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

I was in-between dentists at the time. I wonder what would have happened if I had an in-depth discussion about it. Invisalign is still relatively new I think. I wanted to get the word out about the experiences of real people vs. what you hear from professionals selling it.

anonymous 4 years ago

I have very healthy teeth and gums. Im 27 years old. I paid in full for invisalign and at the very end they hit me with you have to do deep cleaning and it will be 2,000 at my regular dentist. Plus cleanings every 3months. Now they do not want to give me my trays! I paid for invisalign over 60 trays now they do not want to give me them! This is a nightmare and i wish i never did this i'll take my one crooked tooth any day! to late this sucks

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

I'm sorry to hear about your experience! I hope in the end things work out for you.

Kevin Williams 4 years ago

Some people are more inclined to having cavities due to genetics, and some people don't have to go through such heirs because of them as well. I would recommend to anyone going on invisalign, to start eating right for the course of your treatment. I went on a high fiber diet consisting of whole foods and foods with natural sugars only, and didn't brush everytime after meals. I had no issues what so ever. With anything, care always needs to be taken when individual's moderation is variable, with things in excess especially. If you eat candy and wash it down with a couple of cans of jolt cola, then expect cavities if you don't brush right after meals.

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Lucky you did not get cavities but I don't want to take any chances. I too would recommend a high fiber diet. Processed food and sugars stick to your teeth more I think. I eat mostly high fiber as I'm vegan.

Kayleigh 4 years ago

Don't spend the entire time worrying about something that might not happen to you, everyone is at risk of cavities anyway with/without invisalign. Yes your dentist should have told you but you cant take one persons advice because your scared about getting cavities. Speak to your dentist if your worried.

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

True, everyone is at risk. My point is Invisalign wearers may be more at risk, even with good dental hygiene.

Jen 4 years ago

I just got Invisalign about two months ago - and what do you know: I've gotten two+ cavities already! and I have to stress that I am a FANATIC about brushing /flossing immediately (with Xylitol toothpaste as well) I had heard about how saliva is a natural preventative and had my suspicions and so grateful to find information like this blog out there. Validates my concern! Thinking of switching to braces... asap!

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks for your comment! Yes, I wish I had known about this before also. Good luck with your teeth. :)

Becca 4 years ago

I'm getting my Invisalign trays in 13 days, and I have to really thank you for posting this article! I had no idea the care would be so extensive, as my orthodontist didn't tell me any of this. I'm cavity-prone (genetics: bad teeth run in my family), so hearing that Invisalign wearers are more prone to cavities scares me a little. I will definitely be following your advice! Thanks again for posting!

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

No problem, thanks for your comment! I wish I'd known more before getting my Invisalign also.

SAMIRA 4 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience,it was about a month after I started my invisilign treatment and I felt severe pain in the tooth that I had filled just before starting the treatment,my dentist said its fine but i knew there was something wrong and even getting worse.I started to have a research about it and I found this useful information.I applied them and now after just a month I can feel a big difference in my mouth.

Thank you

Jamie 4 years ago

I wish I had went with regular braces... this is too much work! plus i would have saved $1500.00

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Good luck with your experiences. I wish I knew more before picking Invisalign also, although I know some people who loved them.

Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 4 years ago from The City of Generals

I never had invisilign treatment. Thanks for this carozy, it makes me think of that.

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thank you, I hope it is helpful.

nichola 4 years ago

this is ridiculous-

"•I don't recommend most mouthwashs as I feel most of them just mask bacteria with scent and over-dry out the mouth (not good since we need lots of saliva to help keep the mouth and teeth clean). " are you serious? (you're wrong by the way)

"2.After I signed the contract to get Invisalign, I found out I was supposed to wear them for at least 22 hours every day. That leaves only 2 hours each day to eat and get my teeth back in excellent dental hygiene order before putting the Invisalign on again"- seriosuly you went to spend over $6K on something and you DIDN'T research?

Good job. Its very simple America. Stop eating rubbish food, only drink water and clean your teeth when you can. Follow this plan if you want to have no life and a mouthful of soapy water? mmmm nice.

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Actually I think your comment is ridiculous, but to each their own.

braces28 4 years ago

Overall I am glad to see article promoting awareness among orthodontic patients. I am now almost a year into a treatment with regular braces. I needed just slight correction of my front teeth alignment and the whole procedure should have been uncomplicated and long. I have to note that before starting a treatment I had no cavities and keeping it that way was one of my primary objectives. I brush after every meal (avg. four times a day), floss, water jet and fluoride rinse nightly. Recently, a metal band that is supposed to be cemented to a molar fell off and revealed a cavity forming on the area of the tooth covered by the band. This is a prime example of orthodontists malpractice and negligence. Lack of cement around the band should have been discovered by the orthodontists long ago and this problem prevented. This was something almost impossible for me to detect by looking at my molars in a mirror. The moral of the story:

- If you have regular braces secured with molar bands - your orthodontist should inspect the bands thoroughly during each and every visit. If they don't - you must make them do so.

- After researching into all different problems with different treatments, regardless of what some orthodontists treatment preference is, I would for sure skip Invisalign (cost plus cavities), skip molar bands (hard to clean plus cavities), skip regular brackets with rubber bands (not so effective and bands discolor within few weeks).

- If I had to do it all over again I would opt for tubes with self-ligating "speed braces". Tubes are much more hygienic and self-ligating "speed braces" will cut the treatment time significantly.

- One final advice - you must inform yourself with all details prior to talking to the orthodontists. They most likely steer you into whatever is the easiest for them and not what may be the best for you. Always get a second opinion before committing to anything.

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thank you for your excellent comment and advice. I'm sure others will find it helpful!

Arzafam 4 years ago

I agree with everything you mentioned about invisalign.

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks Arzafam.

pro invisalign 4 years ago

Great article, however like any major medical procedure most of us do a thorough research of the doctor, procedure and the disease and THEN an informed decision can be made.

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

The only thing that happened when I brought up cavities to the orthodontist was that she said I would be able to take better care of my teeth than regular braces because I could take the Invisalign off. I found out about how common it is to get cavities with Invisalign after I thought to do research online. That's why I wrote this article.

jamie 4 years ago

thanks my dentist did NOT warn me about the dangers of getting cavities and I'm on week 2. I am very diligent with brushing and flossing and get cavities very easily (told I have "soft teeth") i will bring this up to him at my checkup

carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

You might want to get your teeth sealed which is supposed to greatly reduce cavities, or ask for a fluoride gel you can use at night. Good luck!

Lilly 3 years ago

You should also keep your Invisalign clean by boiling it regularly in hot water to kill bacteria that may build up within the trays. I brush them every morning and night, as well.

carozy profile image

carozy 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

My orthodontist specifically told me to avoid getting them in hot liquids because the plastic could melt. But I agree, keeping them clean is an important part of their care. Happy holidays!

JG 3 years ago

This is silly. Your whole attitude about the procedure is negative from the start. I'm sure that no one held a gun to your head and forced you into an expensive, long-term corrective procedure, like orthodontics. If anything, your article demonstrates that you are putting way too much concern in your oral health (which you inadvertently state is better than most people's oral health) and clearly not enough in your general anxiety disorder and/or OCD issues. The decision to get orthodontics, like any other big decisions in life, requires a cost-benefit analysis, i.e., is my long-term vanity/ego more important than my short term comfort? Is it more crucial that I continue to uphold my perfect record of zero cavities, or that I risk getting a cavity or two and fill in this atrocious gap in my "otherwise perfect" smile? These are the kinds of questions you probably should have asked yourself before getting Invisalign and then subjecting us all to your tirade. Having cavities is not the end of the world, people. You get them filled in with composite material and you can't even see them. Furthermore, some of your advice is just plain wrong. A notice to readers: this person is not a doctor. If you are concerned about cavities, talk to YOUR doctor. And mouthwash does not dry out your mouth, that is just retarded; and mouth bacteria are most attracted to sugars and carbs...guess what fruits and vegetables are (carbohydrates)? Just silly.

carozy profile image

carozy 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

I think your comment is silly. To each his own.

micki 3 years ago

I soak my invisaligns in water and vinegar. Then I brush with a light toothbrush. I gave up soda and only drink pure fluoridated water

I don't abide by the 22 hours. I take my trays out every few hours and drink a few sips of water so that the water flows over my teeth.

I'll be out of these bad boys in a few months (exactly two years total) and no cavities.

carozy profile image

carozy 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hey good luck! Cavities suck. Sounds like you'll be fine though :)

donny 3 years ago

I'm on my 7th month with invisalign and couldn't be happier. My teeth are looking amazing andi just had my checkup and have no cavities. is it work? Of course, you ate expecting your teeth to move! Its worth it though. PS. I floss, rinse with listerine, brush, and rinse with Act everytime after I eat. Also, I'm madly addicted to dr pepper and drink it constantly with my trays in and have no cavities.

carozy profile image

carozy 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Good luck with that. I wouldn't try drink sugary drinks with invisalign in, but you're lucky you haven't had any cavities!

Guida 3 years ago

Carozy,you`re so right about orthodontists not informing their patients fully...I chose invisalign instead of metal braces bc i have a sensitive mouth(excellent oral higiene but a couple of years ago my gums receeded due to extreme stress and burn out).I didn`t want anything permanently attached precisely bc i do a very thorough d.higiene-mini interdental brushes,floss,sensodyne repair&protect paste and a home made rinse that´s worked better than any product available on the market(myhrr,lemon&peppermint essential oils with alcohol,a few drops of this in a glass of water for the rinsing part).They didn`t even tell me the excruciating pain i`d get on my 1rst days with my 1rst tray!I feel like i`m the one who has to teach him about the process,which is annoying,it could have saved me a LOT of pain.I didn`t know at all about the extra risks of cavities,your article is my newsflash.As for the ppl who think you`re over the top with your constructive criticism,don`t mind them.The only reason they act so is bc they don`t have pbs themselves(good for them,but no need to be piss on trees,we`re not all that lucky).I think my doctor has been humble enough to learn from my experience,but they should do more research instead of throwing the guinea pig in the woods and waiting for updates.I`ve had to solve all my pbs on my own as i go along(smooth filed the edges that were cutting my tongue,multivitamin supplement with chlorella and spirulina as anti-flammatory and a soothing gel on inflammed gums and cuts inside the mouth).I will see him every 2 weeks as he wants to photograph the process.Hopefully there won`t be cavities or more gory stories to tell.

carozy profile image

carozy 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hey good luck Guida. My invisalign are now off and I'm so glad. Eventually you'll be done to, I hope with no cavities. :)

Amanda 3 years ago

I'm curious about the paint in your invisalign tray to hide the gap. I have a gap too that is very visible - similar case as yours (adult tooth didn't come in). Was it something the dentist was able to paint in for you? I'd like to know what to request from my dentist so I get a similar result.

carozy profile image

carozy 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

The orthodontist took care of it. I'd say it was pretty unnoticeable, like the invisalign themselves. Good luck.

Artist151 2 years ago

I love my invisalign and the whole idea. I don't gross people out by taking them out or putting in. I love the concept! No cavities and enjoy rootbeer. Like you said to each their own.

carozy profile image

carozy 2 years ago from San Francisco Author

Definitely they work well for some people, I'm just not one of those! Lol

aprilweb 2 years ago

Just started invisalign and appreciate your comments. Ignore the negative commenters, they are just rude. I'll be following all the instructions of yours that I can manage.

Good to know about the cavities. I found these little toothbrushes called wisps at the local Walgreens. Very ecologically insensitive since they are disposable but amazingly handy to put in your purse.

Also wanted to mention that I started with vitamins D and K2 (the MK-4 version) together as they are supposed to help prevent cavities. I did notice I have less build-up on my teeth and they are less cold sensitive. Crossing my fingers that this will help .

Another big help is ortho wax (buy at any drugstore). I'm using it on a tray edge that digs into my jaw and it really works.

carozy profile image

carozy 2 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thank you for stopping by and for your helpful tips. Wish you well with Invisalign :)

susie 2 years ago

Jist started invisalign today and very anxious.. This article has made me very nervous but I'm glad I came across it. I will definitely follow your reccomendations. Thanks :)

carozy profile image

carozy 2 years ago from San Francisco Author

Sorry to make you feel nervous. I think if you are diligent about your cleaning regimen, you should have no problems. Best of luck. :)

Johng515 2 years ago

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Barbara Cho 23 months ago

Thanks for the post. I did not know that invisalign could help prevent cavities if you use them right. It is a lot easier to maintain your teeth with invisalign than it is with braces. I will use these tips to keep cavity free.

carozy profile image

carozy 23 months ago from San Francisco Author

I'm glad you found the article helpful!

Kimberly Schnepp 23 months ago

Thank you for this post. I also was naïve to the cavity concerns. My 'premier' ortho didn't mention this - actually provided almost no cons or guidance for this process

carozy profile image

carozy 23 months ago from San Francisco Author

I hope my tips help you prevent cavities!

carozy profile image

carozy 23 months ago from San Francisco Author

I hope my tips help you prevent cavities!

Chila 22 months ago

I'm getting invisalign and this article scared me and makes it seems like cavities are inevitable with invisalign...You do seem a bit OCD though to be honest but now I am wondering if I made a MISTAKE

carozy profile image

carozy 22 months ago from San Francisco Author

You will probably be fine if you are careful and take precautions. I wrote this article because I chose Invisalign without realizing that there could be cavities because of putting the trays on after eating -- if the teeth weren't clean enough. I wished I had been told there might be a danger but I found it out after searches online. I just think people are unlikely to hear this side from their orthodontists and that they should know. Good luck!

Chila 22 months ago

Carozy, would you have gone with traditional braces instead if you knew the precautions you had to take? Also, Doesn't waiting 5-10 minutes before brushing your teeth after a meal just add an additional 10minutes onto your cleaning time and therefore your total time out of aligners? I don't know how they expect us to wait for the saliva to coat our teeth before brushing, yet you can't be out of your aligners too long...

carozy profile image

carozy 22 months ago from San Francisco Author

I think I would have gone with regular braces but it's over and done with now. Yes, I found the whole routine time consuming and annoying. I was most annoyed that I couldn't lounge with a sugary drink at a cafe for hours because I had to wear my trays and I didn't want to trap any sugar against my teeth. But I know there are downsides with regular braces too, and I know some people who really loved their Invisalign trays, so I guess it's up to each individual in the end about which way to go if they need braces.

afranzi 21 months ago

Thank you so much for the tips!!

So nice of you!!!!


margaritakel 20 months ago

I have worn both traditional braces and Invisalign braces. Invisalign are hands down the more comfortable and more convenient option. They are also the easier option for oral hygiene.

Both types of braces require you to clean your teeth after every meal. While regular braces allow you to linger with an alcoholic, sugary or hot beverage, the time spent caring for traditional braces, on a daily basis, was easily double what I spend now caring for the Invisalign.

With Invisalign, I pop the trays out, brush and floss my teeth and clean the trays. With regular braces, after each meal, I had to identify if large pieces of food were stuck in the brackets and wires, removing those before brushing my teeth. I had to find specific toothbrushes that were small enough to fit around and between the brackets and wires, while still being substantial enough to actually clean my teeth. Then I had to floss by threading the floss under the wire and around the brackets, for each tooth. To finish, if I was away from home, I would swig some mouthwash hoping to clear away what the brush and floss could not reach.

At home, my routine included an interdental brush, flouride rinse, eventually an upgrade to an electric toothbrush and a Water-Pik.

After living through that circus for 2.5 years with traditional braces, I gladly sacrificed the ability to eat or drink anything (besides water) all day every day for 1 year while wearing Invisalign.

I did not suffer from cavities wearing either traditional braces or Invisalign.

carozy profile image

carozy 20 months ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks for your info, I think others will find it helpful. Having not worn regular braces, I did not have that experience to compare with my own with Invisalign. I would agree that Invisalign, except for the tightness (which would go away) were fairly comfortable and smooth. I'm glad I didn't have to worry about any wires.

Jignasha 12 months ago

this is so helpful - especially about preventing cavities. Thank you!

carozy profile image

carozy 11 months ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks, glad you found it helpful! Good luck. :)

Beatriz 8 months ago

I damn near had a panic attack when I read through this blog and all the comments. My goodness, I cannot believe some of the horrible consequences that have come of the invisalign treatment. I had no idea this was even a possiblity. My orthodontist told me he would rather I do the ceramic braces because of how much faster they work but he never ever told me that it was a possible to have more cavities...

I'm buying all the items you said as a precaution. I already use sensodyne, so I'm covered in the aspect of xylitol toothpaste. However, I will see my orthodontist in a month and will ask for the fluoride gel. I'm ocd about cleanliness and hygiene so the thorough flossing and brushing after every meal has not been an issue so far.

Have your teeth held up pretty well after invisalign, enamel wise and such?

I regret trying to fix my teeth. All these extra risks don't seem worth it. I always was complimented about my smile but vanity got the best of me.


carozy profile image

carozy 7 months ago from San Francisco Author

I'm sorry to cause you any stress or fear. I listed a lot of precautions and solutions a person could take, how many a person would choose to do would be up to them. I'm sure you'll find success as long as you're diligent about dental hygiene and take a few of my suggestions to heart.

My teeth ended up OK and I never had my teeth sealed (and still don't). That was just one option I came across that could help. I did brush after every meal, avoided sipping cafe drinks when I had my invisalign in, and did the flossing, water rinse, xylitol gum, etc. that I wrote about.

I don't think most dentists or orthodontists warn about the importance of a thoroughly clean mouth prior to putting in the invisalign, and most people don't think about it either, so I hope my article brings attention to this since getting cavities or worse really sucks!

Good luck with your teeth and smile. I'm sure it will work out in the end!

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