Preparing for cold and flu season is a top priority for Dr. Chad Carver and the team at Stellar Family Orthodontics in Mukilteo and Mill Creek, Washington. Stocking up on hand sanitizer, soap, tissues, and cold medicine are just a few ways you can ensure that you and your family remain healthy during these cold winter months.
But if you’re straightening your smile with Invisalign® or another clear aligners system, cold and flu season brings a unique set of challenges that you may not be prepared for.
Every time you touch or remove your clear aligners, you expose your mouth to potentially harmful bacteria. This can increase your risk of contracting a cold and flu season virus. While it’s unrealistic to avoid germs altogether, the orthodontic team at Stellar Family Orthodontics has plenty of tips to help you stay as healthy as possible during cold and flu season with Invisalign.
Wash your hands.
Washing your hands during cold and flu season may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential if you wear Invisalign or other clear aligners brands. When you have clear aligners, you remove them to eat, drink, and brush and floss, leaving your mouth vulnerable to bacteria and germs. To prevent the spread of germs, always wash your hands before touching your aligners.
It’s easy to neglect your water intake during winter. Without the hot summer heat, you may not feel as thirsty. But even when you’re not thirsty, you can still be dehydrated. Over time, this leads to dry mouth, or decreased saliva production. Saliva helps remove debris and bacteria from your mouth, so staying hydrated minimizes your risk of contracting certain viruses.
Keep your workspace clean.
Whether you’re still in school or work in an office, shared workspaces are known for breeding bacteria and germs. This is especially true when you have clear aligners, which you have to touch to remove. To avoid picking up germs at work, always keep your workspace as clean as possible with wipes and disinfectants.
Clean your clear aligners.
While regularly cleaning your clear aligners is always important, it’s especially critical during cold and flu season. Taking extra precautions and cleaning your Invisalign frequently ensures you’re never putting dirty aligners back in your mouth.
Make a travel kit.
Carrying extra reinforcements can help you keep your clear aligners clean and comfortable during your winter outings. Hand sanitizer is crucial if you think you might remove your aligners to eat, while a small tube of hand lotion helps keep your hands moisturized after washing your hands in winter.
Because Invisalign clear aligners are made out of BPA-free plastic, wearing them increases your risk of dry mouth and chapped lips. That’s why it’s important to keep a bottle of water and chapstick on hand when you run errands during winter.
Floss picks are another great addition to your travel kit. Not only do they ensure that you’re able to remove food and debris from your teeth, you can do so while limiting contact between your hands and mouth.
For more tips on caring for your clear aligners during winter, call the expert orthodontic team at Stellar Family Orthodontics or schedule a free consultation online today!