Is Alcohol-free, Sugar-free Breath Spray Okay to Use with Invisalign?
Bad breath is a common complaint, and it can become an even bigger problem during orthodontic treatment. Whether you are undergoing treatment with braces or clear aligners, orthodontic appliances give bacteria more places to hide, which leads to more halitosis. Invisalign’s clear aligner design makes it easier to clean all those hard-to-reach places, but if you still have some lingering bad breath, you might be wondering: Is breath spray okay to use? Some breath sprays can be bad for your teeth during treatment, but in general, sugar-free, alcohol-free breath sprays are safe to use with Invisalign.
The Problem With Sugar
Check the ingredient list of any breath spray to make sure it has no sugar. Sugar might be a tasty treat for you, but it is also a favorite treat for those pesky oral bacteria, which use it for fuel. Once they consume sugar, they reproduce and leave a smelly byproduct, which results in not just more bad breath but also enamel-destroying acids.
Breath spray containing sugar can get trapped beneath your Invisalign aligners where saliva cannot rinse it away, and your teeth can be damaged faster than they would otherwise. Breath sprays that are sweetened with xylitol might be the best choice. Xylitol can actually combat oral bacteria.
The Problem With Alcohol
Alcohol is also a problem for teeth but for another reason. Saliva is a natural lubricant and contains mucins, which suspend oral bacteria so that they cannot hurt teeth. Alcohol dries the mouth, allowing bacteria to flourish. Breath sprays that contain alcohol might temporarily sweeten your breath, but that freshness will come at a price. You will end up with bad breath and more bacteria at the end of the day.
Finding Sugar-free, Alcohol-free Breath Sprays
You can find sugar-free, alcohol-free breath sprays at mass merchandisers, pharmacies, drug stores and online. If you are unable to find a breath spray you like, ask our orthodontist for a recommendation.
Breath Spray Alternatives
There are plenty of ways to address chronic bad breath apart from sprays, including:
1. Staying well-hydrated
Drinking water frequently throughout the day helps keep your body hydrated and flushes the bacteria out of your mouth. It also helps you produce more saliva, which keeps the environment of your mouth healthy and balanced. You can drink water when your aligners are in, and you don’t have to brush after a drink like you would with a sugary beverage.
2. Brush frequently.
Brushing is so important during orthodontic treatment, and Invisalign makes it easy. Remove your aligners when you eat, and brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in. Brush to remove plaque, food particles and bacteria, and your breath should stay fresh all day long. Use a tongue cleaner or brush your tongue to remove even more bacteria.
3. Floss daily.
Toothbrush bristles are small, but they are not quite small enough to clean between your teeth. You need to floss every day to remove the debris that settles in these areas and prevent decay and bad breath. If you wear braces, use a floss threader or pick to clean around the brackets and wires more effectively.
4. Clean your aligners.
When you remove your aligners, clean them. You can use the cleaning kit that is made for them, or you can just brush and rinse them using lukewarm water. Never eat with them in your mouth, and only drink water when you are wearing them to keep them clean.
5. Find a good mouthwash.
Mouthwashes can help kill bacteria in your mouth and leave a minty fresh feeling much like breath sprays. Look for alcohol-free versions since, much like alcohol-containing breath sprays, mouthwashes with alcohol can dry your mouth and worsen bad breath. A mouthwash with fluoride or a non-alcohol antimicrobial ingredient can be a good alternative.
You can also suck on sugar-free, dye-free mints throughout the day. Mints can freshen your breath and help stimulate saliva flow, both of which can combat bad breath without affecting your orthodontic treatment.
How Orthodontics Can Prevent Bad Breath
Chronic bad breath that persists even when dental hygiene is improved and breath sprays or mints are used can indicate that you need orthodontic treatment. Teeth that are improperly aligned, crowded or crooked can be tough to clean thoroughly, and this can lead to pockets of bacteria. Gums can become swollen, inflamed and irritated as the bite puts pressure on the jaw and periodontal tissues.
Our orthodontist can evaluate your child’s teeth and determine if treatment is necessary. Proper treatment with braces or aligners can correct a wide range of orthodontic issues, eliminate bad breath and promote a lifetime of better dental health.
Schedule Your First Appointment At Childers Orthodontics Today
At Childers Orthodontics in Illinois, we offer a variety of orthodontic treatments for adults, teenagers, and children. Dr. Kyle Childers is an orthodontist who provides expert treatments for malocclusions of the teeth. Schedule an appointment with us to learn more about:
• Retainers – to keep teeth in place after treatment
• Aligners – Invisalign devices for adults and teenagers
• Braces – traditional or Damon system devices
• Expanders – for the lower or upper jaw
We make it easy to undergo orthodontic treatment by having several locations, including:
• Herrin – 618-997-1800
• Harrisburg – 618-252-0770
• Benton – 618-438-2815
We use the iTero scanner device to create the best fitting Invisalign aligners for your mouth, and our orthodontic team uses SureSmile archwires for braces. If you have a lower jaw that is too small for your permanent teeth, then make sure to contact us for an evaluation to learn more about lower jaw expansion. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (618) 438-2815.
201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815