Invisalign: How to Eat when Can't Brush Right Away?

Can a person use invisalign if they cannot always brush right after eating? Running water is not always available during the day at worksites -- could clean extra at night and breakfast.

Doctor Answers 7

Invisalign and Ideal Way of Keeping Teeth Clean

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You are very concerned about your teeth and brushing after eating while wearing Invisalign.  Just the fact that you brush and FLOSS morning and night will keep your teeth pretty much placque free!  You have no access to running water at your job sites so i would bring along floss and a small bottle of mouth wash.  That would do the trick after eating.  Just continue your hygiene habits and your concern and care of your teeth and you and invisalign should be just fine!

Van Nuys Dentist

You should remove the aligners to eat and to brush your teeth

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You should remove the aligners to eat and to brush your teeth. If the aligners are not removed while eating it is suggested that you brush your teeth and rinse the aligners immediately after eating.

Zach Casagrande, DDS, MS, PC
Ashburn Orthodontist

How to clean teeth w/Invisalign if you can't brush

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Ideally, you want to brush and floss each time after you eat before you insert your aligners.  Realistically, that can't always happen.  Either rinsing your mouth with warm water or chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal will help remove food particles and move them and the bacteria off your teeth.  If you need to reinsert your aligners after that, just brush and floss as soon as you can and make sure to clean your aligners as they probably picked up some of the particles from your last meal.

Gerilyn Alfe, DMD
Chicago Dentist

Invisalign and brushing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Great question!  Just the fact that you are worried about this means that you'll do fine with Invisalign.  If there is no plaque on your teeth then food on your teeth will not be converted into acid which dissolves the enamel, nor into toxins, which can harm the gums.  If you brush and floss thoroughly twice a day and remove all plaque you should have no problem if you cannot brush at lunch.  Perhaps you could try bringing some mouthwash to the job and just swish with it after lunch.

Brian Povolny, DDS, PhD
Seattle Orthodontist

There is "ideal" and there is "real" when dealing with oral health

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Ideally, one would brush after every meal, but not all people can.  The invisalign aligners can act as reservoirs and trap food and acids that would normally be washed away from saliva.  If one brushes and flosses well, morning and night, then things are likely going to be fine.  It takes roughly 8 hours to demineralize, so it should work out ok.

Keeping the teeth clean with Invisalign

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I understand that it is not always convenient - or even possible- to brush right after eating. I recommend that patients rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove any large food particles, put their aligners back in, and then brush as soon as possible. If even rinsing cannot be done, it is OK to leave the aligners out for an hour or two, on occasion, until brushing and flossing can be done conveniently.I hope this is helpful!

R. William McNeill, DDS, MS
Mercer Island Orthodontist

Clean teeth on the go

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The is a great product in a pen made by IntelliWHiTE that is called the stain eraser. It is like having a toothbrush and paste all in one on the go. It will help solve your issues with putting invisalign back on unclean teeth

Im sure its available on hsn website

Jennifer Jablow, DDS
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.