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When hot summer days give way to colder ones, it means it’s time to stock up on Vitamin C and tissues, get flu shots, and prepare for winter. For clear aligner patients, though, the cold weather means needing to prevent exposure to harmful bacteria. Although it is impossible to avoid all viruses and germs, following these tips for clear aligner wellness will help you stay healthy during flu season.

Don’t Fish Your Aligners Out with Bare Hands

Keep your fingers out of your mouth—it’s something our parents taught us as kids, and it is one of the ways you can protect yourself from illnesses. If you must remove your Invisalign, wear gloves or wash your hands first—cold and flu germs can spread through touch.

It’s not practical to wash your hands every time you remove your trays, so you should have OrthoKey or a similar aligner remover tool on hand. A tool like this keeps you from needing to stick your fingers into your mouth just to get your trays out.

You can also chew on Movemints when you have to reinsert your trays. This product has patented grooves that fit your top and bottom aligners, so you don’t need to hold your trays with your fingers when you replace them.

Maintain Your Room or Workspace’s Cleanliness

We don’t think too much about how we handle dedicated office desks, computers, and other personal items or spaces. However, it’s a mistake to think that they’re “your germs,” because if you don’t clean these regularly, they could put you at risk for sickness.

A cell phone can contain ten times the amount of bacteria on a toilet seat. Meanwhile, desks can accumulate up to 400 times more germs! Give desks, devices, and bedrooms extra cleaning during the winter to keep those infections at bay.

Hydrate Often, Especially When It’s Cold

Water provides various health and wellness benefits, whatever the season. If you’ve had your Invisalign for a while, you would have noticed that you’ve upped your water intake. Besides water being the only fluid you should drink if you have your aligners on, wearing these dental instruments tends to cause dry mouth. The cold winter air will cause your glands to dry out faster, so you have to drink much more water than usual.

Rinse Out Your Aligners, Accessories, and Toothbrush

Besides keeping your surroundings clean, you must also sanitize your clear aligners, accessories, and toothbrush. You don’t want to be putting in effort cleaning your surroundings, only to fall sick because you don’t clean your dental appliances.

Run your retainer cases through the dishwasher or give them a thorough hand washing. The combination of moisture and saliva will breed bacteria; if you rinse and dry your appliances properly, you will keep you from catching a cold or the flu. Change your toothbrush regularly as well—ideally, you must replace it every time you get sick.

Conclusion

The cold weather brings with it plenty of health risks. Besides following standard health and safety measures like hand washing, a person on their invisible aligners journey should take extra precautions during flu season. Keeping one’s accessories and surroundings clean and staying hydrated are two ways you can protect yourself from falling ill when this season comes around.

Have a picture-perfect smile when you get your invisible aligners at Dental House MI. We are dentists in Ann Arbor, MI providing orthodontic treatment to our patients with everything from braces and clear aligners to preventive dentistry. We also serve Ypsilanti and Waterford, MI; make an appointment today to see the Dental House difference!

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