Answering Some Health Questions About Clear Aligner Braces

Posted on: 20 April 2016


If you are an extremely health conscious person, then you may be concerned about the various products you use and how they may affect your body. If you want to straighten your teeth with Invisalign aligners, then you may have some questions about the braces and their use in terms of your overall health. Keep reading to learn about some questions and answers that can help you understand some important aligner health information. 

Are Invisalign Aligners Made With BPA?

If you use plastic water bottles, plates and utensils, then you may be extremely cautious about the use of products with bisphenol A (BPA). This is a real concern, because many plastics and resins have been created with BPA since the 1960s. BPA may be linked to increased blood pressure, and it also may affect the brain. If you try to reduce your exposure to BPA, then you may be glad to know that clear aligners do not contain the chemical. In fact, the aligners are made from a medical grade polyurethane plastic. This plastic is considered biocompatible, which means it is compatible with living tissues. The plastic aligners will not harm or injure your body in any way. 

Polyurethane is also used because it strong, hard, and resistant to impacts and abrasions. The plastic will typically stand up well against a variety of chemicals, solvents, and oil. Strong acids like hydrochloric of sulfuric acid will likely damage your clear braces, but your aligners probably are not going to come into contact with any strong chemicals unless you spill them on your aligners. 

You should be careful when it comes to heat though. While many polyurethane products can resist heat, you should understand that your aligners are quite thin and may warp or bend when exposed to high temperatures. Do not place the plastic aligners in boiling water, in your dishwasher, or in your microwave in an attempt to sanitize them. Orthodontists also suggest keeping the braces out of direct sunlight. 

Do Aligners Trap Bacteria Next To The Teeth?

You probably know that there is a great deal of bacteria in the mouth, and these bacteria can cause cavities and gingivitis. Unfortunately, there are over 500 bacterial species that can live in the mouth, and you likely have about 20 billion bacteria living in the oral cavity at any given time. Bacteria have the ability to reproduce and multiply quite quickly. Saliva helps to keep the bacterial colonies in check by rinsing the bacteria away. This means that you swallow billions of bacteria every day, and your stomach acids take care of killing off the microbes. 

However, when saliva does not have access to the teeth, then bacteria may remain at elevated levels in the mouth. This can happen if you trap the bacteria under your clear braces. If you trap food with the bacteria, then the microorganisms can easily reproduce and destroy your teeth and gums. 

If you are concerned about your health, then you should thoroughly clean your aligners and your teeth every time you take your aligners out of your mouth. Brushing and flossing can be completed to clean the teeth. To clear microorganisms off the clear braces, you can soak them while you eat, drink, or brush your teeth. Soaking them in mouthwash is one good solution. You can also scrub the aligners with an antibacterial soap. A gentle hand or dish soap will work well. Use a dedicated toothbrush for the cleaning and make sure to rinse the braces thoroughly afterwards. While soap is not harmful if it is swallowed, it can cause diarrhea if you consume too much of it. 

For more information, contact a dental office that specializes in cosmetic dentistry, like the Family Dentist.