invisalign-and-gum-healthLike most orthodontists, our office is seeing more and more adults who want their teeth straightened. Contrary to the thinking of a generation or two ago, putting braces on adults’ teeth usually produces great results.

For our adult patients, we always recommend Invisalign, or clear or invisible braces, over the other types of braces we offer.

There are several reasons for this – Invisalign trays or aligners give you a better appearance and are a lot more comfortable to wear than metal braces, for example. But one of the top advantages, we’ve found, is that the removable Invisalign trays, or aligners, enable you to continue taking great care of your teeth and gums.

Metal braces make cleaning the teeth difficult – threading the floss through the wires and brushing only a few teeth at a time. As a consequence, wearers of metal braces nearly always experience gum inflammation during treatment. This could be an extra problem for adults, who may already have some gum disease as a result of a lifetime of misaligned teeth.

In contrast, we have observed in our practice that adults who choose Invisalign maintain their healthy gums while they’re being treated. Now a study by the University of Florida Department of Orthodontics has shown that the periodontal health of patients using Invisalign can actually improve during treatment. In the study, both gum pocket depth and bleeding were reduced in patients using Invisalign.

How can this be? It relates to how effectively you can clean your teeth.

  • First, as we mentioned above, Invisalign allows you to continue taking good care of your teeth and gums. Invisalign aligners are removed for eating – eliminating the chance that food will get stuck in metal wires – and for cleaning. You can brush and floss normally with Invisalign.
  • Second, crooked teeth are hard to clean even without braces, which makes them more prone to bacteria buildup and plaque. As the teeth gradually move into their new alignment, it becomes easier to clean and floss them effectively. With Invisalign’s removable trays, you can continue taking great care of your teeth even as they’re being straightened.

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that form plaque in your mouth. It’s a serious problem that affects many adults. The plaque can eventually damage not only your gums but also the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth or even result in the loss of teeth. These bacteria are also associated with other health problems, such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes. The best defense against gum disease, or periodontitis is daily cleaning and flossing to keep the plaque from building up. These practices cannot be neglected while wearing braces.

We feel it is important that adults who want their teeth straightened consider the potential health of their gums as they evaluate their treatment choices. We always recommend our adult patients choose Invisalign – and virtually all of them do. We are pleased to be an Elite Preferred Provider of Invisalign, meaning we are in the top 1 percent of Invisalign providers in North America. We have the experience and knowledge to ensure your Invisalign treatment will be a complete success. For more information about Invisalign, please contact our office.