About Me

Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

Invisalign Aligners And Reducing Gum Discomfort

by Eric Bailey

Invisalign aligners can straighten the teeth without much of the discomfort that you would experience with traditional braces. And while this is true, you may notice some gum irritation when you start the straightening process. Keep reading to learn about some tips to help minimize this discomfort.

File The Aligners

Your clear aligners are personalized to your specific anatomy. This means that the aligners should fit perfectly or almost perfectly to your teeth, and the process starts with CT scans to ensure the best fit. However, sometimes the aligners are made with a little extra plastic across the upper edge, and this can cause some pain. 

You can file the edge gently with a small nail file or a baby file so it does not scrape against the soft tissues. Make sure to hold the aligner firmly when doing this or you may inadvertently bend or crack the aligner. Also, remove a very small amount at once. You typically will only need to release a fraction of a millimeter of the material before the aligners fit properly. 

If you are uncomfortable with the filing process, then you can contact your cosmetic dentist to ask for a trim. The professionals will often use electronic filers to remove the plastic lip quite quickly. 

Clean Your Gums

The gums will become irritated due to the pressure placed against the tissues as the teeth start to move, and some irritation will develop as bacteria cling to the lip of the Invisalign aligner and sit close to the gums. This type of irritation can thankfully be minimized by cleaning the gums thoroughly and gently. Use your soft-bristled toothbrush to brush the gums with minimal pressure and also purchase a water flossing tool that will force water just under the gum line. This helps to flush away bacteria that thrive just beneath the gum surface.

Keep in mind that if you have deep gum pockets, then you will need to flush them out with your water tool. A specialized tip called a gum pocket tip works well for this.

In addition to cleaning the gums, you want to use a toothpaste that will help to keep oral bacteria in check. Tartar and plaque control products are a good choice for this, and so are ones made for sensitive teeth and gums. 

If you want to know more about Invisalign aligners and how you can minimize gum discomfort, speak with a cosmetic dentist.