Wearing Aligners When You Are Sick

Getting sick is never enjoyable. For those trying to straighten their teeth, they must manage their aligners while nursing themselves back to health. Wearing aligners for 22 hours each day complicates your normal routine, so catching a cold or the flu can throw off your routine entirely. You still want the results of the aligners even while you are sick, which requires you to adapt your habits to bounce back from falling ill.

1. Stay Hydrated

Doctors constantly preach how important fluids are for our health. When you’re sick, your body dries out faster from mouth-breathing and decongestant medications. Drinking water not only replenishes your water supply, but it also helps flush out toxins and get the necessary nutrients to all parts of the body for quicker healing. 

In addition, when you are dehydrated your saliva levels can drop. Saliva not only lubricates your mouth and makes the aligners feel more comfortable but it is also vitally important at reducing the amount of bacteria in your mouth.   

Thankfully you can drink water with your aligners in, which is a plus! 

2. Choose Clear, Sugar-Free Cough Drops

To avoid staining your teeth and aligners, you will want to find cough drops that lack coloring. In addition, it is beneficial to select sugar-free lozenges to prevent sugar from settling on your teeth and creating cavities. We know the fruity, colorful ones taste better. However, in the long run, clear, sugar-free cough drops will benefit you more.

3. Remove Aligners When Necessary

If you have a stomach bug, it may be best to remove your aligners until you recover. Keeping them in may cause more of a problem than you need while you work on getting back to good health. If you happen to get sick with them in, thoroughly brush your teeth to clean your mouth and the aligners before putting them back in. If you are struggling always remember to contact your dentist or orthdontist for advice. 

4. Clean Your Aligners Often

When you take your aligners in and out, your germs stay on the trays until you clean them. During cold and flu season, it is especially important to clean your aligners frequently.

5. Wash Your Hands

The best defense we have against sickness is keeping our hands clean. Once we get sick, washing our hands becomes even more important to stop the spread of whatever we have to others. 

It’s also important for those who wear aligners to clean their hands regularly if they also use their hands to remove their aligners. It is easy to get sick when you are transferring germs from your hands to your mouth. When you are sick, you can transfer germs from your mouth to your hands to any surface you touch next. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice as you scrub your hands with soap and water to make sure you get every germ off as you rinse. If you are not able to wash your hands thoroughly before and after removing your aligners, consider a hand sanitizer.

6. Use a Removal Tool

Think of how many times you take your aligners out every day. You can limit the number of germs you spread by using a removal tool to handle your aligners. Instead of reaching into your mouth with hands that may or may not be clean, it is better to use a removal tool.

Straighten Your Teeth With Aligners Even When You’re Sick

Following these tips will help you get back to work or school in no time. We know that aligners take some getting used to, and getting sick impacts wearing them as well. 

Some contact and high-impact sports can jostle you around, putting your smile and aligners at risk. If you try playing certain sports while wearing Invisalign, you risk breaking your aligners after a forceful impact. You don’t want to break a piece of expensive dental equipment just because you kept them on during a particularly rough game.

Whether you should remove your aligners will depend on the intensity of your sport, but you may want to avoid wearing your aligners while participating in the following:

  • Boxing
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial arts
  • Polo
  • Rugby
  • Wrestling

Many of those sports may require mouthguards and gum shields, anyway. Even if they don’t, you should still take care to remove your aligners before playing.