Did Invisalign cause my three new cavities? I ask because I got Invisalign in August of last year. Before then, I had no cavities since I was 22. Now that I am 42 and wearing Invisalign, my dentist found three new cavities. I am unsure of the cause of the cavities, but the only thing that has changed is that I now wear Invisalign. My dentist insists that Invisalign is not the cause, but I want to confirm. Is Invisalign causing my cavities? – Jasmin
Thank you for contacting the Beverly Hills Institute for Dental Esthetics regarding Invisalign and cavities.
Can Invisalign Cause Cavities?
Invisalign does not cause cavities or tooth decay. A 2015 article in the European Journal of Dentistry published a study on periodontal health in patients with Invisalign versus fixed orthodontic appliances. After one month and three months, researchers observed the following in Invisalign patients:
- Better periodontal health
- Lower plaque levels
- Better oral hygiene habits
What Causes Cavities?
A buildup of dental plaque causes cavities or dental caries. The progression can affect your teeth regardless of whether you wear Invisalign. Cavities develop in the following ways:
- Natural bacteria in your converts sugars and carbohydrates from foods and drinks into acids.
- The acid and bacteria mix with saliva to create dental plaque, which sticks to your teeth.
- Without daily flossing and brushing, acids will wear your tooth enamel and create cavities.
What Increases the Risks of Getting Cavities?
The following factors increase your risk of getting cavities:
- Dry mouth – Drink plenty of water while wearing Invisalign. Thoroughly rinse your mouth after meals and drinking beverages. Speak to your dentist if you take medication or have a medical condition that leaves your mouth dry despite drinking plenty of water.
- Frequent snacking and consuming sugary foods or drinks – You can minimize acid and bacteria in your mouth by snacking less often and limiting your sugar intake.
- Gum recession – Receding gum tissue exposes tooth roots and makes teeth more susceptible to decay.
- Inadequate brushing flossing – Lingering plaque promotes to tooth decay. Maintain a flossing routine between your teeth daily and brush twice daily. Removable Invisalign aligners make it easier to prevent cavities and clean your teeth thoroughly.
If you continue to experience cavities while wearing Invisalign, speak with your dentist about possible causes and how to prevent future cavities.
Dr. Brian LeSage, a Beverly Hills accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry, sponsors this post.