Getting Invisalign clear braces was a big moment in my son Michael’s life. It ushered in a new era of personal hygiene and responsibility and helped transform him from a boy who relied heavily on his parents for responsibility cues to one who is independent and on task.
It has been a wonderful thing to witness.
Having Invisalign Has Changed Our Family Health
Michael’s only challenge throughout his orthodontic treatment has been with the regular cleaning of his aligners. There was a period of time where he got too comfortable and didn’t brush as often as he should have. The resulting consequences, as with any poor dental hygiene, was plaque build up and a cavity scare. And while we managed to dodge that bullet, it lead us to some frank conversations and behavior modification with regards to proper nutrition and oral health.
These conversations have sparked some impressive changes in our collective family health and nutrition. (Who knew a cavity scare could be so beneficial?)
Fighting Tooth Decay With Good Nutrition
The following healthy foods are good tools to assist in ridding yourself of cavity-causing plaque:
- Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables: Foods with fiber stimulate saliva flow, which, next to good home dental care, is your best natural defense against cavities. About 20 minutes after you eat something containing sugars or starches, saliva begins to neutralize the acids and enzymes attacking your teeth.
- Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products: The calcium in cheese and the calcium and phosphates in milk and other dairy products help put back minerals your teeth might have lost due to other foods.
- Sugarless chewing gum: Another great saliva generator that removes food particles from your mouth is sugar-free gum.
- Water: A moist mouth is a healthier mouth. Not only does water promote saliva production, it also washes away acids that can erode tooth enamel. Acid is found in carbonated beverages as well as citrus fruits and foods with tomatoes including pizza, soup, and pasta sauce.
- Lean red meat: Everything from burger to steak contains the important mineral iron. A deficiency in this mineral can lead to sores on the inside of your mouth and an inflamed tongue. Some nuts and cereals also contain iron.
- Chicken and fish: If you have bad breath and sores in your mouth, you may not be getting enough niacin (vitamin B3).
The Worst Foods for Your Teeth
- Sugary candies and sweets that stick in your mouth: If you eat sweets, go for those that clear out of your mouth quickly.So thumbs down for lollipops, caramels, jelly beans, and cough drops that contain refined sugar.
- Starchy carbohydrates that can get stuck in your teeth: Cooked starches, which are simple carbohydrates, can also linger in your mouth.
- Carbonated soft drinks: Besides being laden with sugar, most soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acids that erode tooth enamel.
- Fruit juice: Go for the whole fruits with lots of fiber and less sugar. Juices sometimes have added sugar, so they are more damaging to your teeth than the natural sugar in whole fruits.
We’ve still got a ways to go, of course. My kids are quite taken with soda and candy so weaning them off of treats such as that has been a slower process then we’d like. But still, the more we stick with our goals as a family, the easier it is becoming. My boys are genuinely interested in their own health and this has been a great learning process for them and a nice reminder for their parents as well.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Invisalign invisible braces option, I encourage you to consult this resource : 5 Steps to Straighten Teeth.
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board. My son is receiving complimentary treatment from Invisalign, but all opinions and experiences expressed are my own.