Your new braces are settling in and your mouth feels different. Or you have heard that getting braces means you have a dry mouth until removed. When you are new to orthodontic treatment, you will have to change your behavior to fit the new normal. Read on to find out about how dry mouth from braces will affect you and what you can do to prevent it. First, let’s look at what dry mouth or Xerostomia is.
What is Xerostomia Anyway?
Xerostomia is the medical term for a dry mouth. It is classed as a syndrome. This occurs when saliva production is reduced or absent from the mouth. Dry Mouth Syndrome is caused by many factors. Snoring and open-mouth breathing are common causes. OTC medications, beverages, and even food. Smoking is another cause.
On a serious note, dry mouth syndrome can be a warning sign of diabetes and arthritis. Alzheimer’s is another possible culprit. Dry mouth can be caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer. It usually disappears once the treatment ends. Sjögren’s syndrome, for example, affects the salivary glands and causes dry mouth.
Does Orthodontic Treatment Cause Dry Mouth?
Braces can cause dry mouth for some patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. It’s all about saliva. Invisalign aligners will prevent saliva from reaching your mouth.
It needs attention and plenty of swishing water around to find comfort when new to wearing the aligners. Traditional braces treatment causes dry mouth too.
Invisalign will also affect your saliva production. This is due to the body reacting to the irritation of a foreign body. Less saliva production means a dry mouth.
How long does dry mouth last with braces?
Dry mouth at a level that annoys you will not last long. But depending on your lifestyle it may take longer to reduce. A few months is the normal occurrence.
Do braces make you dehydrated?
No. The lack of drinking fluids will make you dehydrated. Dry mouth is a result of dehydration.
What Happens if Dry Mouth is Left Untreated?
Xerostomia makes swallowing painful. It also affects the mouth and throat. A dry throat is difficult to handle. Plaque can be neutralized by using saliva to remineralize teeth.
Dry mouth poses serious oral health risks, such as gum disease and more bacteria growth. Proper oral hygiene is paramount to combat dry mouth. Tooth decay is another issue.
TIPS TO DEAL WITH DRY MOUTH
Sip plain water to stay hydrated. Drink fluids at regular intervals during the day and evening. Those with Invisalign aligners need to stick to plain water as other drinks discolor the plastic.
Drinks with sugar, alcohol, and/or caffeine can cause dehydration and add to dry mouth during braces treatment.
Ice Cubes Keep Your Mouth Moist
yes, you read that right. Sucking on an ice cube is a great way to deliver a small amount of water to keep your mouth moist. Almost like a time-release water cube. Those who have just had their wires and brackets tightened, will benefit from keeping their mouth well hydrated with this trick.
Suck on Sugar-Fee Mints or Lozenges
In addition to helping with pain from braces and Invisalign®, drinking flavored candies or mints can help with dryness as well. Mint xylitol contains beneficial health benefits.
Another popular name is Pur. Those minty drinks can cause dry mouth. Biotene XyliMelt and ACT dry mouth lozenges are the highest quality dry mouth lozenges.
Use a Humidifier
If you suffer from Xerostomia at night, using humidifiers can reduce the chance that your throat is wet in your mouth. The increase in air humidity supports saliva growth. Use of humidifiers may also reduce drowsiness, and reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
This may be used to reduce skin dryness and irritation. In other words, putting on humidification can be more helpful in treating dry mouth and may even be better.
Try a Dry Mouth Spray
Xerostomia can be caused when wearing braces during the work day or with Invisalign® aligners during the night and you need an oral spray for this. The biotene ACT – a sprayed dry mouth product has high recommendations. Always follow directions and obtain parental approval from the doctor before using.
Most of you know cottonmouth is dehydrating when drank heavily. Hence, if a retainer or brace gives you dry mouth (assuming you drink legally) it may be worth it for you to stop having happy hours after treatment. You also have to ensure your mouthwash is non-alcoholic.
Eat Foods With High Moisture Content
Avoid food that is salty and/or dry, such as chips, bread, and toast. Use moist foods that are rich in moisture instead. Fruit & vegetables, smoothies, soup, and stews are good choices. A simple choice is to get the food lukewarm rather than warm rather than hot.
Caffeine can cause dry mouth and can even cause bleeding. Switch to decaffeinated coffee drinks (or choose pure water). Use energy-promoting foods like whole grains, peanuts, and salmon instead of caffeine-filled drinks.
Use a Dry Mouth Mouthwash
Using the most appropriate alcohol-free mouthwash can be very beneficial and helps relieve the discomfort from a dry mouth. Biotene Dry Mouth oral rinse ACT dry mouth wash made up of xylitol make make your mouth fresh.
Eliminate Tobacco Products
The best reasons to quit smoking have been almost never mentioned before. It’s a good thing that avoiding dry mouth causes you to stop using it. Smoking tobacco products will dry out your mouth and give you chapped lips
At Childers Orthodontics in Illinois, our orthodontist can oversee your Invisalign treatment from start to finish. We are open for new Children, teenagers, and adults to have an examination. Dr. Childers ranks in the top 1% of Invisalign providers in the USA.
Dry mouth or Xerostomia are common concerns for many Invisalign patients. We will explain all in easy-to-understand formats. So you can rest assured of your treatment quality.
Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers expertise in all procedures with orthodontic appliances. This is to reduce the amount of time required for wearing orthodontic devices. Call us to schedule your first appointment for an orthodontic evaluation.
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.