With traditional braces, it’s easy to get all kinds of food particles stuck around the brackets and wires, making brushing and flossing tricky. You won’t have the same type of problem with Invisalign® clear aligner therapy. You’ll be wearing your Invisalign aligners for 20-22 hours a day, but one of their great benefits is that they are taken out when eating and drinking anything other than water. However, you will still need to clean and sanitize them thoroughly. Here’s a few tips to keep your trays in good condition:
Rinse Aligners After Removal
When you take out your aligners to eat or drink, you want to rinse them with cool or lukewarm water. Hot water can warp the plastic and affect the fit of your aligners, so don’t use it. Why rinse? Dry saliva and plaque in the aligners encourages discoloration and the growth of bacteria.
Regularly Soak Aligners
Keep your trays in a safe place whenever you take them out. If you leave them out in the open, they can get lost or collect bacteria. One way to keep track of them is to soak your aligners when they’re out of your mouth. Do this by placing your trays in a small container with your chosen cleaning solution, such as Retainer Brite®, the Invisalign cleaning crystals, or a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and warm water. After soaking, thoroughly rinse your aligners again with cool water.
Clean Your Mouth After Eating
You don’t want to put clean aligners into a mouth that isn’t clean! Always brush, floss, and thoroughly rinse your teeth before putting your aligners back in so residual food particles won’t get trapped between the aligners and your teeth.
Brush Trays with Gentle Antibacterial Soap
You want to clean and sanitize your aligners at least once a day with a gentle antibacterial soap, either hand soap or dish soap, that is unscented and clear. Make sure it’s clear, since colored soaps can change the hue of your aligners. To brush your aligners with soap, use a toothbrush with soft bristles and work in a gentle, circular motion. You don’t need to scrub hard to get a good clean. Why not toothpaste? Many kinds of toothpaste are too abrasive and can cause scratches and tiny tears in the aligners that can harbor bacteria.
Invisalign at Hillstream Dental
Invisalign can treat a wide range of mild to moderate tooth alignment issues. Would you like to learn more about this discreet orthodontic option? If you’re ready to start on realigning your smile, we would be thrilled to hear from you. Contact us today!