Invisalign is an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment– and with good reason! Invisalign allows wearers to straighten teeth discreetly and conveniently, with much fewer trips to the orthodontist. However, we’ve found that many patients become so comfortable with their Invisalign treatment that they take the upkeep of their clear aligners for granted. If you want to get the most out of your Invisalign, you’ll need to make an effort to take care of your aligners.
Brush Your Aligners Regularly
Plaque and tartar can build up in your clear aligners without proper consistent cleaning. As with natural teeth, a soft-bristle toothbrush is the best way to clean your aligners. But unlike natural teeth, toothpaste and aligners don’t mix. Toothpaste is an abrasive and can potentially damage the surface of your aligners, making them cloudy and dull. We recommend using dish soap to clean your aligners every morning and evening. Just make sure to rinse them thoroughly before putting them in!
Rinse Your Aligners
Saliva serves the important function of washing food particles off the teeth throughout the day, helping to prevent bacterial buildup. But, clear aligners prevent this. As a result, food can become trapped between the teeth and the aligner, allowing bacteria to develop and spread.
When you remove your aligners to eat or drink, go ahead and give them a thorough rinse under the faucet before putting them back in. Regularly rinsing washes away any errant particles. Not only does this help prevent plaque from accumulating, but it also makes the process of cleaning your aligners much quicker and easier!
Brushing and Flossing
One of the advantages Invisalign has over braces is that it gives you the ability to brush and floss freely. We recommend brushing at least twice daily, and flossing at least once a day to fight plaque buildup and maintain healthy teeth. This is especially true when wearing clear aligners as teeth aren’t naturally cleaned during the day, leaving them especially vulnerable to bacterial buildup.
Soak Your Aligners
While brushing your aligners is a great way to prevent plaque buildup, we recommend soaking your aligners daily to ensure that all bacteria is eliminated. There are several products available for soaking aligners. Invisalign makes Invisalign Cleaning System Crystals that come with a set of instructions to make cleaning your aligners easy. There are also several trusted companies out there that make retainer cleaning formulated to clean clear aligners. If you’d rather go with a DIY treatment, you can easily soak your aligners in a mixture of equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water for 15 to 30 minutes. Just remember to never soak your aligners in mouthwash, denture cleaning solutions, or toxic chemicals like bleach.
Keep Your Clear Aligners in Their Case
Nothing could be worse for your Invisalign aligners than leaving them in the open air for long periods of time. Not only does this potentially expose your aligners to foreign pathogens, but it can also lead to the plastic drying out and warping. Once your aligners have become misshapen, they are effectively useless. Aligners are costly to replace and doing so could also prolong your treatment. For these reasons, whenever you aren’t wearing your aligners, make sure to keep them in their case.
Taking Care of You Invisalign Clear Aligners
While taking care of your Invisalign can seem overwhelming at first, it requires only a little diligence and foresight. As long as you keep up with your treatment plan and daily cleanings, we promise that the results will be worth it!
Are you interested in starting your Invisalign orthodontic treatment? Call or contact our Richmond Hill dental office today to set up your consultation.