When it comes to discreet orthodontic treatment, Invisalign® is one of the most popular options. This system straightens the teeth with clear aligner trays, rather than metal bands, brackets, and wires. To keep your trays in tip-top shape, it is important to clean them regularly.
Here, dentist Stephen C. Dowell, serving Minerva, OH, Carrollton, OH, and Dover, OH, offers tips for cleaning your aligner trays. Following a few simple guidelines will help you keep your aligners fresh and your treatment on track.
Daily maintenance is essential to keeping your trays clean and fog-free. Most importantly, however, proper care keeps your aligners free from harmful bacteria. Here are a few things that Invisalign patients should do every single day.
When you wake up, remove your trays and brush as floss as you normally would. It is also important to clean your aligners. We recommend using a super soft toothbrush to remove plaque and other debris from your trays. Never use a hard brush, as it could damage the aligners.
Instead of toothpaste, use a clear antibacterial soap. (Avoid soaps with dyes, as they can stain the aligners.) Many toothpastes are too abrasive and can scratch the trays.
When you remove your trays, be sure to rinse them immediately to remove saliva and debris. Dried saliva can harbor bacteria and be difficult to remove.
When you rinse your aligners, always use lukewarm water. Hot water can actually warp the trays.
To be effective, aligner trays should be worn at least 22 hours every day. This means they should only be removed when eating or drinking.
After you are finished eating, brush and floss your teeth before placing your tray back in your mouth. If you do not do this, bacteria and food particles can become trapped between the trays and your teeth and increase the risk for cavities.
Your aligner trays should be soaked daily. Invisalign offers a cleaning kit specifically designed for the system. Many patients find that denture cleaner is just as effective. You can also mix water with vinegar or peroxide. Patients should avoid soaking their Invisalign trays in mouthwash, especially formulas that contain alcohol. Ask our team for recommendations.
In addition to properly cleaning the aligner trays, patients should be sure to store them properly when they are not in use. Your dentist will provide you with a hard, protective case. Avoid carrying the aligners loose in your pockets. This not only increases the risk of bacteria; it may also cause your trays to warp.
Keeping aligner trays clean is imperative for those undergoing Invisalign treatment. If you are considering orthodontic treatment with Invisalign and would like to know more, reach out to one of our knowledgeable team members. To learn more, schedule an appointment at our practice. You can call us at (330) 868-5001 or contact us online anytime.