Invisalign aligners are a popular alternative to traditional braces, offering a more discreet and comfortable way to achieve a beautiful, straight smile. To ensure the success of your Invisalign treatment, it is crucial to properly care for and clean your aligners.
Why Cleaning Your Aligners is Important
Invisalign aligners are designed to be worn for 20-22 hours daily, allowing time for bacteria to accumulate. When not properly cleaned, the bacteria on your aligners form a sticky plaque layer that can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Poor hygiene and infrequent cleaning can also cause your aligners to become stained, cloudy, or smelly, ultimately affecting the appearance of the trays and the effectiveness of your treatment.
Tips on How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners
To ensure the success of your Invisalign treatment and maintain good oral hygiene, follow these tips on cleaning and caring for your aligners.
- Remove Your Aligners Before Eating. Always remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water. Food particles can become trapped between your aligners and teeth, leading to plaque buildup and tooth decay. If the food is pigmented, like tomato sauce or coffee, the pigments can absorb into the thermoplastic trays and your tooth enamel, causing stains.
- Clean Your Aligners Every Time You Remove Them. When you remove your aligners, rinse them under lukewarm water to remove saliva and loose debris. Gently brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of clear, mild soap to maintain their clarity and eliminate harmful microorganisms.
- Keep You Aligners in Their Case When Not in Your Mouth. Whenever you remove your aligners, store them in their protective case. This will prevent them from getting lost, damaged, or contaminated by bacteria.
- Brush and Floss Before Placing Your Aligners Back in Your Mouth. Before putting your aligners back in your mouth, brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. This prevents bacteria and plaque from becoming trapped between your aligners and teeth.
- Soak Your Aligners Once Daily. Soak your aligners daily in a solution designed for cleaning Invisalign aligners or a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar for 15-20 minutes. This helps remove plaque and tartar buildup and keeps your aligners fresh and clear.
Avoid These Mistakes.
When caring for your Invisalign aligners, avoid making these common mistakes to prevent scratching, discoloring, or contaminating your orthodontic devices:
- Using Harsh Cleaning Ingredients. Avoid using abrasive or colored toothpaste, bleach, or other harsh chemicals to clean your aligners, as these can scratch or damage the plastic.
- Leaving Your Aligners Sitting Out. Leaving your aligners exposed to the open air can cause them to dry out and become brittle and allow bacteria to accumulate.
- Soaking Your Aligners in Mouthwash. Although many mouth rinses are formulated with antibacterial ingredients, they also contain coloring agents that can stain your aligners. Only use Invisalign dissolvable cleaning crystals or a vinegar water solution to clean your trays.
- Rinsing Your Aligners in Hot Water. Exposure to hot water can warp and damage your aligners, affecting their fit and effectiveness. Only wash the aligners in room temperature water to avoid distorting the plastic.
Ensuring the Success of Your Invisalign Journey
Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout your treatment is just as important as wearing your aligners as prescribed. If you have questions about your Invisalign treatment or are interested in starting your journey to a more confident smile, contact the Valley Dental Care of Plainfield team at (815) 436-6800.