Caring for Your Invisalign Aligners During Treatment
Like any other oral appliance, Invisalign® aligners need to be properly cared for and maintained. Invisalign patients can ensure optimal results by practicing proper oral hygiene and routinely caring for their aligners. Because plaque, tartar, and bacteria deposits can build up on your aligners just as they can on your teeth, proper Invisalign care and maintenance can ensure that your aligners remain discreetly clear and free of odors and germs. Dr. Stephen E. Rogers and his highly trained team at Greater Long Island Dental work hard to craft individualized treatment plans for straighter teeth and educate their patients on the best ways to care for their smiles. When you undergo Invisalign treatment at our practice serving Massapequa, NY, and the surrounding Long Island area, you will receive detailed instructions on how to care for your aligners.
Caring for Your Aligners
Many people choose Invisalign as an alternative to traditional metal braces for their discreet, clear, and comfortable material. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and removable for cleaning, eating, and special occasions.
Proper Invisalign care and maintenance can ensure that your aligners remain discreetly clear and free of odors and germs.
Although aligners are removable, they still need to be cleaned. Thankfully, caring for your Invisalign aligners while also keeping your teeth clean is easy. Helpful tips for caring for your aligners include:
- Rinse your aligners: Dry saliva and plaque will create a breeding ground for foul-smelling bacteria. Anytime you remove your aligners from your mouth, rinse them thoroughly with water. Doing so will rinse away bacteria, saliva, and food particles.
- Soak your aligners on a regular basis: Invisalign offers specialized cleaning crystals to soak your aligners. You can also use retainer cleaner or denture cleaner to keep your appliance sanitized. After soaking, brush your aligners with a separate soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse them thoroughly to avoid ingesting the cleaning agents.
- Keep your teeth, gums, and mouth clean: Brush and floss your teeth after every meal and before bedtime to prevent plaque and bacteria from building up under your aligners.
- Brush and floss before putting your aligners back in: Invisalign aligners are designed to be very snug on your teeth, so failing to keep your teeth clean will trap bacteria between your teeth and the aligner.
- Wash your aligners in clear, anti-bacterial soft soap: This is a practical, inexpensive way to keep them clean, fresh, and bacteria-free.
- Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush: Rough brushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can scratch your aligners and make them look opaque. Scratches can also create porous surfaces for bacteria to reside in.
- Store your aligners in a protective case: When not wearing your aligners, place them in a sturdy case at room temperature. Rinse and clean your protective case after each use. When traveling, carry your Invisalign trays in your purse or carry-on luggage to prevent them from getting lost or damaged.
Habits to Avoid During Invisalign Treatment
To help keep your aligners safe and strong, we recommend that you:
- Do not leave your aligners around the house or wrapped in a napkin. Pets and small children can easily destroy your aligners if they are not left in their protective case. Meanwhile, napkins containing aligners can be accidentally thrown away.
- Do not eat or drink while wearing your aligners. Chewing food can damage your aligners and drinking anything other than water can stain or discolor your aligners and give them a foul smell.
- Avoid using toothpaste to clean your aligners. Many kinds of toothpaste, especially those with whitening agents, are very abrasive. Over a short amount of time, this will dull your aligners and create small abrasions for bacteria to grow.
- Do not use colored soaps or mouthwashes to clean your aligners. Using anything but clear soap can cause them to change colors or warp.
- Do not chew gum while wearing your aligners.
- Keep your aligners away from heat, boiling water, direct sunlight. The aligners are made from plastic and can easily warp and distort.
If you accidentally damage your aligners, do not attempt to repair them yourself. Call Greater Long Island Dental to explore your replacement options.
We Can Educate You on Proper Care
Our team is always available to answer questions about Invisalign and how to care for your aligners. We encourage check-ups every four to six weeks during Invisalign treatment. These visits are a great opportunity to ask our team about proper care and maintenance. If you would like to schedule an appointment, you may contact us online or by calling (516) 468-7103.
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