Wearing Invisalign aligners is a commitment. You have to be willing to put in the time to straighten your teeth. And that means it’s in your best interest to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours a day to get the best possible results from this orthodontic treatment. But just as critical to proper wear of Invisalign is proper care of the aligners.
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Why It’s So Important to Properly Clean Your Invisalign Aligners
An Invisalign-wearer can be easily tempted to get a little lazy about cleaning their aligners. After all, most of the trays are switched out every two weeks or so, depending on the customized treatment plan that your dentist has laid out for you. And slacking on the cleaning since you’ll be popping in new trays in just 14 days anyway isn’t uncommon. But a lot can happen in two weeks.
If you neglect to properly wash and brush away the build-up on your Invisalign aligners, they’ll become discolored and will then be supremely noticeable in your mouth – and that’s just gross, and really beside the whole point of wearing Invisalign in the first place.
Over the course of a day, saliva, bacteria, and food particles all collect and roam around your mouth, and even though you may be removing Invisalign to eat and drink and snack, the trays can still collect build-up. As time goes on, the trays can even start to emit a foul odor if not properly cared for.
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How to Clean Invisalign Trays
Cleaning Invisalign trays is not a labor-intensive activity. It’s about as simple as you can get and only takes a few minutes to make sure your mouth, and your investment, are clean and protected. Your dentist will advise you on the best practices for caring for your Invisalign aligners, but here are the basics:
- Do soak: Your dentist will recommend an appropriate cleaning solution so you can soak your Invisalign aligners regularly to sanitize them. This is the easiest method for cleaning your aligners and only takes minutes because, after all, you have to put the trays back in soon enough to make sure you reach your time quota for the day!
- Do not use toothpaste: Of course, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth as normal when you remove your Invisalign aligners before bed and in the morning, but keep that toothpaste away from your trays. Whitening toothpastes are particularly abrasive and can dull or damage the trays.
- Do brush: It is fine to brush your aligners, but make sure you designate a separate soft-bristle toothbrush for this practice so you don’t scratch the trays.
- Do rinse: Along with the daily soaking and brushing of your aligners, you should be rinsing them every time you remove them and before you put them back in your mouth in order to wash away plaque, saliva, and bacteria.
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Best Practices for Wearing Invisalign
Keep in mind that Invisalign is snugly fitted against your teeth and the trays live there for the majority of every day. The last thing you want to do is trap any food particles in between your aligners and your teeth, not just for the sake of cleanliness but for the sake of your oral health. Foods and bacteria that live so closely to your enamel for lengthy periods of time are given a rich opportunity to turn into a cavity.
If you have snacking and sipping habits that you depend upon to get you through your day, Invisalign is an opportunity to alter your diet and give up the soda or coffee. You don’t want to eat or drink anything but water while wearing your aligners because anything you ingest could stain the trays.
Invisalign is a revolutionary innovation that gives people the opportunity to straighten their teeth more quickly and more easily than with traditional metal braces. Appreciate the benefits of Invisalign – like being able to take your braces off for a little while whenever you want to – and embrace the cleaning responsibilities that come with being an Invisalign wearer. Just remember, you don’t have to stand in front of the mirror picking between wires and brackets, and you’re not restricted from enjoying your favorite foods. Invisalign makes life easier, not harder.
Find out if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. Visit Dr. John Moore to discuss your orthodontic options.