For children, teens and even adults, one of the primary benefits of using Invisalign technology for teeth alignment is the fact that aligners are virtually unnoticeable. Unlike with traditional forms of braces, aligners can be taken out and placed back in without interrupting alignment as long as they are worn at least 22 hours/day. If worn less than this, the teeth will not move properly.
At the offices of Montano & Cardall, we have Invisalign treatments available for patients of all ages. We can also offer basic tips on cleaning and maintaining your Invisalign aligners – this is something that has to be done on a daily basis to ensure your teeth remain healthy and free of bacteria or plaque. Here are some basic areas to prioritize and avoid when it comes to cleaning Invisalign aligners.
Areas to Prioritize
When you first take aligners out of your mouth for any reason, be sure to rinse them off thoroughly to remove any biofilm on the inside of the aligners.
At least once a week, soak your aligners for a deep clean using a basic cleaner. We recommend using a denture cleaning tablet in an ultrasonic retainer cleaner. Retainer Brite is a popular brand we recommend.
Brush aligners softly and gently. Never use a hard metal or wire brush, as this can scratch the plastic and limit its effectiveness.You can brush them with anti-bacterial soap, or with water only.
You can either soak your aligners weekly or use soft anti-bacterial soap and brush. This will leave aligners clear and fresh at all times.
While your aligners are out for soaking, clean your teeth before they go back in. If you don’t brush and floss, you risk bits of food or other debris staying between the teeth and forming bacteria, which lead to tooth decay. You should brush after every meal before replacing your aligners. Carry a travel toothbrush with you. If you are unable to brush, just rinse thoroughly before placing the aligners.
Practices to Avoid
Due to the fact that they can be removed, there’s never any reason to eat or drink anything but water until you’ve taken your aligners out. Many food or drink items will leave stains and negative odors on your aligners, but above all can lead to tooth decay.The aligner will cause the sugar to rest against the teeth and bacteria produce acid as a byproduct of sugar consumption which damages the teeth.
Never use colored or dyed soap on your aligners when cleaning them. Any tinted soaps can stain aligners permanently.
Also never use toothpaste to clean aligners. There are abrasive particles in many toothpastes, and these will create microscopic holes in the plastic of your aligners. In turn, bacteria can build up in these holes. Plus, these abrasive factors will dull the appearance of the aligners and make it more obvious that you’re wearing them.
It may sound obvious, but always be sure to keep your aligners safely in their clean case when they aren’t in your mouth, soaking or being cleaned. This not only protects them from bacteria and other germs, but helps you avoid losing them.
For more on caring for Invisalign aligners, or to learn about any of our other orthodontic services, speak to the staff at the offices of Montano & Cardall today.