Form a hygiene standpoint; Invisalign braces are easier to keep your teeth clean, as opposed to regular braces. And certainly from a convenience viewpoint, they can be removed at the patient’s will. But it’s also important to understand that they cannot be kept off for too long. There are things you need to know about Invisalign and how it works. While they are convenient to take off and on, it is vital to stick to a routine. And if you are not compliant with wearing them on a regular basis, you lose the effect of Invisalign braces to re-align your teeth. Remember, your aligners only work if they are in your mouth. So wearing them consistently for 20 to 22 hours will keep your treatment moving forward!
Here are the Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Invisalign Braces:
Clean Aligners Everyday
Remember to clean your aligners before wearing them. Wash your hands with soap and water with only one aligner at a time. Clean both the inside and the outside of each aligner. Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your aligners. Each aligner is marked with a ‘U’ and an ‘L’ for upper and lower and followed by the stage number. Use a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid damage to your Invisalign braces. Unclean aligners can put you at risk for bad breath and tooth decay.
Soak your Aligners Everyday
To ensure a clean set of aligners, soak your trays in Invisalign cleaning crystals or a denture cleaner. After soaking, use a toothbrush to remove the trays that may have food particles or lingering plaque.
Brush and Floss before putting the trays back in
- Ideally, you should brush or floss after every meal and snack. But, if you don’t have a toothbrush with you, rinse your mouth and clean your aligners with running water.
Don’t use harmful ingredients to clean them
Heat can distort the shape of your aligners. So make sure you do not use hot water to clean your device. Bleach, on the other hand, is very harsh. It can ruin the appliance by degrading the plastic.
Don’t eat or drink with your Invisalign trays in
If you are eating or drinking anything other than water, you will have to remove your aligners to protect them from damage. It’s also a great opportunity for good oral health. Drinking anything other than water while wearing Invisalign braces can discolor your aligners.
Don’t leave your trays out in the open
Always keep your aligners in a case to prevent loss and damage. Leaving them out in the open exposes them to bacterial buildup. And remember to carry your case with you whenever you are heading out. In case you remove your aligners, make sure you rinse them well before placing them in your mouth.
Don’t drink anything but room temperature water with Invisalign Braces
Ideally, when you have your Invisalign braces on, you should not drink anything other than water. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, hot beverages may distort the plastic aligner material. Secondly, if you are consuming sugary liquids, the liquid or sugar might get trapped between the aligners and your teeth. And without saliva to wash away the sugar, your chances of tooth decay increases. Thirdly, continuous consumption of colored beverages may stain your teeth over a period of time.
Following these simple guidelines will help improve your orthodontic treatment experience and your comfort!
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.