Cleaning and Caring for Invisalign Aligners
In the past, your only treatment option for crooked teeth was braces. Today, adults and teens can now straighten their teeth with Invisalign®, an alternative to braces that no longer requires brackets and wires. Instead, patients wear special aligner trays made of clear plastic. This allows people to receive the benefits of orthodontic care without anyone noticing that an orthodontic procedure is being performed.
Dr. Tim Simpson has helped countless patients in the Abilene, TX area thanks to Invisalign. That said, effective treatment means proper care for your aligner trays. Below are some basics of what this entails and what patients can expect during the treatment process.
The Importance of Proper Invisalign Cleaning/Care
Proper care of Invisalign aligners is important for a few reasons:
- Ensures Successful Orthodontic Treatment - Invisalign aligners can warp or become damaged if they are not taken care of properly.
- Prevents Tooth Decay and Gum Disease - Food particles left on your teeth could lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which means patients have to practice good oral hygiene.
- Keeps Your Aligner Trays Undetectable - Invisalign aligner trays could become scuffed or stained if they are not treated well, making them noticeable rather than invisible.
- Keeps Your Breath Fresh - Since you wear Invisalign aligners for up to 22 hours at a time, it’s important that you clean them properly to avoid bad breath.
Take Out Aligners When Eating, Drinking, and Cleaning Your Teeth
Whenever eating, drinking, or cleaning your teeth, make sure that you’ve taken your Invisalign aligners out first.
To remove your aligners, be sure to start at the back (the molars) and work your way forward gently. Don’t squeeze or tug too hard as this can damage the aligner and lead to sore teeth. You can use rubber gloves or a paper towel to help achieve a good grip.
You Can Drink Clean, Cold Water with Invisalign Aligners On
When your aligner trays are on, you can drink cold, clear water. Water has no sugars or harmful particles that would affect the trays, your teeth, or your gums.
You should not drink warm or hot water with aligner trays on, however, as heated liquids can cause the Invisalign trays to change shape.
Cleaning Your Invisalign Aligners
When cleaning your Invisalign aligners, we tell our Abilene patients to remove the trays first and to use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a non-abrasive gel toothpaste. Be gentle but thorough cleaning the aligner trays. When you’re finished cleaning the aligner, be sure to rinse it off with cold water before putting it back on.
There are proprietary cleaning kits for Invisalign that you can use as well if you feel so inclined, but a toothbrush and toothpaste should suffice.
How Often Should I Clean My Invisalign Aligners?
You should fully clean your Invisalign aligners at least once or twice a day to help ensure cleanliness and optimal effectiveness.
Brushing and Flossing During Invisalign Treatment
While undergoing Invisalign treatment, patients are still expected to brush their teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once a night. Brushing and flossing after every meal is the ideal way to keep your smile as healthy and beautiful as possible.
Attend All Follow-Up Visits with Your Dentist
During Invisalign treatment, there will be periodic follow-up visits to monitor the process and discuss any concerns you may have. Be sure to attend all of these visits as scheduled.
Learn More About Invisalign
If you live in Abilene and want more information about Invisalign and why it may be ideal for you, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. You can reach our team by phone at (325) 677-6553.