5 tips to care for your Invisalign aligners
May 11, 2018
If you are wearing aligner trays or clear retainers, you will need to care for the dental appliances to keep them clean and free of plaque. These are some important routines that Dr. Nancy Phan recommends for all patients who have aligner trays or clear retainers.
1. You need to remove them to eat. You should not wear aligners to eat as food and bacteria will accumulate underneath the trays to cause cavity and periodontal diseases. Worse yet, these bacterial release acid quickly to demineralize your teeth leading to tooth staining, hypo-fluorosis and many cavities.
2. Except for with water, you need to remove them to drink. Drinking carbonated water with the aligners in place can lead to demineralization of teeth which can cause cavity, demineralization and bad breath.
3. You need to brush your aligners daily. To maintain the crystal clear invisible look that Invisalign are known for, the aligners need to be brush daily. Dr. Phan recommends brushing aligners 3 times a daily, every time you insert them back in the mouth after a meal, with soap and water. You can also brush with toothpaste and water. You can also use aligner cleaning tablets and sonic cleaner machine to clean aligners. The ultimate goal is remove stains around and underneath aligners to keep them nice looking, clean, clear and free of yellow stains.
4. You need to keep your aligners away from heat. Your aligners are made out of a special type of proprietary shape-memory plastic material. However, as with any type of plastic materials, if you leave them out on your car dashboard, near the window where the sun get too hot, the plastic will get distorted and you tray may not fit properly. If you soak your teeth in hot water, they will shrink and will not fit properly.
5. You need to keep your aligners in the case. From time to time, Dr. Phan finds some patients lost the trays because they threw them out in the trash by accident because they forgot to carry the case. Occasionally, someone may step on them while they are out of the case, on the floor, and now the trays no longer fit. Remember, your trays are your medical correction device. As with a ventilation machine, you will not throw it, kick it, step on it and expect it to work properly. Same goes with your orthodontic correctional devices; they are custom-made to fit the shape of your teeth and are programmed to move your teeth so you need to handle them with care.
6. You need to remove the aligners to chew gum. Chewing gum while wearing Invisalign damage the material and the retention of the trays, thus affect the fit and the programmed movements.
7. You should not soak the aligners in mouthwash. Many of the mouthwashes have color pigments and they can stain the trays.
If you want more tips and advice for a successful orthodontic treatment, check out our website at www.CareOrthodontics.com. You can schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Nancy Phan at Care Orthodontics for a clinical evaluation.