Caring for Your Invisalign Trays

Caring for Your Invisalign Trays, perfect teeth, dental care,

Whether you have Invisalign® aligners or you’re thinking about getting them, knowing how to care for those aligners is an important part of making sure they last. Fortunately, taking care of aligners is about as easy and as simple as wearing them. By following these few guidelines, you can make sure your aligners stay clean and fresh while maintaining their proper shape.

Taking care of your aligners

The good news about taking care of your aligners is that you don’t need any special tools or equipment. All it takes is a little common sense and minimal time and effort.

Soak your aligners every day

The best way to make sure your aligners stay clean is to soak them each day using the special cleaning solution provided by Invisalign or denture tablets you can buy in the store. After soaking, use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean the surfaces, then rinse away the cleaning solution before placing the aligners back in your mouth. Be sure to set aside a toothbrush just for your aligners — don’t use the same brush you use for your teeth.

Avoid toothpastes and soaps when cleaning the aligners

It might seem tempting to clean your aligners the same way you clean your teeth, but the toothpaste you use for brushing contains mild abrasives which, while safe for hard tooth surfaces, can wind up scratching or dulling the softer aligner material. The mild abrasiveness can cause the trays to appear more translucent, making them more visible while you’re wearing them. Don’t use regular soaps either, since these can contain colors, scents, or chemicals that can harm the plastic material or leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

Rinse the aligners regularly

Whenever you remove your aligners — to brush and floss or to enjoy a meal or snack — rinse them thoroughly before you put them back in your mouth. Warm water from the tap is fine, or if you’re out and about, rinse them with a little water from your water bottle. Rinsing ensures bacterial film doesn’t build up and cause odor.

Use a soft-bristle brush as needed

A soft-bristled toothbrush used gently on the surfaces of the aligners can also help get rid of film so your aligners stay fresh. Removing bacteria from the aligners also prevents the germs from sticking to your teeth and gums. Carry a soft-bristled toothbrush with you when you’re out if you can so you can keep your aligners clean wherever you may be.

Never eat or drink with your aligners in your mouth

Leaving your aligners in place while you eat or drink can be problematic in several ways. First, foods and beverages might wind up discoloring your aligners, essentially tinting them or causing them to turn yellow so they’re a lot more visible — and unattractive. Second, chewing food while your aligners are in place can cause them to become dented or bent. Hot liquids or foods might even cause them to warp. And finally, food particles can easily get caught behind the aligners, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease (not to mention just looking icky). (Drinking water is OK.)

Brush before replacing your aligners

When you take your aligners out to eat, it’s important to brush and floss before you pop them back in your mouth. If you don’t, you could be trapping bacteria and tiny food particles between your teeth, increasing your risk for developing cavities, gum irritation, or even gum disease. Plus, those tiny particles and bacteria can make your breath smell. If you can’t brush and floss, at least rinse very, very well before you put the aligners in again.

Just as regular brushing and flossing are important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, keeping your aligners clean is important for making sure they stay in good shape. The good news is, caring for your aligners is pretty simple. All it takes is a little time and minimal effort. If you have questions about your Invisalign aligners or if you’d like to learn about Invisalign treatment at Oasis Smiles Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California, book an appointment online today.

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