It wasn’t too long ago that your only option to achieve a perfect smile was to get metal braces. While metal braces are still used today, a better option is now available to many patients. And that option is Invisalign.
What Is Invisalign?
To put it simply, Invisalign is a discreet approach to straightening and repositioning your teeth. Invisalign treatment involves sets of clear aligners that you’ll wear for about two weeks at a time. Every few weeks, you’ll get a new set of aligners that will reposition your teeth that much further.
During your Invisalign treatment, you’ll have to wear your aligners for a minimum of 20 hours per day, although 22 hours a day is often preferable. Invisalign works over time, and it works best when you follow the instructions your Invisalign orthodontist or dentist gives you closely.
Before your treatment begins, your orthodontist or dentist will explain certain things. You’ll be told that you can remove your Invisalign aligners when you eat, for example. Your healthcare provider will also tell you that you can drink water regardless of whether your aligners are in or out.
Things That Can Stain Your Invisalign Aligners
While your Invisalign dentist or orthodontist will say that it’s okay for you to drink water without removing your invisible braces, you will be told that it’s not okay for you to drink other beverages while you’re wearing your aligners. Here are some of the beverages that can stain your Invisalign aligners if you don’t remove them before drinking:
- Dark sodas
- Red Wine
The beverages just listed aren’t the only thing that can stain your Invisalign aligners. Although it may seem counterintuitive, even mouthwash has the potential to stain your aligners.
If you don’t brush your teeth and floss thoroughly after you eat, any food particles that remain in your mouth can leave a mark on your invisible braces. When you don’t clean your aligners often enough, tartar, plaque and other debris can build up on their surfaces and cause discoloration. It should go without saying that smoking or chewing tobacco during your Invisalign treatment are sure-fire ways to stain your aligners.
There is a general rule of thumb that makes it easy for you to recognize things that have the potential to leave a mark on your aligners. And it’s this—if something can stain your teeth or clothing, it can stain your Invisalign aligners. If a food or beverage can leave a stain on your clothes, remove your aligners before you consume it.
How to Remove Stains from Invisalign Aligners
It’s important to understand that there’s no need to avoid your favorite drinks or your preferred meals and snacks during your Invisalign treatment as you might have to with braces. You simply have to be aware of what you’re consuming and take your aligners out before eating or drinking things that might stain your Invisalign clear aligners.
No matter how diligent you might be, there’s still a chance that a set of aligners may experience staining before a new set arrives. If that happens, don’t despair! There are a few easy things you can do to remove stains from your aligners.
While you may think that removing stains is as easy as brushing your invisible braces with some whitening toothpaste and a toothbrush, think again. Your aligners are made with a patented type of plastic material that can be scratched by the abrasives that are in toothpaste. If your aligners get scratched, debris can get trapped in the scratches which can cause discoloration and unpleasant odors. If you’re going to use toothpaste, use a mild one and a soft toothbrush to clean your invisible braces.
Get the Invisalign Cleaning System
There are several alternative ways to remove stains from Invisalign aligners. Arguably the easiest way to remove discoloration is to buy—and use—the Invisalign Cleaning System. This system includes individual packets of crystals that are potent enough to remove plaque, tartar and stains from Invisalign aligners in as little as 15 minutes.
To use the crystals to clean your aligners, dissolve the contents of a packet in a cup of water. Make sure the water isn’t hot because hot water can distort the shape of your invisible braces. When the crystals are dissolved, put your aligners in the cup and let them soak.
Depending on where you seek Invisalign treatment, the Invisalign Cleaning System may be included in the price of your treatment. If that’s not the case, you will have to pay for the cleaning system separately.
Create a Sanitizing Bath
If you’d prefer a homemade remedy to clean your aligners, you can make a two-step sanitizing bath with items you probably already have in your cupboards. Put equal parts lukewarm water and hydrogen peroxide in a cup. Put your invisible braces in the solution and let them soak for 30 minutes or so. Take your aligners out of the cup and rinse them thoroughly with cold water.
Next, make a solution that’s 50 percent distilled white vinegar and half lukewarm water. Let your aligners soak in this mixture for about a half-hour. When they’re done soaking, remove your aligners from the solution and brush them gently with a soft toothbrush under cold running water.
The first part of this process will kill bacteria while the second step will remove any discoloration. Before you put your aligners back into your mouth, make sure you brush and floss your teeth.
Another option for cleaning your Invisalign aligners is to get a retainer bath. Retainer baths employ soluble crystals that remove stains and dislodge particles and bacteria while the bath vibrates. A retainer bath is a quick and easy way to keep your aligners clean.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Invisalign Orthodontist
If you’re ready to have a red-carpet smile, we invite you to contact us so we can schedule a consultation with our in-house Invisalign orthodontist, Dr. Colin Webb, for you. During your visit, Dr. Webb will explain the treatment that’s best for you and answer any questions you might have about Invisalign.
Don’t wait another day. Visit Clearsmile Orthodontics to start your journey toward your best smile today.