One of the major benefits of using Invisalign braces rather than traditional braces is the ability of orthodontic patients to remove the trays completely when they want to eat, participate in sports, or take a formal photograph. But one of the biggest advantages of Invisalign is that the trays themselves are so much easier to clean than braces, though it is important to understand the best way to go about that process to avoid damaging the trays.
Here are a few tips for keeping your Invisalign aligners clean:
#1 Wash Them Every Morning
Bacteria can build up when you sleep, so make sure you remove your trays first thing in the morning to rinse that bacteria away. This will start your day on the right track, both in terms of clean teeth and clean trays.
#2 Rinse Aligners Upon Removal
Obviously, the ability to remove these trays is a major boon of Invisalign in general, but if you are going to remove them, it’s important to rinse them out every single time they leave your mouth. Left un-rinsed, your wet saliva in the idle tray can start to develop bacteria, but rinsing it—even if you don’t have time to clean it thoroughly—helps eliminate that.
#3 Soak and Scrub
When it does come time to clean your trays thoroughly, the best way to approach that is by soaking with either a denture cleaner or with Invisalign cleaning crystals. Once they’ve finished soaking, use a toothbrush (not your normal toothbrush, and not with toothpaste) to scrub the inside of the tray. Then rinse them thoroughly before returning them to your mouth.
#4 Brush and Floss
Something else you should do before returning the trays to your mouth is brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. Why go to all the trouble of cleaning the implements if your mouth and teeth are still unclean?
#5 Use Your Case
Avoid leaving your trays out in the open air because doing so can attract bacteria. Your case is a much safer place for idle trays to reside, so make the most of it and keep your trays locked away when you’re not using them.
#6 Don’t Eat with the Aligners in Your Mouth
This should be a no-brainer, but the easiest way to keep aligners away from food bacteria is to avoid eating with the aligners in your mouth. They were not designed to withstand chewing, but beyond the structural integrity, all that extra food will make it harder to keep them clean long-term. As easy as they are to remove, there is no reason to keep them in your mouth while chewing.
If you are able to take care of your aligners, there is a much better chance that they will last as long as they are intended to, not only in terms of maintaining their clear coloring, but also in terms of protecting you from bacteria that can damage your teeth and even make you sick. As with all things, hygiene is important, but it is especially important when it comes to your Invisalign treatment here at Clearsmile Orthodontics.