Okay, so we’ve taken a 3D image of your teeth, delivered your first series of custom-made clear aligners, and now you’re on your way to a priceless smile. Now, you may ask yourself: How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?
Proper upkeep and good oral hygiene are essential for keeping your Invisalign aligners clean, invisible, and odor-free. Although Invisalign allows for aligners to be removed for eating and drinking, failing to clean your trays properly afterwards can result in discoloration and a buildup of bacteria.
Luckily, keeping your smile bright is both easy and affordable. Here’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts that will help you keep your aligners clean and crystal clear:
- Rinse your aligners when you remove them. Dry saliva and plaque create a perfect breeding ground for foul smelling bacteria.
- Soak your aligners. Denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, and the official Invisalign cleaning crystals are all excellent options for keeping your trays clear and sanitized.
- Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting your aligners. Proper oral hygiene is key to maintaining healthy teeth and avoiding cavities and decay. Since Invisalign is form fitted, failing to brush and floss properly can trap harmful particles between your teeth and aligner, which increases your risk for dental issues in the future.
- Clean your aligners with a clear anti-bacterial soft soap. A clear anti-bacterial soap is an excellent and inexpensive way to keep your aligners clear, fresh, and free from harmful bacteria.
- Brush your aligners gently. Vigorous brushing can scratch your aligners and leave visible etchings. Brush carefully!
- Eat or drink (anything but water) while wearing Invisalign. Many foods and drinks can stain or discolor your aligners and cause them to stink.
- Use toothpaste to clean your aligners. Many types of toothpaste (especially those with whitening agents) are abrasive and can dull your aligners or create small traps for bacteria to dwell.
- Use colored soaps. Although anti-bacterial soap is a great way to clean your Invisalign braces, using anything but clear soap can cause your aligners to take on alternative hues and shades.
- Leave your aligners exposed or unprotected while eating. Aside from an increased risk of misplacing them, leaving your aligners in the open exposes them to harmful germs and bacteria. Rinse them, soak them, and then rinse them again before returning them to your mouth.
Traveling Tips with Invisalign
All About Braces is an Invisalign Premier Provider. This means we have extensive training in diagnosing and treating alignment issues with Invisalign. Once you are on your way to straight teeth with Invisalign (clear aligners) what would you do if something happened to your Invisalign aligners while you were out of town?
What if an aligner breaks, is left behind at a restaurant while eating, or you lost your purse or luggage with your aligners inside? Here are some tips for Invisalign patients on what to do if you are out of town and something happens to your aligners!
Traveling Tips with Invisalign
- Depending upon the length of your trip, at minimum, always take your previous set of aligners, your current set, and your next set of aligners with you. Depending on how long you have been wearing the current set will determine whether you will go back to a previous set or move forward to the next one. General rule of thumb … if the current aligners are tight, go back. If you can remove them easily and in the second week, move forward to the next set. However, if possible, let your orthodontist decide and call him or her immediately.
- If you are going to be out of town for more than two weeks, we can order replacement aligners, if needed, and ship them to you direct. Continue wearing your previous set until the new ones arrive and start again with the new set.
- Be prepared. Always carry your aligners in your purse or carry-on luggage when flying. Baggage can be delayed or lost.
- An extra case is always a good idea. If you leave one behind in a hotel or restaurant, you have a spare.
- It isn’t always convenient to brush your teeth after eating during travel. Make sure you at least rinse out your mouth and aligners before reinserting into your mouth. You can brush your teeth when you get back to your room. This isn’t ideal, but acceptable in a pinch.
Invisalign is a great alternative to wearing braces for many teens and adults. If you have questions or problems while traveling with aligners, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.