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May 2022

Invisalign Aligners

How to Care for Your Invisalign Aligners

By Blog

Is it possible to straighten your teeth without braces? Yes, it is. Welcome to the world of Invisalign aligners. The main “ingredient” in Invisalign aligners is a clear, thermoplastic material that is custom-made to fit your teeth. Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable. More importantly, the clear thermoplastic material makes the aligners invisible, which is ideal if the thought of metal braces and elastics makes you self-conscious.

Invisalign treatmentAccording to Invisalign’s website, you will have to wear your braces around 20 to 22 hours a day, only taking them out when eating or cleaning. Although you won’t expose your aligners to the elements, it’s crucial to clean them and your teeth properly every day. Failure to clean them routinely could end up in problems such as bacteria growing inside the aligners, change in color, tooth decay, and cavities.

For the best results, proper care and handling of your Invisalign aligners are important, here are some pointers for your consideration. 

How to Clean Invisalign Aligners

As patients expose Invisalign aligners to bacteria and plaque daily, you need to clean them as regularly as you brush your teeth. It’s best to clean them every time you are getting ready to use them. Normally you will be taking them out before every meal and you should brush your teeth after that, so by extension, you should at least clean them as many times as you eat in a day. You can drink water with your Invisalign aligners on as long as it’s not too hot. 

Before putting on your invisible braces wash your teeth thoroughly as you would normally do. In order to actually clean the aligners themselves, you may want to leave them on to clean the outer side. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and plenty of water to remove any possible bacteria or plaque that may be stuck on the outside, avoid using toothpaste as it can have some ingredients that can scratch the aligners. For the inner part, you will have to remove them carefully and then brush and rinse with abundant water. Don’t forget to dry your aligners before use.

Store aligners in a cool, dry, safe place. When you’re not wearing the aligners, store them in the case provided by our office. If you don’t use the case, you can easily lose them. Keeping them out of reach of small children and pets is also a good idea. The last thing you want is for Fido to think your Invisalign aligners are chewing toys.

How to Use Invisalign Cleaning Crystals

Invisalign Cleaning Crystals is a product that’s designed specifically to remove plaque and bacteria from your invisible braces. The steps to use them are incredibly simple, wash your aligners as previously explained, rinse them, pour a packet of cleaning crystals into a glass of warm water, and mix the solution. Then let both aligners rest inside the glass for around 15 minutes, before taking them out give them a gentle shake while inside the liquid.  Finally, rinse your Invisalign aligners thoroughly. 

Using your Invisalign Cleaning Crystals helps prevent bacterial growth and avoids discoloration. To keep your aligners clean you can use the cleaning crystals once or twice a day. If you have Vivera Invisalign retainers the cleaning solution will work on those as well. 

Only Use Water?

Although you can use just water and a toothbrush to keep your Invisalign aligners clean on a day-to-day basis it’s recommended that you use Invisalign cleaning products, such as the cleaning crystals, at least once a week. You can use toothpaste to clean your aligners as long as it doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients. 

Don’t soak aligners in mouthwash. Many popular mouthwash brands contain a color pigment. It’s possible that soaking Invisalign aligners in mouthwash will tint or stain them. Invisalign does not recommend the use of denture cleaners as they could damage the aligners. 

What Foods Not To Eat With Invisalign

Do not eat or drink hot beverages while wearing aligners. It’s a good idea to get in the practice of removing the aligners before eating and drinking. Because of the plastic resin inside the aligners, heat can distort and damage them. Also, eating while wearing the aligners will cause sugar and other food particles to stay on your teeth, which contributes to plaque and tooth decay. On the same note, don’t chew gum while wearing aligners, it will stick and damage the appliance.  

Smoking with Invisalign aligners on can stain them in a matter of days making them a little more visible, defeating the purpose of the invisible aligners. If you are going to smoke, you can simply remove your appliances.  Once done, wash your teeth and the aligners as previously explained.

When it comes to cleaning Invisalign aligners, carefully follow the instructions given by Drs. Markham and Chiang. For more tips and tricks for a successful Invisalign experience, contact our Sacramento or Auburn, CA office!

When Do I Get Rubber Bands?

By Blog
Orthodontics Rubber Bands

After a few visits to your Orthodontics specialist, you have finally gotten accustomed to the little discomfort after adjustments, and suddenly they make an appearance. Yes, we are talking about the elastics (rubber bands). 

Then your orthodontic visit finishes, and you feel like it is your first-time wearing braces again. It is not only about the extra pressure but the feeling of having your mouth a bit restricted. 

However, elastics (rubber bands) are a major player in your treatment success. It turns out elastics exert steady pressure helping move certain teeth to correct your bite. 

If you want to see it differently, they might be called “small heroes” in the battle to conquer a final objective, a healthy and beautiful smile. So, we encourage you to think about the outcome.

Yes, there are several steps, requirements, and efforts patients must undergo to see results, but you will find a pleasant reward during the journey, seeing progress and, in the end, the result. 

So, you might be asking yourself, what does orthodontic treatment success require? Well, the most important part is compliance with your orthodontist’s recommendations, and one of these recommendations is wearing your elastics all the time.

This short but insightful article addresses two major concerns of orthodontic treatment related to the “small heroes” elastics. First, we will shortly tell you what role they play in Orthodontic Treatment? In different words, we will define How do elastics help your orthodontic treatment? And what are the types of elastics used in Orthodontics?  

How Do Elastics Help Your Orthodontic Treatment?

Markham Orthodontics | Orthodontist | rubber bands and bracesIt is all about physics, but we don’t want to go that far explaining it. In a few words, a misaligned tooth reacts (moves) due to the pressure that the “U” shaped wire exerts. 

The wires shape is a staged desired alignment of teeth that slowly molds with each adjustment to the final result. Brackets hold the wires. In some cases, elastics serve to fixate the brackets. 

Stress creates an action and reaction force in which the wire tries to get back to its former position, slowly pulling teeth and repositioning them. The action and reaction also stress a specific tooth that pushes one another in a sort of a chain reaction. 

However, there are malocclusion cases that require an extra effort, like the case of a jaw repositioning. In such cases, elastics attach to brackets with hooks. Not all brackets have these hooks. 

An Orthodontist plans the complete treatment, knowing beforehand which teeth will have these hooks. Elastics hold on to two separated hooks exerting additional stress. The brackets apply force to the band that stretches. At the same time, the band applies force in both directions. 

Finally, the band exerts a constant forth and back force, altering the positioning of the jaws and teeth. 

What Are the Elastic Bands Used in Orthodontics?

We have discussed the elastic (rubber bands) function. However, to grasp a better idea of its hero powers, it is crucial to know a little bit about the types of elastics used depending on the type of malocclusion. So here, we try to depict the best description possible for each elastic type and orthodontic case. 

Types of Elastics Used in Orthodontics According to Malocclusion Cases.

Teeth Gap

Sometimes there is an abnormal lack of space between teeth. For example, class 1 elastics attach to a hook located in the bracket on the first or second molar, in the same lateral quadrant of the opposite hook of the bracket adhered to the cuspid tooth. This generates pulling stress to get the cuspid to move to its proper position. 


This elastic type goes from a hook in an upper tooth to a hook in a lower tooth, pulling back the upper teeth and pushing the lower teeth forward. This serves to reposition the maxillary, moving it back to its proper position. 


The mechanics applied to correct an underbite with elastics are similar to the mechanical movement of overjet, but, in this case, the maxillary moves forward while the jaw moves backward.

Call our office today for your complimentary evaluation at (916) 924-8970.

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