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.
According 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!