10 Tips for Caring for Your Invisalign

For those looking to straighten their teeth and perfect their smiles without the bulkiness of traditional braces, Invisalign is an excellent option. Invisalign is a set of clear plastic aligners that are designed to help straighten your teeth without the use of wires, brackets or bands. If you and your dentist decide that Invisalign is the best option for you, there are several things you should do to care for your aligners and ensure that you get the best results possible.

  1. Brush Your Aligners Regularly
  2. Use Invisalign Crystals to Soak Your Aligners
  3. Avoid Using Mouthwash on Your Aligners
  4. Store Your Invisalign Trays in Their Case
  5. Do Not Use Heat to Disinfect Your Aligners
  6. Avoid Certain Beverages
  7. Always Remove Your Aligners Before Eating
  8. Don’t Ignore Cracks or Rough Edges
  9. Be Careful When Removing Your Aligners
  10. Be Smart When You Travel

 

1. Brush Your Aligners Regularly

cleaning your invisalign tray

Just like brushing and flossing daily, you should get into the habit of cleaning your Invisalign trays every morning and evening during your treatment. Your aligners can develop plaque and bacteria if not thoroughly cleaned, same as your teeth! For this reason, clean your aligners twice a day with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Gently brush the inside and outside of your aligner tray to remove debris and bacteria that could affect the health of your teeth and gums.

2. Use Invisalign Crystals to Soak Your Aligners

Invisible braces in water

To help with odor, bacteria buildup and staining, use Invisalign cleaning crystals to soak your trays every day. Add the crystals to the suggested amount of water and submerge your aligners. It usually only takes about 15 minutes for the cleaning solution to do its job, then you should brush, rinse and replace your trays. Remember, do not leave your Invisalign out for any longer than necessary!

3. Avoid Using Mouthwash on Your Aligners

Most mouthwash products contain harsh ingredients and artificial coloring that can damage or stain your aligners. Because Invisalign trays are made of clear plastic, they can pick up the dyes in the mouthwash and possibly warp their shape from other abrasive chemicals. Always remove your aligners before using mouthwash and make sure your mouth is rinsed thoroughly before replacing your trays.

4. Store Your Invisalign Trays in Their Case

Invisible braces in case

You never want to leave your Invisalign out in the open. If you do not store your aligners properly, you risk putting them down somewhere they can be damaged or develop bacteria. Also, you are more likely to lose your aligners if you leave them out! If you take your Invisalign out to eat or drink, try to get in the habit of putting them back in their case.

5. Do Not Use Heat to Disinfect Your Aligners

It might make sense to use extremely hot water to kill the bacteria and germs in your aligners, but it will actually damage them. Although the plastic trays are made to be durable, they can soften and change shape if exposed to boiling water or other forms of heat. You can use warm water to rinse and clean your aligners, but very hot water is not suggested.

6. Avoid Certain Beverages

Pouring water into bottle

It is best for you to avoid consuming sugary or colored drinks when you are wearing your Invisalign. You should only drink water if you want to keep your aligners in. Otherwise, remove your aligners before drinking anything other than water. If you accidentally consume a sugary beverage, coffee, tea or dark soda while wearing your Invisalign, rinse them out as soon as possible to avoid staining and bacteria buildup.

RELATED: Eight Food and Drinks That Are the Worst for Your Teeth

7. Always Remove Your Aligners Before Eating

Certain Foods can Clean Teeth During a Meal

Not only is it uncomfortable to eat while wearing your Invisalign trays, but it could also be damaging. The aligners are not designed to handle the pressure of hard food or repeated chewing. Food particles can also get inside the aligners and create a breeding ground for bacteria and tooth decay. Always remove the trays before eating and rinse your mouth before replacing them.

8. Don’t Ignore Cracks or Rough Edges

Although it’s not typical, your Invisalign trays may develop cracks or rough edges after wearing them for a while. This could be from accidentally eating while wearing the aligners or simply taking them out repeatedly. If you notice breaks, cracks or ragged edges to your aligners, let your dentist know right away. If it’s anything more than minor damage, it could potentially affect your treatment.

9. Be Careful When Removing Your Aligners

Invisalign

To avoid damaging your aligners or your gums, you should take care when removing your Invisalign trays, especially if you just started your treatment. Try starting at the back of the mouth and gently lifting the aligners off the molars. Then, work your way toward the front of the mouth. If you’re still having difficulty removing your aligners, talk to your dentist about options that can help, such as an aligner hook.

10. Be Smart When You Travel

Woman smiling after braces removed

It can be a challenge to care for your Invisalign trays when you are traveling. You can easily get distracted and forget to replace your trays after eating or skip cleaning them after a long night, for example.

Commit to caring for your aligners when traveling and always bring the supplies you need to properly clean and store your trays.

Invisalign Specialists at Absolute Dental

Caring for Invisalign is essential for your overall oral health, and it will help you get the most out of your treatment plan. Proper care will also prevent you from damaging your aligners. In addition to caring for your aligners at home, you will also need to consult with your dentist or orthodontist on a regular basis

The Invisalign specialists at Absolute Dental are ready to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. If you’re considering Invisalign as a way to correct your dental misalignments, contact our team to schedule an appointment today! We have convenient locations throughout Nevada, including Las Vegas, Reno, Sparks and Carson City.

RELATED: What to Expect When Getting Invisalign

About the Author

Dr. Scott Futch

Dr. Scott F. Futch, DDS

Dr. Scott Futch has been a clinical director for Absolute Dental since April 2017. Dr. Futch graduated from University of Michigan School of Dentistry and completed his training at the Dawson Academy; a postgraduate multi-disciplinary education clinical research facility dedicated to the advancement of dentistry. Dr. Futch has had over 25 years of experience as a skilled clinician, mentor and coach.

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