Until recently, the best corrective measure for misaligned teeth consisted of gluing metal brackets to your teeth, bringing food and drink restrictions and uncomfortable wires and bulges around your mouth.
That was then. With Invisalign® teeth straightening treatments, you can get a beautiful smile without anyone ever needing to know you’re wearing the clear plastic aligners.
During your treatment period, which averages about 12 months, you wear your series of aligner trays for 20-22 hours per day, only taking them out to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. Although that’s incredibly convenient, you still have to remember to clean and properly maintain your trays.
Once you’ve received your trays, Dr. Samet reviews how you should care for them, and you’ll be ready to go! So what are some of our go-to care recommendations for new Invisalign wearers?
Make rinsing a habit
Although the best care is to brush directly after eating, of course, this isn’t always practical. Every time you remove your aligners to eat or drink, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash before putting your trays back in.
You should also make a point to rinse the trays themselves thoroughly under water to remove saliva, bacteria, and particles left over from food and drinks.
Soak your trays in Invisalign cleaning crystals
Once or twice a day, soak your aligners in Invisalign cleaning crystals for about 15 minutes. If you don’t have the cleaning crystals, you can also gently brush your aligners with a soft-bristled brush without toothpaste, but this can scratch the plastic aligners if you’re not careful.
You can also soak the trays in mouthwash. This kills the bacteria, but it can also cause discoloration.
Practice proper oral hygiene
What’s the point of a straight smile without healthy teeth to match? Part of caring for your aligners and your new smile is taking care of your teeth and gums.
Always brush your teeth twice per day, and don’t forget to floss regularly. Keeping your teeth clean and free of food particles and plaque buildup makes it much easier to keep your aligners clean, too.
Don’t leave them in while eating
If you’re about to have anything other than water, remember to remove your trays first. Eating and drinking anything other than water while wearing your trays can lead to scratches, staining, and smelly aligners.
Of course, accidents happen, so if you forget to remove the aligners before eating or drinking, at least remember to rinse your trays and your mouth as soon as possible to avoid permanent staining.
Keep a backup case and trays
Although we — and our patients — love the convenience that comes with the ability to remove your Invisalign trays, it can be a hassle trying to keep up with your trays and cases when traveling. Once you start carrying your Invisalign case around, you may be surprised how easy it can be to misplace or fully lose it.
Losing a case can easily lead to a lost set of aligners, so we highly recommend keeping a spare case at home or in your vehicle for emergencies. If you’re traveling, make it a habit to keep not just your current tray set with you, but also your previous set and the next one. If you know you’ll be traveling for an extended period, consider taking more so as not to lose traction on your treatment schedule.
Invisalign is a great, modern solution to get the smile you’ve always wanted. To learn more about Invisalign, the treatment process, or caring for your trays, schedule a consultation with Dr. Samet online or call our Torrance, California, office.