Invisalign is a revolutionary teeth straightening process. It uses aligners made of thermoplastic that are uniquely designed to match the teeth of each patient. Over the course of approximately one year, the patient will change their aligners just about every two weeks.
Each aligner puts targeted pressure on the patient’s teeth with the goal of adjusting where that tooth or set of teeth sit in the patient’s mouth. One of the benefits of using these aligners as opposed to traditional braces is that the aligners are made of a transparent plastic that makes them virtually invisible. With proper maintenance and by keeping the aligners well cleaned, the aligners appear virtually invisible.
If the aligners are not properly cleaned, with time they may begin to develop stains. Of course, the stains will make the aligners more visible and may give the impression that the wearer has stained teeth. For this reason, one of the most common questions that orthodontists receive is, how do I keep my aligners clean?
Thankfully, the aligners have been designed to be easy to maintain. Keeping them clean is not very complicated. All that is required is good cleaning habits and a regular regimen of cleaning the aligners to keep them looking nice and transparent. Regular cleaning prevents bacterial growth and prevents foul odors from developing. Cleaning also goes a long way in prolonging the life of the retainers. The following are a few tips for anyone interested in learning how to clean their Invisalign aligners.
How Often Should You Clean Your Aligners?
It is not advisable to clean your aligners using a haphazard schedule. If you do not have an organized schedule for cleaning your aligners, bacteria may build up that will have a negative effect on your health and the health of your teeth. Additionally, failing to clean your aligners frequently will minimize the lifespan, quality, and the comfort of your aligners. If you speak to your orthodontist, you will learn of many professional grade products that have been specifically designed to clean your aligners. It is recommended that cleaning takes place two times each day.
What Happens If You Do Not Follow a Regular Cleaning Schedule?
In addition to the health problems already mentioned, failing to clean your Invisalign aligners regularly will result in a white film covering the aligner. This film is plaque. Plaque buildup is the primary reason why dentists recommend that their patients brush their teeth frequently. If plaque begins to build up on your aligners, it can be almost impossible for you to clean it off well. Therefore, this is one instance where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Before using a professional soaking solution on your aligners, make sure you know whether or not the chemicals in the solution will corrode them. The best way for you to gather this information is by speaking to your doctor.
What About Using Professional Cleaning Products?
Because of the popularity of this revolutionary teeth straightening system, there are many products that are available over the counter to clean your aligners. There is also a cleaning system that is specifically designed by the aligner’s creators to remove germs, bacteria, and plaque. You should feel free to use any professional cleaning solution that was recommended to you by your King Orthodontists doctor.
Something to bear in mind though is that all of the professional cleaning products are designed to be preventative. This means that if your aligners already have a heavy layer of plaque on them, even professional cleaning products may not be able to get it off. If a situation like this arises, you may need to return to your orthodontist and ask them for suggestions or request new aligners.
Steps to Follow While Cleaning Your Aligners
- First, remove the aligner from your teeth. It is impossible to thoroughly clean your aligners while you are still wearing them. If you attempt to do this, it is likely that you will miss some of the problem areas. When removing your aligner, follow the instructions you received from your doctor about how to put on and remove the aligners.
- Next, use a toothbrush to brush the aligners. Some people opt to use a baby toothbrush. However, the job can be done with a regular toothbrush as long as is used gently. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush. Gently go back and forth over the aligner, making sure you cover the entire set. If there are any food particles on either side of your aligner, make sure you clean them all away.
- Never soak your aligners in mouthwash. It is unnecessary and could damage the aligner. As long as you regularly brush your aligners, they will stay clean and will be bacteria free.
- Never forget to rinse off your aligner. Once you have cleaned it with toothpaste, use a steady stream of water to remove any residual toothpaste. Use warm water, but not hot water. Hot water could cause aligners to lose their shape.
- Next, put the aligner on a towel and let it dry. Wet aligners should not be put back into your mouth. While you are allowing your aligner to dry, take the time to brush and floss your own teeth. There is no benefit to cleaning aligners if you are going to apply them on dirty teeth. It is suggested that you use an antimicrobial mouthwash because the aligners can increase bacteria growth in your mouth.
- Another option is to purchase the cleaning system that has been designed for your aligners. The cleaning system allows your aligners to be cleaned more thoroughly and uses cleaning crystals to remove plaque buildup and to kill bacteria.
- Finally, put the aligners back in your mouth once they are completely dry. Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions for reapplying the aligners.
The type of braces needed for each patient is determined after a thorough examination from an orthodontist in Centerville. For orthodontic treatment Fairborn residents trust, visit King Orthodontics where there are two orthodontists, including:
Contact us today to schedule an examination for orthodontic treatment that leads to improved dental health and higher self-esteem.
6460 Far Hills Ave
Phone: 937 433 0830
How Do I Clean My Invisalign?