How to Clean and Care for Invisalign® Aligners
Invisalign® is a metal-free, teeth straightening treatment that effectively corrects the position of the teeth and jaw without many of the inconveniences associated with traditional braces. Throughout Invisalign treatment, patients progress through a series of clear, plastic aligners. Invisalign aligners are comfortable, convenient, and discreet.
Each set of Invisalign aligners is worn for just about two weeks. It is very important that patients properly care for their aligners throughout treatment so that they stay clean, clear, and fresh. At Astoria Dental group, our dentists teach our Queens, NY patients how to clean and care for Invisalign aligners so that they minimize the risk of dental complications and avoid the need for costly repairs or replacements.
Keep Aligners Clean
It is very important that patients keep Invisalign aligners clean. Saliva and food particles attract bacteria that can get caught between aligners and the teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay and other dental complications. Additionally, if aligners are not properly cleaned, they are more likely to become discolored. Dirty aligners may even take on an unpleasant odor.
To keep aligners free of harmful bacteria, our Queens patients should:
- Rinse aligners every time they are removed
- Soak aligners in cleaning crystals when they will be out of the mouth for an extended period of time
- Gently brush aligners (without toothpaste) before putting them back in place
- Brush and floss the teeth before putting aligners back in
Refrain from Eating with Aligners In
Aligners are easily removable, which is one thing that makes them so much more convenient than braces. While patients should wear their aligners the majority of the time (at least 22 hours a day), they must be removed when a patient is eating or drinking anything aside from water.
If a patient eats with aligners in place, food particles can get trapped between the teeth and aligners. These food particles will attract bacteria that can lead to tooth decay or infection. Additionally, if a person routinely eats or drinks with aligners in place, the aligner trays are likely to become discolored. Discolored aligners will stand out against the teeth, making the whole smile look dull and dirty.
Keep Aligners Safe
Since Invisalign aligners are removable, our Queens patients need to be especially careful about keeping them safe from damage. When aligners are out of the mouth, they can get lost or damaged. Aligners that are sitting unprotected are also an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
When a person is ready to remove their aligners, the first thing they need to do is rinse them in clean water. If possible, the aligners should then be left to soak in an aligner case. Even if patients are not in a location where it is possible to soak or thoroughly clean their aligners, they should rinse them and put them in a case. Cases protect aligners from damage and make aligners more noticeable so that they are not accidentally thrown away.
Invisalign offers patients a convenient, comfortable, and discreet way to straighten the teeth. If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to know if you are an ideal candidate for this treatment, contact us at your earliest convenience. You can set up an appointment with one of the experienced dentists at Astoria Dental Group by calling (718) 278-1123.