The way of straightening your teeth has significantly changed since I was a teenager. In fact, a lot of things have. I remember seeing my schoolmates with those thick metal train tracks and wishing I could get them too (though we couldn't afford to at the time). Fast forward many years later and not only have I had Invisalign clear aligners for two years but also upper and lower porcelain veneers.
Straightening your teeth using Invisalign or clear aligners is a quick, easy, effective and discrete process if you’re suitable for treatment. Though a lot of information is gone over during your appointment, a topic that is easily brushed over is how to keep your aligners clean. It is so important to keep your Invisalign or clear aligners clean during your treatment to get the best outcomes and maintain proper oral hygiene.
Rinse your aligners
After taking them out, rinse them in warm water to get rid of any saliva or food particles. This little procedure keeps your aligners clean and helps avoid the growth of bacteria. I liked to also dry my aligners before putting them back in the case as I found this minimized the odours.
Gently brush your aligners
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to gently brush your aligners. Plaque and germs that may gather on the aligner surface are helped by doing this. Hot water and abrasive toothpaste should not be used since they could harm the aligners. I liked to give them a little brush every couple of days to keep them feeling and looking fresh.
Soaking your aligners can help to efficiently remove bacteria and odours. Use a denture cleanser, Invisalign cleaning crystals, or a cleaning solution made especially for clear aligners. As directed by the manufacturer, soak your aligners for the required amount of time and not any longer. Soaking for too long can weaken the aligners.
Avoid eating or drinking (except water)
It is important to take off your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water in order to avoid discoloration and reduce bacterial development. By doing this, there is less chance that food particles will become trapped, leading to poor breath or tooth rot. This also applies to lollies or lozenges.
Keep your mouth clean
It's important to always practice proper oral hygiene; with or without your aligners. Before re-applying your aligners, try to ensure that your teeth and mouth are clean. We do not recommend brushing more than twice daily but gargle water and swirl it around your mouth to remove any excess food. Brushing your teeth too much can wear out your enamel leading to issues in the future. Sometimes I liked to carry Piksters to remove any trapped food before I put my aligners back in.
When you're not wearing your aligners, place them in the case you’re provided with. This guarantees their cleanliness, protects them from harm or damage and helps you locate them. In order to prevent bacteria from growing on your aligners, avoid leaving them out in the open or covering them with tissue. I lost my aligners once at a restaurant and that was certainly an ordeal (waiter threw out my tissue with them in it).
Maintain regular checkups and visits
Throughout your treatment, make regular appointments with your dentist. They will evaluate your progress and ensure you are tracking well, offer advice on maintaining your aligners, and respond to any queries or problems you may have.
It’s one hand to properly use your Invisalign or clear aligners but it is another thing to properly maintain and take care of them. Keep in mind to speak with your dentist for detailed and personalized care recommendations.
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