Once you’ve got your Invisalign aligners, you’re on your way to having the perfect smile you’ve always wanted. However, there are a few things that can interfere with your success and even your oral health if you don’t use your Invisalign aligners properly. If you are starting your Invisalign treatment, therefore, you should know some of the tips and tricks that will help you see the best possible results. This probably seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many Invisalign users go rogue when it comes to caring for their aligners.
Here we review the 9 best ways to keep your Invisalign aligners clean throughout your treatment—no short-cuts allowed!
1. Consider investing in the Invisalign cleaning system
As mentioned, you’ve got a lot riding on your Invisalign treatment, including a financial investment. So, you really don’t want to go rogue when it comes to taking care of your Invisalign aligners. Investing in the Invisalign cleaning system is the first step to keeping your aligners clean, and germ-, stain-, and warp-free! The kit is easy to use with these steps:
Rinse your aligners under lukewarm water.
Put them in the system’s cleaning tub and fill it with lukewarm water.
Sprinkle in a packet of the cleaning crystals provided.
Give it a good shake for 20 seconds until the crystals dissolve.
Gently shake again for another 20 seconds.
Rinse the aligners with warm (not hot!) water.
2. Brush after meals
A little known fact about Invisalign aligners is that food particles of varying types can actually stain them. Therefore, after eating, rinse your mouth thoroughly or brush your teeth before popping the aligners back in your mouth.
3. Only put clean aligners in your mouth
Your aligners can get some pretty nasty germs and bacteria buildup if you aren’t cleaning them properly. So, you should never put your aligners in your mouth unless you have followed the proper cleaning and hygiene steps provided here.
4. Avoid too hot water
Although you might think you can just brush your aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste, you can cause some issues, especially if the water is too hot. Hot water will warp your aligners, so the fit is compromised. As well, toothpaste is too abrasive for your aligners. Thus, you should avoid both toothpaste and hot water when caring for your trays.
5. Only use Invisalign cleaning crystals
If you run out of crystals, don’t try to retrofit your system with another type of cleaner. Your cleaning crystals are specially designed for your aligners, and the formula works to keep your aligners clean without staining or causing damage. They consist of sodium sulfate, sodium carbonate, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium dichloroisocyanurate, and sodium lauryl sulfate to reduce risk of causing harm, while also ensuring ultimate hygiene.
6. Follow these do’s
Here are the do’s you should follow every day:
When you wake up, take out your aligners and brush your teeth and then your aligners.
Always rinse your trays every time you take them out.
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth before putting your trays back in.
Brush your trays gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush to help decrease bacteria.
Make sure to safely store your aligners in their case every time you take them out.
Along with these daily cleaning do’s, you should also soak your aligners in a safe recommended cleaning solution at least once per week.
7. Keep an eye on these don’ts
Here are some things you shouldn’t do when cleaning your aligner:
Store your aligners anywhere except in their case, even when eating.
Forget your aligners if you are on a trip, including the next set of trays if you are due for a switch.
Eat or drink with your aligners in, as part of their attraction is that you can remove them for meals.
Use toothpaste to clean your aligners, as it is too abrasive.
Take your aligners out other than to eat, drink, or brush your teeth.
Use hot water, as this can warp your trays. Just use warm water.
Put your aligners in a napkin instead of your case, as this is the easiest way to lose them.
These don’ts will help you keep your aligners in good condition, while also helping to avoid loss. As well, by only taking them out to eat or clean your teeth and trays, you can increase how quickly your treatment will work and improve your results.
8. Clean your aligners at least twice a day
Clean your aligners at least twice daily, using a soft-bristled toothbrush as mentioned above. Use only lukewarm water, which is enough to help remove stains, and wash away bacteria and food particles while not causing your aligners to warp.
9. You can use antibacterial soap
If you choose not to purchase a cleaning system, you can use a mild, clear antibacterial hand or dish soap to help kill bacteria that can make your aligners taste and smell bad. Do not use any coloured soaps, as they can actually stain your trays over time.
While it might seem that these instructions are a little labour intensive, they are the best way to keep your mouth healthy and to avoid damaging or staining your trays. To learn more about Invisalign, call Guelph Family Dentistry at (888) 588-1691 or contact us here.