Minneapolis, MN – If you’ve considered Invisalign treatment, you know all the great benefits of the technology. But you’ve probably asked yourself one thing – how do you keep the aligners clean?
“Proper cleaning of the aligners is important during orthodontic treatment to ensure the aligners stay invisible and to keep odors at bay,” says your Minneapolis/St. Paul orthodontist. “If you don’t keep your aligners clean, they can harbor bacteria, which can discolor them and lead to foul odors and even problems for your teeth.”
Caring for your aligners is pretty easy. Simply use the following checklist of dos and don’ts for aligner care.
- DO rinse your aligners every time you take them out of your mouth. Simply run them under water for a bit to remove any dried saliva or plaque build-up.
- DO use a soak to clean your aligners. Denture cleaner works great, or you can purchase a special cleaning solution unique to Invisalign from a Minneapolis orthodontist’s office.
- Do always clean your teeth before placing your aligners back in. That means brushing and flossing after every meal and even snack to remove any food particles that could get trapped under the aligners when you put them back in. Failing to clean your teeth properly before putting the aligners back in can lead to dental problems.
- DO keep your aligners clean by gently brushing them and by washing them with an anti-bacterial soap. This can keep bacteria away, and ensure your aligners stay clean and remain clear.
- DON’T use toothpaste to clean your aligners. If you use a toothbrush to clean your aligners, you may be tempted to reach for the toothpaste, too. Your doctor advises against that, however, as most toothpastes are abrasive. They can dull and scratch the aligners, creating places where bacteria can live.
- DON’T drink anything but water with your aligners in, and never eat while still wearing your aligners. Anything other than water can stain or damage your aligners. Because they aligners are made of plastic, never drink hot beverages with them in your mouth, as the temperature change could warp the plastic of the aligner.
- DON’T forget to find a safe place to keep your aligners when they aren’t in your mouth. Always keep a retainer box or other safe place to put your aligners when you are eating and drinking. Don’t leave them out in the open air, as they can attract germs and bacteria.
“Caring for your aligners is relatively simple, but it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked,” says your doctor. “One of the primary reasons people love it so much is that it allows them to straighten their teeth without others even knowing. But if you don’t properly care for your Invisalign aligners, they can become discolored and smell bad, leaving people to wonder what is going on in your mouth.”
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