If you’ve begun an orthodontic treatment with the Invisalign technique, congratulations! You have taken the first step in transforming your smile for the better. You may know why Invisalign has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional braces, but do you know how it works? One especially important rule is keeping the Invisalign aligners on your teeth for a minimum of 22 hours each day, but equally important is remembering to keep your aligners and teeth clean.
This is not just recommended for cosmetic reasons (no one wants to walk around with cloudy, sediment-filled trays), but also because aligners are susceptible to bacterial buildup, which can negatively impact your oral hygiene and overall health.
Bad breath can afflict the best of us, but an aligner that has not been properly cleaned is especially at risk for germ and bacterial retention, which can cause a stink. Not good! The bottom line is that Invisalign aligners, much like teeth, need to be cleaned every single day to ensure good treatment. Below we detail a suggested daily routine to clean your trays and keep them sparkling.
Suggested Daily Routine for Best Care
What does a normal day look like for invisible aligner maintenance? Fret not if you haven’t got a clue一we’ve put together a routine just for you!
Clean Both Teeth and Invisalign Trays When You Wake Up
Since you’ll be sleeping with your aligners on, the first thing to do each morning is to remove them, clean your teeth, and clean the trays themselves before placing them back in your mouth. A lot of bacteria can build-up while you sleep, so this step is especially important. It should be repeated before bed as well.
Rinse Your Aligners Each Time They Are Removed From Your Mouth
Make sure to rinse your invisible aligners with cold water every time you remove them to wash away dried saliva, and never leave trays out in the open if you’ve taken them out. Keeping your case handy is incredibly important to maintaining good oral hygiene. Never rinse with hot water as that can warp the trays and cause discomfort or bend them out of shape.
Always Brush and Floss Before Replacing Trays
Ideally, your trays should only be removed for eating or drinking. After such time, always remember to brush and floss before replacing the trays. If you don’t adhere to this step, you’ll have a much higher risk of trapping food particles in the trays, which can lead to cavities or other dental issues later.
Soak Your Trays Daily
The best way to ensure a clean set of aligners is to soak the trays daily in either Invisalign cleaning crystals or a denture cleaner. Never soak your trays in mouthwash or hot water, as they can damage your trays. After soaking, use a spare toothbrush to rid the trays of lingering plaque or food particles.
Tips to Keep Your Trays in Good Condition
Though the daily routine is important to follow, we’d also like to equip you with some suggestions so that you can take the best possible care of your aligners.
Leaving your aligners exposed to open air when you’re not wearing them could lead to bacterial buildup, which is not only a source of bad odors but can also make you sick! Remember to bring your case with you always, just to be safe. If you do leave them out, make sure that you rinse, soak, and rinse again before putting them back in your mouth.
Whenever you are going to eat or drink anything that isn’t water, be sure to remove your trays first. This protects them from bacterial buildup and protects your teeth from trapped food particles, which can cause dental issues later on. These trays are not built for chewing, and the action can damage them inadvertently or stain them.
An easy way to get off track with your treatment is to forget to bring your next set of aligners while traveling. It happens to people all the time, but it can seriously set you back. One way to avoid this is to have your next set shipped to the destination that you’ll be staying at. Due to the frequency of lost or delayed luggage, we recommend that if your traveling with your aligners, you keep your case in a personal bag that you’ll have with you at all times.