There is no denying the importance of good oral hygiene in general. Properly brushing and flossing after meals help prevent major dental problems, but orthodontics may complicate your routine a little bit. These challenges are not the same for patients wearing braces or clear aligners. Sit back and read about the best way to clean Invisalign trays.
Maintaining good oral hygiene turns even more important considering the problems associated with periodontal disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 45% of people 30 years old and older have some form of periodontal disease.
It’s not just adults; approximately 60% of teens ranging from 12 to 19 have cavities, with an increase of 30% in adults with ages ranging from 20 to 64. Concerns on this matter are even greater for people using braces. Incidentally, new technologies leverage designs with clear-cut advantages in esthetics and improved hygiene. Your Invisalign clear aligners are one such example.
What Is Invisalign Dental Treatment?
Invisalign is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment that is custom-made and works on the same principle applied by braces; your appliance exerts a force on your teeth, fixing protruding teeth, and realigning the jaws (correcting malocclusion).
In other words, it produces the same results as braces.
But, what is causing Invisalign® to become so popular? Here we’ll give you some of the most important reasons, listed by their perceived importance to patients.
Invisalign is a discreet device, clear and imperceptible. This advantage means people will hardly notice you are using aligners. Patients wearing Invisalign trays seem to have nothing on their teeth. They can talk and even smile without feeling self-conscious.
The Package Includes the Entire Treatment Set
We will provide you with a set of aligners that comprises a few weeks of your treatment every time you come by the office. These aligners do not require repairs as usually occurs with metal braces. Also, this translates into fewer orthodontic visits.
Removable and Comfortable
Patients can easily remove their Invisalign clear plastic trays whenever they need to do so. They can easily remove their trays, brush their teeth, and floss after eating or drinking beverages other than water.
How to Clean Your Invisalign Removable Aligners?
One of the disadvantages of braces is the discomfort they produce after meals. Small pieces of food are sometimes hard to get rid of. It takes extra effort to practice proper oral hygiene. These challenges might be a major concern, especially considering the impact of statistics about people dealing with cavities and periodontal disease.
Clear aligners certainly do their work by providing a more efficient means to practice good oral hygiene. Still, small pieces of food and bacteria might accumulate on the trays. Here we provide some recommendations on how to combine your oral hygiene habits with proper Invisalign® cleaning.
Firstly, before any meal, remove your Invisalign® trays and practice your customary good oral hygiene habits (brushing your teeth and flossing) as usual. You can rinse your removable appliances with water before using them back again. Alternatively, you can use a soft toothbrush to brush the removable appliances using cold water and clear liquid soap.
If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, you can at least rinse to avoid excess saliva and plaque build-up. Remember to do this also when having any kind of drink, other than water.
At night and in the morning, you can program yourself to create a habit of cleaning your removable appliances.
Here is some step-by-step advice on how to proceed with cleaning your Invisalign® trays.
- Use water to rinse your aligners;
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, different from the one used for brushing your teeth;
- Apply clear liquid soap while brushing;
- Rinse with lukewarm water your removable appliances after brushing.
Also, during the day and at home, you should store your Invisalign® removable appliances in a case to protect them from bacteria in the environment.
Only Use Water for Clean Invisalign Trays
There are two pieces of advice when it comes to drinks and cleaning your removable appliances; both have to do with water. First, the only liquid you should drink while using your Invisalign removable appliances is water.
Secondly, for rinsing them after every meal, use water and avoid using any colored soaps that can stain the trays. Patients can also go a step further and rinse with water their Invisalign every single time they use them back.
What Not to Do
Yes, we know that using water to rinse the removable appliances is not enough for taking care of the bacteria that might build up. However, there are some pieces of advice we want to share with you.
Also, you can avoid these common mistakes that might damage your Invisalign trays while trying to clean them. Remember, your clear alignment tray’s purpose, when related to braces, is to look clear at all times.
Products that don’t purposely help in keeping your aligners clear should not be part of your routine. Some of them, but not extensively are toothpaste and denture cleaners. We would also recommend you avoid mouthwashes and color-scented or antibacterial soaps.
With regards to brushing, use a child soft-bristle toothbrush instead of a harsh one. Coarse bristle brushes might scratch your aligners, making it noticeable you have an appliance on your teeth.
What to Do for a Clean Invisalign
Regarding cleaning your aligners, use Invisalign products that contain antiseptic ingredients such as rubbing alcohol and sodium bicarbonate. You can soak your trays for 3 minutes before rinsing the sterilizing solution off. Avoid using hot water while cleaning your trays.
To take good care of your aligners, you should always take them out before eating any meal and store them in an airtight container. Keeping them inside a special container will help to keep them safe and free from airborne bacteria.
What happens if my aligners turn cloudy? There is a practical option using a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide –or- water with white vinegar in the same proportion. Soak the trays for a few hours in the solution and gently brush them while rinsing them with water.
Invisalign also provides information about the measures to take good care of your alignment trays. You can also ask your dentist about the best practices to maintain good oral hygiene while using clear alignment devices.
Remember, good oral hygiene is crucial to completing your treatment successfully. Likewise, the official Invisalign FAQ advises you to use the trays between 20 to 22 hours a day.
Continue Your Orthodontic Treatment in Albany With the Experts
Remember that not practicing proper oral care might result in food and plaque accumulation on your teeth that gets stuck underneath the trays, leading to dental problems and a bad smell.
This alternative for treatment means several advantages for the patient. If you haven’t made up your mind about which appliance to use, you can look at our Invisalign vs Braces comparison. Come to our office, where we will gladly answer any of your questions.
We’re here to help whenever you need us. The best orthodontist Albany residents can find is in Estes Orthodontics. Set your appointment or give us a call to start your treatment.