Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable, and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements that Dr. Kelly plans out for you.
It is important that your take care of your Invisalign aligners to ensure they are doing their best in helping shape your teeth according to your Invisalign treatment plan.
One of Invisalign’s biggest advantages is having the ability to take the aligners out when you want to eat and drink… but that doesn't mean they don't get dirty. Keeping your aligners clean is a vital part of your treatment, and it's the only way to keep them invisible, odorless, and free from germs. Without proper cleaning, your aligners can discolor, smell, and build up deposits of plaque and bacteria that can eat away at the enamel on your teeth.
Just follow these simple Do's and Don'ts when wearing Invisalign:
DO Soak Your Aligners At least Once a Day: If you want to keep your Invisalign looking and smelling great, you need to soak your aligners at least once per day. You can use denture cleaners or the cleaning crystals made by Invisalign. After finishing the soak, brush away all food particles and plaque with a toothbrush that is not the same one you use for brushing your teeth. After you are done brushing, rinse your aligners with warm water before you slip it back into your mouth.
DON’T Boil Your Aligners: The hot water will distort the trays. It is not safe to place your Invisalign aligners into the dishwasher or in boiling water. Warm water should be fine for rinsing them. But the best way to clean your aligners is with a clean toothbrush and cool water.
DO Brush Carefully: Ideally, you want to brush your Invisalign aligners every time you take them out or before you put them back in. But be careful, as overzealous brushing can leave visible marks and scratches on your aligners.
DON’T Use Toothpaste: Toothpaste is great for your teeth, but it can harm your aligners. When you brush them, do so gently and without toothpaste.
DO Brush and Floss Your Teeth Before Wearing Invisalign: Your teeth and gums should stay clean and healthy. Regular brushing and flossing are important to keep your teeth clean and strong. Always ensure that your teeth are clean before putting your Invisalign aligners back into your mouth.
DON’T Clean Your Invisalign Using Colored or Scented Soaps: Make sure to avoid using substances with strong colors and scents. Colored or scented soaps can leave some residue on your Invisalign trays, resulting in discoloration in the long run.
DO Consider Snacks Carefully: Invisalign’s effectiveness depends on whether you can wear it for 20-22 hours a day. If you want to eat something that would impact your Invisalign aligners, you will need to take them out of your mouth. Be sure to keep snacking throughout the day to a minimum to ensure your Invisalign aligners are in place as long as possible.
DON’T Leave the Aligners Laying Out: Store your aligners in their case when you are not using them. If you leave them in the open air, you will risk exposing them to airborne pathogens, building up bacteria. Also, you’re more likely to lose or damage your aligners if you don’t store them in their case.
If you have questions about caring for your Invisalign aligners, we are here to help! Feel free to reach out to us or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment in our St. Charles orthodontic office.