Invisalign is a discreet and effective way to straighten teeth, correct a misaligned bite, and close gaps. This clear aligner system works with customized trays that are changed every few weeks as your teeth gently shift into place.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible in the mouth and are fully removable for eating and drinking. However, since they aren’t attached to your teeth, these aligners require different care than traditional orthodontic appliances.
What is the best way to care for your Invisalign aligners? Here are a few tips that will keep your aligners protected as you move through your orthodontic treatment.
Brush Your Aligners Gently
Most patients need to wear their Invisalign aligners for 20-22 hours a day. However, the aligners still need to be cleaned, so removing them at night and cleaning them before you go to bed can help ensure they stay clear and don’t collect plaque and bacteria.
Rinse your aligners in lukewarm water—never use very hot or very cold water, as the temperature can cause the plastic in the aligners to warp—and then gently brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleaner .
A clear soap is recommended when brushing the aligners, as toothpastes can be too abrasive and scratch them, while conventional soaps may have dyes that can discolor the aligners. Denture cleaners are also not recommended when cleaning your Invisalign aligners.
Never Eat With Your Aligners In
Invisalign is not meant to stay in your mouth while you eat. The pressure from biting and chewing food can damage the aligners. In addition, food and drinks can also stain your aligners, and food particles can get trapped in them. Always take your aligners out when you eat.
Although removing your aligners when eating won’t prevent bacteria and plaque from getting on them—which is why brushing and cleaning them is still necessary—it will help prevent your aligners from getting damaged and requiring early replacement .
Properly Store Your Aligners
Although you will wear your Invisalign aligners most hours of the day, when removing them, be sure to properly store them.
Since the aligners are clear and small, they are easy to misplace. Putting your aligners in a case whenever you are eating or otherwise not wearing them can help protect them and prevent damage, not to mention prevent them from being thrown away on accident.
As with conventional braces, wearing a retainer after Invisalign treatment is necessary, so continue to practice good storage habits and carry a case with you or keep a case at home to store your retainers in even after your treatment is complete .
Have Questions? Contact Your Orthodontist
Caring for your Invisalign retainers can help protect their color, shape, and effectiveness, so don’t skip this important part of your orthodontic treatment. Have more questions about how to best care for your Invisalign aligners? Contact your Invisalign provider today.