Tips for Taking Care of Your Invisalign® Trays

Invisalign® is one of the most popular dental treatments around, and for good reason: First, the trays are almost invisible, which means treatment can be very discreet. Plus, the trays are removable, so it’s a lot easier to care for your teeth — and you can eat whatever foods your heart desires. And finally, treatment with Invisalign typically takes less time than treatment with traditional metal and ceramic braces, so you can start enjoying your results a lot faster (and have fewer trips to the dentist, too). With so much to offer, it’s no wonder Invisalign has become so popular for both teens and adults. 

Of course, all those benefits wouldn’t be nearly so attractive if those patented aligner trays were difficult to care for. But there again, it’s good news: Caring for Invisalign aligners is a breeze, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.

Keep them clean

The clear design of the Invisalign trays is perhaps the biggest reason why they’re so popular. Keeping them clear and clean (and almost impossible to see) means cleaning them at least twice a day (usually in the morning and before bed when you brush and floss your teeth). Cleaning your trays is simple. Using a soft brush (ideally one you keep just for your trays) and a non-whitening toothpaste, gently brush the aligner surfaces, inside and outside, to get rid of sticky plaque film and bacterial buildup. Why non-whitening pastes? Because those that whiten have abrasives which, while safe for tooth surfaces, could scratch your trays, making them more visible. Once the aligners are clean, rinse them well to remove any residue. Don’t use soaps since they can contain dyes, fragrances, or chemicals that can leave a bad taste or even cause stains on the aligners. 

Take them out for eating (and sometimes drinking)

Your aligners are strong, but they’re not designed for chewing and biting. If you keep them in while eating, you can damage the aligner material, not to mention scratch the aligners or even cause them to discolor, which means your trays won’t be invisible while you’re wearing them. Plus, when you eat with your aligners in your mouth, food particles can get trapped between the aligners and your teeth — definitely not a look you want to flaunt. It’s perfectly fine to keep your aligners in while drinking water and some other beverages that don’t have deep or dark pigments. But some drinks, like fruit drinks and even coffees, can discolor your aligners, too. In those cases, you should take your aligners out while you drink. You need to wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours per day to get the maximum benefit, so just bear that in mind if you’ve got a major coffee habit.

Rinse after meals

Before popping your aligners back in after you eat, rinse your mouth to remove food particles. Not only will this reduce your risk of cavities, but it can also ensure you don't have any visible bits trapped between your teeth and the aligners once they’re back in your mouth. Rinse your aligners, too, to freshen them up. (If you can wait for a half hour, you can brush your teeth instead of rinsing. Why wait? Because tooth enamel softens for a half hour or so after eating, and brushing during that time can wind up damaging your enamel.)

Use the case

During meals, keep your aligners in their case, not loose in your pocket or purse. The case is designed to protect your aligners so they don’t get broken, bent, or scratched. Yes, it can be tempting to skip the case and toss them in a bag or drawer during meals. But even though the trays are strong enough to move your teeth into alignment, they can still be damaged and scratched, which means they’ll be more visible while you’re wearing them.

At A Beautiful Smile Dentistry, making sure our patients have the best experience throughout their Invisalign treatment is really important. If you do have a problem with your trays — like if you lose one or damage one, for instance — don't panic. Give us a call and we can help. And if you'd like to learn more about Invisalign treatment and how it can help you enjoy straighter teeth and a more attractive smile, book an appointment online today.

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