If you want to amend gaps between teeth or crookedness in your smile, your dentist might suggest straightening your teeth with Invisalign. These translucent, plastic aligners are custom-made to fit comfortably while gradually shifting teeth into an improved alignment and position. For best results, you will need to wear them over your teeth for at least 22 hours a day, and treatment can last for 18 months or longer.
If you want Invisalign to look pristine over your teeth during the duration of your treatment, you will need to take proper care of your appliances. Read on to find advice for keeping your Invisalign aligners looking and feeling their best during teeth-straightening treatment.
How to Care for Invisalign Aligners
Remove Invisalign During Meals
One reason many patients appreciate Invisalign is that you do not have to adjust your diet around your oral appliances. This is because rather than fixing brackets to the teeth, you have removable aligners that you may take out of the mouth when needed.
Dentists in fact ask their patients to remove Invisalign when eating or drinking. This includes during meals, snacks, or sipping beverages. Food can easily become trapped in the aligners if you wear them when chewing, and then it could stain your Invisalign as well as linger and hurt your teeth.
Even the process of drinking could leave stains on your Invisalign, especially dark-colored beverages like coffee, tea, or red wine. So make sure you remove Invisalign as you eat to keep it looking its best. And rinse the aligners before placing them back in your mouth.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
To get the most out of your Invisalign aligners, you will need to take care of the rest of your mouth too. Your natural oral bacteria produce plaque, a gritty film over your teeth. If it remains on your teeth, it will eat away at your dental structure.
Plaque will also transfer to your Invisalign if you do not scrub it away with your oral hygiene regimen. Then you could form dental problems like cavities or gum disease that will hinder your teeth-straightening treatment.
Proper oral hygiene involves brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing daily. You should also attend regular teeth cleaning appointments at your dentist’s office.
Complete Separate Cleaning for Invisalign Aligners
Plaque collects on your Invisalign aligners as well as the rest of your mouth. So for proper care of your appliances, you will need to complete a separate cleaning regimen for your aligners.
At least once a day, perhaps when you take your Invisalign out as you brush your teeth, you should also brush your aligners. Use a non-abrasive paste or specialized cleaner along with a soft-bristled brush. These materials ensure you do not scratch your Invisalign as you clean the aligners. This could disrupt the look of your Invisalign.
Do not use hot water during this cleaning process because the high temperature could melt and warp the plastic of your aligners. If you do break or damage your Invisalign, do not wear them. Call your dentist for replacements.