Many people complain about crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, but some are reluctant to undergo traditional orthodontic treatment because they don’t want to wear metal brackets and wires. Invisalign® straightens the teeth by progressing patients through a series of clear, plastic aligners that are much more comfortable and discreet than braces.
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they need to be cleaned separately from the teeth. Dr. Steven Balloch educates our Glastonbury, CT, patients about how to clean and care for Invisalign aligners so that they avoid the need for costly replacements.
When to Remove Aligners
To get effective results from Invisalign treatment, patients need to keep their aligners in place for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day. Although we encourage our patients to wear their aligners the majority of the time, the exception is when they are eating.
Aligners need to be removed when a patient is eating or drinking so that the they do not become discolored or take on unwanted odors. Aligners could also become damaged if a patient is biting on hard, crunchy food, so it is good for patients to get in the habit of taking aligners out before meals and snacks.
Just like the teeth, Invisalign aligners can attract harmful bacteria. Dirty aligners increase the risk of tooth decay and other dental complications, so it is important to clean aligners well. A quick rinse with clean water is sufficient when aligners are removed for eating meals and snacks throughout the day, but our Glastonbury patients should do a thorough cleaning at least once daily.
To clean aligners properly, Dr. Balloch recommends patients consider these tips:
- Rinse aligners in lukewarm water
- After rinsing, use small circular strokes to brush all surfaces of aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Do not use toothpaste on aligners
- Aligners can be cleaned with clear, unscented anti-bacterial soap
- After brushing, aligners can be soaked in an Invisalign cleaning solution
It is important that patients take just as much care to brush and clean their teeth while aligners are out. Aligners should not be placed on teeth that have not been rinsed or brushed after eating.
Preventing Loss or Damage
Keeping aligners clean is just one part of Invisalign care. Our Glastonbury patients also need to protect aligners from loss or damage. The best way to keep aligners safe is to place them in a retainer case any time they are out of the mouth.
As soon as aligners are removed, they should be rinsed and dried, and then placed in a clean, closed case. Cases prevent accidents that could damage aligners and makes it easier to track aligners so they aren’t lost or accidentally thrown out. Ideally, patients should purchase multiple retainer cases so that they can carry one around and have one at home.
Send Us a Message
Invisalign treatment allows patients to get the straight teeth they desire without having to deal with the hassle or discomfort of traditional braces. If you have more questions about Invisalign treatment, send our dental team a message or call (860) 659-8660 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven M. Balloch.