Caring for Your Clear Aligners
If you would like to have your teeth aligned but do not like to have braces fitted, then invisible aligners should be your choice. The Invisalign vs braces debate is a complex one, but the aligners tend to offer a wide range of convenient benefits. However, even though they are a convenient way of aligning and straightening teeth, they do require a fair amount of maintenance. At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, we do offer our patients advice and direction on how to maintain and take care of their clear aligners. Once we provide the aligners, use these important tips to take care of them.
There is a very important and intricate relationship between Invisalign and dental hygiene. The fact that the aligners are removable does not mean the patient should be exempt from keeping proper oral hygiene. Typically, our dentists will advise that you keep your Invisalign aligners on for between 20 and 22 hours every day. When they are removed, it is important to clean the teeth as recommended before placing them back on. Brush and floss after every meal as this not only helps prevent the accumulation of bacteria and plaque on the teeth but also on the aligners themselves. If the cleaning is not done well, then the close contact between the aligners and the teeth ends up becoming a breeding ground for bacteria that might result in tooth decay and bad breath.
Even though they are removable, they deserve just as much attention and care when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning the aligners should be done with a soft brush, with the most commonly recommended tool being the toothbrush. Other soft-bristled brushes and cleansers can also be used to gently cleanse the aligners before they are placed back into the mouth. This helps remove debris and bacteria that might have accumulated. Furthermore, dentists recommend that the aligners be rinsed thoroughly with water every time they are removed. While most people tend to rinse their aligners with hot water, using extremely hot water might risk the structural integrity of the aligners.
Another recommendation, especially when considering Invisalign for teens, is the kinds of foods and drinks that one consumes when wearing their Invisalign aligners. When wearing aligners, it is important to avoid beverages like soft drinks, juices, teas, coffees, and flavored waters. When one drinks these flavored drinks, the liquids tend to seep inside the aligners and stay in contact with the teeth for a long time. When the sugar and acid present in the drinks comes into contact with the teeth, they are likely to lead to the development of cavities and the general discoloration of aligners. Your aligners should be removed when you drink anything besides water.
Caring for the aligners calls for proper storage. Given that they are removable, an important part of their care and cleanliness should be where they are stored. Once cleaned, if they are not worn right away, they should be stored in their designated case to avoid further damage or accumulation of debris.
Call Senestraro Family Orthodontics today at (503) 228 1945 to schedule an appointment and get to know more regarding Invisalign aligners, how they can help you, how to use them, and aftercare tips.