The Do’s and Don’ts of Caring for your Invisalign® Aligners

The Invisalign® system is designed to conveniently and discreetly straighten your teeth. But improperly caring for your aligners can cause them to accumulate germs, take on unwanted odors, and develop scratches that can be visible to others. Dr. Grussmark offers this list of Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when caring for your Invisalign® aligners:

Do:

  • Rinse your aligners every time you take them out of your mouth in order to remove food particles, saliva, and bacteria. When saliva and plaque are allowed to dry they create a breeding ground for bacteria growth, leading to a foul smell.
  • Soak your aligners each night to keep them sanitized to minimize bacterial growth. We recommend using the official Invisalign® cleaning crystals, denture cleaning tablets, or retainer soak such as Retainer Brite.
  • Brush your aligners each night using a soft-bristle brush and a gentle soap. We recommend using a clear anti-bacterial soap as an inexpensive way to keep your aligners clean and clear. Be sure to brush your aligners very gently because aggressive brushing can scratch the soft plastic.
  • Brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. It’s important to regularly clean your teeth while using Invisalign®. Since the aligners are form fitting they will trap any food particles or bacteria between your teeth and the aligner which can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Use care when removing your aligners. Aggressively removing your aligners can cause them to crack or break. If you find that an aligner is difficult to remove, we recommend swishing some water around in your mouth to loosen it.

Don’t:

  • Eat, chew gum, or drink while wearing your aligners. Certain foods and liquids can leave stains and odors on your aligners. Plain, clear water is the only thing that you can safely drink with your aligners in your mouth.
  • Use toothpaste to clean your aligners. Most kinds of toothpaste, especially whitening types, have abrasive ingredients that are great for getting your teeth clean but can scratch your plastic aligners. These scratches can trap bacteria and create a haze to your aligners that makes them visible.
  • Use scented or colored soap or mouthwash. The scents in these products can cause your aligners to take on an odor, and the coloring in soaps or mouthwash can stain your aligners.
  • Boil your aligners to clean them or leave them in a hot car. Excess heat can cause your plastic aligners to distort and warp so they won’t fit properly.
  • Leave your aligners unprotected. In addition to increasing the risk of losing them, leaving your aligners open to the air exposes them to germs and bacteria. Always store them in a case when you’re not wearing them.

Invisalign® Care While Traveling

While Invisalign® is very convenient while traveling there are some special considerations to keep in mind while away from home:

  • Always take an extra case or two with you since they can easily be lost.
  • Don’t pack your aligners in your checked baggage because it can be delayed or lost. Always keep them with you in a carry on bag or purse.
  • Take at least three sets of aligners with you. In addition to your current set, take your previous set and your next set. You may need to take additional sets if you will be away for more than a few weeks.
  • At a minimum, rinse your mouth and aligner before inserting them if you’re out and aren’t able to brush your teeth. Make sure to thoroughly brush your teeth and aligners when convenient.

Contact Dr. Grussmark for Invisalign® in Coral Gables

If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign® contact the Centre For Invisible Orthodontics today. Dr. Grussmark has years of experience in using Invisalign® to help patients attain straighter smiles. He can answer any questions you may have and help you decide if this type of orthodontic treatment is right for you.

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