Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses clear, plastic aligners to gradually move your teeth into the right position. Invisalign does not use brackets and wires like traditional metal braces. This makes it much less conspicuous than other types of braces and also more comfortable because there are no sharp edges or hard surfaces rubbing against sensitive gums. So, how exactly should you care for your Invisalign?
1. Clean Your Aligners
The number one tip for caring for your Invisalign aligners is to keep them clean. Do this by soaking your plastic aligners in a cleaning solution that comes with the treatment kit. If you do not have this solution, use lukewarm water to remove plaque, tartar, food debris, grease, dirt, or other contaminants.
2. Do Not Bend, Fold, or Twist Your Aligners
Do not bend, fold, or twist your aligners. These are thin and can easily become misshapen if handled incorrectly. Doing so might cause the material to break and will prevent them from fitting properly in your mouth. This could lead to shifting teeth and extending the length of treatment time.
3. Rinse and Dry Them After Eating and Drinking
After you eat a meal or drink something – whether it’s sipping water or munching some snacks – brush and rinse your aligners with warm water to remove any food particles that may be stuck on them. After rinsing, dry carefully with a soft cloth.
Do not scrub your aligners with a hard toothbrush or other abrasive material because this can damage the plastic. Also, avoid using hot water to clean them because doing so can cause irreversible warping.
4. Do Not Chew on Your Aligners
Never chew or bite directly on your aligners because they are not designed to handle pressure like this. Please do not eat any hard foods (like nuts, bread crusts, and popcorn) that might break your aligners or scratch them. Furthermore, do not drink anything too hot because it can warp or crack them.
5. Rinse and Dry Thoroughly Before Storing Them
After wearing your aligners, rinse them under room-temperature water to remove any toothpaste or other residue that might be lingering. Next, pat them dry with a soft cloth before storing them in their case or container.
According to the AAO, in the United States there are approximately 3.9 million orthodontic patients under the age of 18. A good number of them are wearing clear aligners instead of traditional metal braces. Given the popularity of this type of orthodontic treatment, it is important to learn how to properly care for your Invisalign aligners so you can get the most out of them.