One of the main reasons people invest in Invisalign is to get a transparent form of retainer that they can wear throughout the day without issue. Braces can be embarrassing for teens and adults to wear, and standard retainers don’t straighten your teeth.
However, failure to clean and take care of them can result in discolouration. Even worse, they may hurt your teeth more than they help. Like a standard set of braces, you need to keep your Invisalign aligners in good condition or they can come apart.
These are seven of the most common Invisalign cleaning errors you should avoid.
1. Keeping Them In While Eating
An important part of keeping your Invisalign aligners clean and in good condition is by taking them off when you eat.
Braces are applied for months or years at a time, so there’s no need to worry about eating with them on. Retainers are typically worn overnight. With Invisalign, it’s recommended that you wear them throughout the day and night except at meals.
If you forget to remove your aligners, then there’s a chance that you may damage them. You’ll need to consult with your dentist about any cracks in your tray and possibly order a replacement.
2. Leaving Retainer Somewhere in the Open
It’s in your best interest to remove your aligners every time you eat or drink something that isn’t water. However, that doesn’t mean you should place them down on the table in front of you. It’s also not enough to sanitize the table beforehand.
Everything you touch is constantly exposed to bacteria in the air and on surfaces. If you take them off in a restaurant, you’re exposing them to all the germs people bring in and out of there for up to an hour while you eat. That bacteria can prove harmful to your teeth and your gums.
Instead of leaving them on the table, you should always store your aligners in an airtight case. Make sure to always have your case on hand for any situation that comes up.
3. Forgetting to Clean Them Upon Removal
Even though you remove your aligners so they don’t get dirty or damaged when eating, they’re still going to be dirty. Your mouth produces a lot of saliva and bacteria that will still be on your Invisalign trays when you put them back on.
The best way to quickly clean them is to go into the bathroom and remove them in front of the sink. Rinse your aligners with clean water before putting them away inside a case.
Keep in mind that rinsing your aligners before every meal is not a replacement for properly cleaning them. You need to use a cleaning product to get rid of all the excess bacteria and prevent buildup.
4. Skipping Daily Maintenance
Caring for your Invisalign aligners is a daily routine. In addition to rinsing them off before meals, you need to actually clean them every night before bed.
Set some time aside every day to inspect your aligners and check for any buildup you may have missed. In addition to keeping your teeth healthy, you’ll go to bed with a freshly cleaned mouth.
5. Using the Wrong Cleansers
A daily Invisalign cleaning routine should never involve soap or a generic cleaner. Soap may fail to clean your trays, and the wrong cleaning product could stain or damage them.
In addition, avoid soaking the trays in mouthwash. The alcohol in it could break down the plastic and weaken them.
If you’re wondering how to clean aligners, start with the right products. You can find natural cleaners out there that fit in your bag. Don’t forget to buy appropriate scrubbing tools such as a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
You can opt for soaking cleaners that don’t require scrubbing or wiping. Hydrogen peroxide is a DIY method for cleaning aligners, but there are also specially formulated options available.
6. Ignoring Normal Oral Hygiene
Wearing Invisalign aligners throughout the day does not mean you can ignore your normal oral hygiene routine. If anything, wearing them means that you need to pay much more attention to your teeth.
Bacteria and saliva can get stuck behind your trays and stain your teeth. That bacteria can also agitate your gums and cause gum disease. If you don’t brush your teeth multiple times throughout the day, then you’re putting your mouth and your trays at risk.
There’s also the fact that you remove your aligners while you eat.
Food particles will cling to your teeth after a meal and stick in the gaps between them. When you put your aligners back on, those particles will still be there. Straighter teeth don’t have to worry about that as much, but it should always be a concern.
7. Skipping Dental Appointments
One of the most common Invisalign cleaning errors is avoiding routine dental appointments. As with traditional braces, you’ll need to visit the dentist every six weeks to make sure they’re working well.
At your appointment, the dentist will make any necessary adjustments to your fit. They can also check that you’ve been cleaning them and give them a good scrubbing down.
If your aligners aren’t fitting properly, then that means there will be gaps for more saliva and bacteria to accumulate.
For anyone who needs to schedule a visit for any reason, here’s a dentist accepting new patients in Bradford, Ontario.
Avoid Common Invisalign Cleaning Errors
Having to deal with Invisalign aligners for at least half a year is difficult enough as it is. It’s easy to make these common Invisalign cleaning errors on top of living your life. Try to avoid these bad habits and you’ll find that your mouth gets fresher every day.
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