Over the past several years, we’ve seen a significant shift in the approach to misaligned teeth. Rather than affixing metal brackets and archwires on every smile, dentists are now able to provide their patients with custom treatment that utilizes nearly invisible aligners. You may have heard of Invisalign and its many benefits. Most people that we speak with about their concerns regarding the position of their teeth express an interest in this discreet teeth-straightening system.
It is one thing to know about Invisalign, and another to know what the process will actually look like. Patients who approach their treatment protocol with a broader view of their responsibility in the outcome of care are better prepared to manage tasks like caring for their aligners. The good news about aligners is that they don’t need much to stay in good condition. The strategies for ensuring the clear plastic trays remain clean and fresh are easy as can be.
Treat Aligners Like Teeth
We brush our teeth every day, morning and night. The purpose of doing this is to clean debris and bacteria from the mouth. Just like your teeth, your aligners can accumulate tiny food particles and bacteria throughout the day. When you brush your teeth in the morning and before bed, also give your aligners a gentle rub-down. You may use a soft-bristled toothbrush for this task, just make sure that very light pressure is also used. Brushing aligners too hard could scratch them, making them look dull and negating the whole point of this approach to care.
Take a Moment after Meals
As beneficial as it may seem to brush after every meal, that isn’t always possible. While you may not be able to or want to carry your toothbrush around to every lunch meeting or dinner date, your aligners still need care. Before inserting them after your meal, you can run your aligners under cool water. This may reduce bacteria and also help the trays slide in more easily.