Proper Dental Care for Invisalign Wearers
Proudly serving Newton MA and surrounding towns.
Invisalign braces make it easier than ever to keep your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment. But even though your aligners are removable, they still require special care to maintain them on a day-to-day basis. Otherwise, you run the risk of trapping bacteria underneath the trays.
As long as you follow these simple directions, you can keep both your aligners and your teeth clean throughout your orthodontic experience.
Don’t Eat with Invisalign Trays in Your Mouth
First and foremost, never eat anything while your Invisalign trays are in your mouth. They’re not made to withstand chewing on food. Plus, there’s also the chance that food will get trapped underneath your aligners and held against your tooth for hours at a time.
Make sure you’re cleaning your mouth after each meal before you put your aligners back over your teeth. If you’re at work or school and don’t have access to a toothbrush at that exact moment, at least go rinse your mouth out well with water. Once you get back home, remove your aligners to brush your teeth and clean your trays thoroughly.
Don’t Drink Anything Other Than Water
Liquid coats every surface of your teeth. That’s why drinking anything other than water with Invisalign still in your mouth can be detrimental to your enamel. You don’t want to inadvertently raise your risk of tooth decay. However, it’s perfectly fine to drink water any time, even if your aligners are in your mouth.
What if you do want to enjoy your favorite drink? Try to drink it all at once instead of sipping on it over a long period of time. Keep in mind that your aligners need to stay inside of your mouth for a minimum of 22 hours per day, so that leaves you with two hours for meals, snacks, brushing, and flossing. Remove your aligners, enjoy your drink, and then clean your mouth before you put the trays back in. If you’re not able to brush right away, at least rinse your mouth out well with water. You don’t want to trap any of your drink against your teeth, under the Invisalign tray.
How to Clean Your Invisalign Trays
Invisalign trays can collect tooth stain and plaque, just like your teeth. Make it a point to clean them at least twice a day during your normal brushing and flossing routine.
Always use room temperature or lukewarm water. Never use hot water as the high temperature can cause your trays to warp. If they do, you can’t wear them.
Use a soft toothbrush to clean out the inside and outside of your aligners. A gentle, non-abrasive toothpaste can be used. Antibacterial hand soap is also fine. Occasionally we may recommend using a specific cleanser — especially if buildup is an issue — but please do not use homemade solutions such as bleach or peroxide unless directed to do so. They may weaken the integrity of your orthodontic aligner.
As Needed: Effervescent Cleansers
Denture cleansers work well on a variety of dental appliances, including retainers and removable aligners like Invisalign. If you notice your Invisalign trays developing residue or stain that isn’t coming off when you brush them, consider soaking them in an effervescent cleanser for about an hour. Make sure the water isn’t hot (lukewarm is best.) After an hour, remove them from the solution and brush off all of the loosened residue.
Caring for Your Teeth During the Process
One of the great things about Invisalign is that they make it extremely easy to care for your teeth during orthodontic treatment. Instead of having to maneuver around braces to brush and floss, all you need to do is take your aligners out and clean your teeth like normal.
It’s extremely important that you’re brushing at least twice daily for two minutes at a time. Floss at least once per day. If possible, consider investing in an electric toothbrush and water flosser to make your oral hygiene routine more effective.
If you have any type of active oral infection — like tooth decay or gum disease — it’s crucial to have it treated as soon as possible. Active oral disease paired with orthodontic appliances can jeopardize the health of your surrounding teeth.
How Often to See the Dentist
In addition to seeing our Invisalign provider for your intermittent orthodontic evaluations, it’s highly important to also reserve professional cleanings on a regular basis. Most people benefit from preventative care visits every six months.