If you’ve heard about Invisalign, the “invisible” way to straighten your teeth, you may be wondering about the maintenance. How do you take care of those little clear plastic trays?
At Modern Age Dentistry, Dr. Ali Saeghi can evaluate whether you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. He also offers this information about Invisalign and some tips on how to keep your Invisalign trays clean for optimum performance.
How Invisalign differs from traditional braces
Invisalign offers many unique benefits that are quite different from traditional metal braces. For starters, as the name implies, the aligners are nearly invisible, so they won’t be the first thing people notice when you smile. Also unlike braces, the trays can be removed when you eat, so you don’t have to worry about forbidden sticky or crunchy foods.
Your Invisalign trays are custom made to fit your teeth perfectly. You switch out the aligners about every two weeks, so each one moves your teeth just a bit so they gradually shift into their new positions, giving you a straighter, healthier smile.
How to clean your Invisalign trays
Since the trays can be removed from your mouth, you may be wondering how to keep them clean and sanitary. Without proper care, your trays can start to appear discolored (which means they would be more visible), and can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Fortunately, keeping them clean is relatively easy. Dr. Saeghi recommends rinsing your trays every time you remove them to remove bacteria and saliva, which can form a coating on the aligners. Rinsing also prevents your trays from developing a nasty smell.
If you take them out to eat, after rinsing them, place them in their case so they aren’t exposed to dirt and bacteria from the environment.
When not in use, soak your trays in a special denture cleaner for a few minutes. They can also be cleaned gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear antibacterial soap.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is another way to ensure that your trays are clean. Any plaque that is not removed from regularly brushing and flossing your teeth can make its way into your trays. Food trapped between your teeth and the aligners can contribute to tooth decay.
How not to care for your Invisalign trays
Don’t eat or drink with your aligners in your mouth (unless you’re just having water). You’ll want to keep the trays free from anything that can leave a residue.
While it’s a good idea to brush your trays with a toothbrush, you shouldn’t use your normal toothpaste, which can be abrasive and scratch the trays.
Colored soaps are not recommended because they can cause your trays to change color. Scented soaps aren’t a good idea either. Ask Dr. Saeghi about approved cleaning formulas specifically designed for the care and maintenance of Invisalign trays.
If you have questions about how to properly care for your Invisalign trays, or think you may have damaged them, call to schedule an appointment at any of our California locations in Los Angeles, Ojai, or West Hills. You can also schedule a visit using the online booking tool.