Clear aligners have revolutionised orthodontic treatment, especially for patients looking for a clear and discrete way to straighten teeth. There are a lot of benefits to choosing clear aligners to get you a beautiful smile, but you do need to take care of them properly. Not sure how to clean your clear aligners? You’ve come to the right place! Read on for the Dos and Don’ts of aligner maintenance.
Why Is Oral Hygiene Important?
Your mouth is home sweet home to millions and millions of bacteria and other microbes. Regular cleaning keeps the bad bacteria at bay but without adequate cleaning, plaque builds up and can cause:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Staining and discolouration
- Bad breath
Your aligners live in the same environment and although aligners are usually worn for only two weeks before they are disposed of, they still require cleaning.
Do Brush Your Teeth And Aligners Regularly
The benefit of aligners is that you may remove your trays while still maintaining your dental hygiene routine. It is critical to maintaining brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste. Brush your trays with a soft toothbrush and cool water after brushing your teeth. Do this every morning and evening to keep your aligners looking new. To clean your aligners, avoid using toothpaste or other abrasive cleaners.
Don’t Eat And Drink With Aligners In
To maintain the integrity of aligners, aligners must be removed when eating or drinking anything except cold water. This keeps the aligners clean, clear and strong, but also is the best way to keep your teeth clean. Tempted to have a quick sip of a clear fizzy drink? Who would know, right? Think again! Think of your aligners like a little paddling pool around your teeth. If you eat or drink with aligners on, sugar, acid and food debris can sit around the teeth putting them at serious risk of decay. Bad habits for as little as a week can cause permanent damage to her teeth.
Do Rinse Your Mouth After Meals And Drinks
Foods and drinks with colour – food colouring, turmeric, tomato pastes, drinks such as tea, coffee, and wine all have a lot of the potential to stain not only your teeth but will definitely stain your aligners.! It’s important to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after such foods and drinks.
Don’t Leave Your Aligners Out In The Open
Don’t leave your aligners out in the open when you remove them to clean your teeth or eat! Aligners are little, practically undetectable devices that are often misplaced. Wrapping them in a napkin in a restaurant might lead to disaster! When you begin your aligner adventure, you will be provided with a specific case to keep your aligners in if you need to remove them while out and about. You should also take precautions at home to keep aligners away from little fingers and paws. When the aligners are not in your mouth, they should be kept in their case.
Do Soak Your Aligners In Dedicated Aligner Cleaners
If you follow all the steps above, your aligners should squeaky clean! However, if they do look a little worse for wear, there are several great options to clean them. You will be given Retainer Brite tablets at the start of your aligner treatment. These tablets can be dissolved in lukewarm water and used to soak the aligners for 20-30minutes. Denture cleaning tablets can also be used. Whitefoam, from Eversmile, is a popular foaming product that can be sprayed on the aligner and left for a few minutes before rinsing – it gently lifts staining and whitens the aligners.
So now you know how to keep your aligners bright and sparkling as you zoom towards the smile of your dreams! If you have any questions about maintaining your aligners, don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist!