Choosing Invisalign clear aligners for orthodontic treatment is a great option for those who want a more discreet treatment option. Instead of noticeable brackets and wires, some people prefer a removable, invisible tray to straighten their smile. But clear aligners are only invisible if they stay clear, and keeping them clear between new sets can be a challenge. Below are some tips to help you keep your Invisalign aligners clean and clear, which will help you avoid being self conscious about your smile.
- Avoid food and beverages that stain clear aligners
While you should be taking your aligners out to eat a meal, are you removing them every time you have a snack or drink a beverage? Beverages such as red wine, tea, coffee, dark juices from beets and cherries, and soda can stain your aligner trays just as easily as they can stain your teeth! Drinking these beverages while wearing your aligners also allows the acidic liquid to bathe your teeth in acids and sugar for longer than normal, which can damage enamel. Be sure to remove your aligners each time you drink anything other than water, and brush your teeth before replacing them if possible. At the very least, use a straw while drinking with your aligners in place to reduce the risk of staining.
- Mouthwash is just for your mouth, not your aligner
You might use mouthwash to give your mouth that fresh feeling, so you can use it to clean your aligners too, right? Think again! While mouthwash is a great option for helping to keep your mouth bacteria-free, soaking your clear aligners in coloured mouthwash can actually stain your aligners blue, green, or purple. If you are looking to straighten your smile in a discreet way, having a blue smile is not the best approach! Talk to your orthodontist about the safest way to use mouthwash with your clear aligners, and never, ever, soak them!
- Don’t go for harsh cleaners
If your clear aligners are looking particularly stained or dirty, it may be tempting to take them out and strub them with harsh cleaners or even your toothbrush to try and brighten them up. Abrasive cleaners can leave your aligners cloudy and scratched, which opens up even more crevices for bacteria to hide. Luckily for you, there are specialty products made for cleaning aligners, so ask your orthodontist which are the best and safest to use.
- Develop a solid aligner cleaning routine
Anything that builds up on your teeth can build up on your clear aligners too. That means that the sticky bacteria film, called plaque, can stick to your teeth and aligners over the course of the day. It is important to maintain a thorough cleaning schedule for both your teeth and aligners to avoid tooth decay and keep your aligners looking clear and fresh. Your orthodontist can provide the best methods for routinely cleaning your aligners along with suggestions for a schedule that might work for you.
By sticking to the above tips, you can make sure that your aligners stay clear and your orthodontic treatment stays as discreet as possible before you are ready to unveil your healthy new smile. If, despite your best efforts, your aligners do become stained or discoloured, speak to your dental professional about options. If you are starting on a new set of aligners, they may be able to replace them so that you don’t have to wait until your next new set comes in.