How to Take Care of Clear Aligners in Your Everyday Life
With innovations in orthodontics, getting a perfect smile is no longer a daunting process. Clear aligners can treat most teeth alignment issues and help you smile better and brighter. Aligners are easy to use and nearly invisible. Under proper supervision by a local dentist or orthodontist, treatment is considered safe, comfortable, and may be faster than traditional methods. However, clear aligners require care and attention to maximize their effect on the teeth. Here are a few simple steps you can do everyday to help keep the aligners clean, with less staining, and odor-free.
Clean and rinse the aligners every day:
Clear aligners should be brushed, and cleaned with mild soap and water and rinsed every day, especially in the morning, before bedtime. We also recommend brushing your teeth after each meal. When you sleep wearing the aligners, bacteria builds up in the teeth and the trays. Clean the aligners as a ritual just like brushing/flossing every morning and at night to keep them free from bacteria, plaque, and bad odor. Similarly, to avoid plaque and saliva building up in the trays, it is important to rinse them and clean whenever they are taken out of the mouth. This also helps to prevent discoloration. Luckily each set of OrthoFX trays is worn approximately 7 days, so you will have a fresh new aligner each week.
Brush and floss before reinserting:
Unlike metal braces, you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck in your brackets while eating when you choose clear aligners. But food can still get stuck in your teeth and wearing the aligners without brushing and flossing could lead to bacteria and plaque formation in the trays. Thus, maintaining oral hygiene every time before wearing clear aligners is essential to avoiding dental health issues including decay and gum diseases.
Do not use toothpaste to clean:
Toothpaste is not meant for clear aligners and could leave scratches on their surface, leading to discoloration. Ideally, clear aligners should be cleaned with minimal soap and rinsed well with lukewarm water. Do not eat or drink while wearing clear aligners: Food and drink can get stuck between the aligners and your teeth, leading to plaque formation and tooth decay. So remember to remove your aligners before every meal. To avoid staining, do not consume colored beverages (like tea and coffee) while wearing clear aligners. However, you can drink water with the aligners in your mouth.
Get yourself an aligner-care kit:
Once you wear clear aligners, they become a part of your daily rituals.. Clear aligners need care no matter where you go, especially if you are eating out or travelling overnight. Keep a dental travel kit handy with toothbrush, toothpaste, aligner case, floss, and mouthwash.
Treating your malocclusion with clear aligners requires consistency and discipline. The aligners need to be worn for 20-22 hours every day for effective results. Maintaining a proper cleaning routine and keeping track of the daily schedule are key to straighten teeth and a beautiful smile.