If you have chosen Invisalign braces as a means of enhancing your smile by properly aligning your teeth, congratulations! You have taken a big step towards obtaining the smile of your dreams. Although caring for Invisalign is generally easier than if you had traditional metal braces, proper care and oral hygiene is important in order to get the most out of your new alignment system while keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
The Invisalign alignment system includes a series of clear plastic aligners that are designed to be worn over your teeth for a period of about two weeks per aligner, as they gently move your teeth into their desired position. The aligner is similar to a mouthguard and fits snugly over your teeth, completely covering them. Caring for these aligners is easy, since they can be removed from your mouth for cleaning and are also removed whenever you eat.
In order to get the most out of your Invisalign braces, here are some care instructions to follow:
- Remove aligners when you eat – One of the beauties of using this type of alignment system is that you can eat anything you want, without having to worry about wires being broken or sticky food getting stuck between brackets. All that you need to do is remove the aligners when you eat and you are free to eat what you want. Be sure when you remove them to keep them in a safe place because the clear aligners can easily be lost or accidently tossed in the trash if left on a napkin or on the side of your plate. Instead, place the aligners carefully in a case and store them safely away so you know exactly where to find them when your meal is over.
- Watch what you drink – If you remove aligners when you drink, you can drink anything you want. However, you do not always need to remove the aligners each time you drink, as long as what you’re drinking will not discolor the plastic. So, if you are drinking water, for example, you can keep aligners on your teeth, but if you are having a cup of coffee or glass of red wine, it’s best to remove them to avoid stains.
- Brush and floss regularly – Keeping your teeth clean is easy because you can simply remove your aligners in order to brush and floss according to your regular routine (at least twice a day). Keep in mind that germs, sugar and food particles can become trapped between your teeth and the aligners, so it is also a good idea to swish your mouth with water after eating or drinking and before putting your aligners back on if you can’t brush, to clean your teeth before they are covered.
- Clean aligners daily – At the same time as you brush your teeth, you should also clean your aligners. This can be done with a soft bristled toothbrush, some warm water and either a gentle toothpaste or the Invisalign cleaning kit. Just use a gentle circular motion to brush both the inside and outside of the aligners and then rinse with water. Make sure the water is not too hot, though, or you may warp the plastic.
- Deep clean as necessary – If you start to notice a cloudy white film on your aligners, it means you have a calcium build-up on the plastic and it’s time for a deep cleaning. To do this, remove the aligners from your mouth and soak them in either the Invisalign cleaning solution or a cleaning solution made for retainers or dentures. Follow directions carefully and don’t oversoak.
For more information about caring for your Invisalign braces, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.