dental aligners and cleaning tools

Choosing an orthodontist and deciding to use Invisalign to correct dental issues are only the first steps. These clear acrylic or plastic devices are typically appropriate for patients with moderately crowded teeth or minor spacing issues. Patients are usually instructed to wear them up to 22 hours per day. Unfortunately, alignment trays can harbor bacteria that could lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Any problem with oral health could lead to delayed or extended treatment times. The following tips will help ensure that you get the most out of Invisalign while also keeping your oral health in check.

At Home

Traditional braces are notoriously difficult to clean, clean around and floss properly. Invisalign users want nothing more than to keep their trays hygienic, odor-free, and transparent. Fortunately, these devices allow users to remove and clean the aligners, brush their teeth, and floss as usual. However, this is only the beginning in your efforts to maintain good oral health while using these devices. Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles become frayed. Invisalign users should also have a different soft toothbrush designated for cleaning the trays.

Toothpaste can cause scratches that will make your aligners more visible so you should use antibacterial soap instead. Ultrasonic cleaning devices use high-frequency sound vibrations to loosen food particles and bacteria and are easily found in housewares stores. Homebrew cleaners include the use of diluted hydrogen peroxide or a vinegar and baking soda solution. Invisalign cleaning kits remove plaque within 15 minutes. These cleaning crystals can be found for sale online for as little as $1 per use.

Things to avoid include hot water which can easily damage the devices and mouthwashes that can discolor Invisalign trays. Experts agree that users should try a clear denture or retainer cleaner instead.

On the Go

Luckily, Invisalign trays do not have the same restrictions on foods as traditional braces. The following tips can help you care for your device while out on the town working, running errands, or playing sports. The biggest advice is that aligners should always be taken out before eating or drinking anything but water.

Frequent snacking and sipping should be avoided as this causes the enamel to be subjected to constant acid attack. Not only that, you will be constantly removing your aligner and you may not wear them as long as instructed. Patients should try to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods increase saliva production that helps wash away food particles.

Also, coffee drinkers should eat something and then use a toothbrush and tongue scraper when they are finished. Coffee can not only stain your teeth, but also helps the bacteria in your mouth in the creation of acids that can cause your teeth to become thin and brittle.

While aligners are safer during sports than traditional braces, they will need to be removed when using a mouthguard. Therefore, these activities need to considered in order to follow your dentist’s instructions for wear-time.

Invisalign treatment has the opportunity to make oral hygiene easier for teens and adults than traditional braces. Good oral hygiene can help reduce a patient’s’ treatments time as compared to traditional braces. Not only that, but replacement trays can cost up to $50 a pair.