Cleaning and Caring for Invisalign Aligners

By Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S. on September 09, 2019

Taking off an Invisalign aligner trayMany adults and teens have benefited from Invisalign®, an invisible alternative to traditional braces and orthodontic treatment. The clear aligner trays are difficult to detect, even when people are up close, meaning a simple and non-intrusive solution to crooked teeth at spacing issues.

Proper cleaning and care is essential for successful Invisalign treatment. Dr. Thomas Zarger would like to go over some of the basic instructions given to his Knoxville, TN Invisalign patients. This should help you understand what the procedure is like.

The Importance of Proper Cleaning and Care

Proper cleaning and care of Invisalign align aligners helps ensure that the Invisalign aligners retain their shape and function properly. While sturdy, it’s possible for Invisalign aligners to become warped if they are not handled or treated properly.

In addition, good oral hygiene while undergoing Invisalign treatment helps ensure that you fight cavities and tooth decay. Since your Invisalign aligners will be in your mouth for up to 22 hours a day, good cleaning means no food particles trapped against your teeth. This also helps you keep your breath fresh and clean.

Remove Aligners When Eating, Drinking, and Cleaning Your Teeth

The first thing that we stress to all of our Knoxville patients is that you need to remove your Invisalign aligners any time you eat, drink, or clean your teeth. Since taking off Invisalign aligners is pretty easy, this won’t prove to be any sort of inconvenience. (More on that in a bit.)

After having a bite to eat or a drink, be sure to rinse your mouth. Then rinse off your Invisalign aligners with cold water before putting them back on.

Note: You Can Drink Cold Water with Invisalign Trays On

If you’re having a drink of cold, clean water, you can keep your Invisalign aligners on as you drink. Cold water won’t cause tooth decay or increase your risk of gum disease, so it’s fine to have your aligner trays in.

Warm and hot water needs to be avoided, however, as these can warp the shape of your aligners.

Tips on Removing Invisalign Aligners

When removing aligner trays, be sure to start from the back of the tray along the molars. It’s usually easy to start at the back and pry forward. Be gentle as you get the tray free. Also keep in mind that it’s easier to remove the tray when your mouth is warm.

If needed, you can use a paper towel or a clean rubber glove to improve your grip on the aligner.

Cleaning Invisalign Aligners

Cleaning your Invisalign aligners is easy.

With your Invisalign aligner removed, scrub it clean using a non-abrasive gel toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles. Be gentle to avoid scuffing the surfaces of the aligner trays. You can also use proprietary Invisalign cleaning products if you wish.

Once you are finished brushing your Invisalign aligner, be sure to rinse it off with cold water before putting it back in your mouth.

Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth

You should brush and floss as you usually would to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease from developing. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing every night. Ideally, for fresh breath and a clean mouth, be sure to brush and floss after every meal.

Contact a Skilled Cosmetic and Restorative Dentist

For more information about Invisalign and why it may be an ideal option for you and your needs, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. You can reach Dr. Zarger in Knoxville by phone at (865) 693-7631.

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