Tips for Taking Care of Your Invisalign Trays

Having straight teeth is an important part of feeling confident about the way you look and about your appearance in general. But wearing metal braces for a few years can seem like a big price to pay for those good looks. Fortunately, the InvisalignTM system is designed to help you get straighter teeth and a more beautiful smile without the hassles of metal braces, and in less time too.

The Invisalign treatment process is pretty straightforward: Just wear your custom-designed aligner trays during the day and while you sleep, taking them off only to eat and brush your teeth, and change them out as directed to keep your teeth moving into perfect alignment. Made of a special, patented clear plastic that’s durable and (like the name implies) virtually invisible, the aligner trays hold the key to Invisalign’s effectiveness. During your treatment, you’ll wear anywhere from about 12 to 30 sets of trays, and each pair will be created specifically for you. Taking care of your trays is an important part of your Invisalign treatment — and fortunately, that’s a pretty simple process too.

Clean your trays properly

Just as you keep your teeth clean with regular brushing and flossing, you want to keep your trays clean and fresh, as well. Cleaning the trays regularly prevents bacterial buildup that can cause cavities and bad breath. To clean the trays, start by soaking them in the special solution provided by Invisalign or in a denture-soaking solution. Then gently brush the trays using a toothbrush with soft bristles. (Tip: Buy a brush that’s just for your trays; don’t use the same brush you use for your teeth.) Don’t use abrasive pastes, since these can wind up scuffing the plastic so the aligners will be more visible while you’re wearing them. And don't use soaps, which can contain harsh chemicals, scents or colorings that can damage the trays or make them taste odd. Rinse the soaking solution from the trays before placing them back in your mouth. 

Rinse regularly

Speaking of rinsing, you should rinse your trays with plain water every time you take them out for meals, too. Just use regular warm water from the faucet. or, if you’re out, a few squirts from your water bottle. Rinsing your trays regularly helps remove built-up bacterial film so your trays stay fresh, and you can avoid bad breath. While you’re at it, rinse your mouth thoroughly after meals and snacks and before putting your trays back in. Even better, brush your teeth. You want to be sure to remove tiny food particles before slipping those trays back on your teeth.

Don’t expose them to heat

Even though your trays are durable and able to withstand activities like biting and chewing, they’re made of plastic, and that means high temperatures can cause the trays to warp. When you’re not wearing your trays, don’t keep them on a hot car dashboard or any other area where they might be exposed to a lot of heat.

Use your storage container

Most of the time, your trays will be in your mouth. But when you take them out for a meal, don’t just leave them loose in your pocket or bag. Keep them in their special tray to prevent damage and keep them in good shape. Take the tray with you when you leave home in the morning so you have a safe place to keep your aligners during lunch or snacks.

Never eat or drink while wearing your trays

It's OK to drink water with your trays in place, but other beverages and foods can stain your trays and make them a lot more noticeable. Plus, when you eat with your trays in place, tiny food particles can wind up getting trapped inside your aligners, increasing your risk for developing cavities and gum disease (and making your teeth look dirty, too). 

And that's about all you need to know about caring for your Invisalign trays. Caring for your trays is pretty straightforward and really easy — just one more reason why the Invisalign system is so popular among patients from teens to adults. To learn more about Invisalign treatment at Millennium Park Orthodontics, contact the practice today.

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