Did you know that by age 30, 47% of individuals have signs of periodontitis?
If you’re one of these individuals and are interested in pursuing Invisalign, you want to avoid cavities and buildup along your teeth. Cleaning your teeth along with your Invisalign should be done with care.
If you don’t want to damage your Invisalign, take note of these cleaning mistakes with Invisalign and find out how to avoid them.
1. Neglecting to Brush and Floss
One of the most common mistakes when cleaning Invisalign is neglecting to brush and floss. Proper care for your aligners and teeth helps to reduce the chances of an infection or other oral health issues.
When food particles and bacteria are trapped between your teeth, they can quickly transfer onto the aligners. This leads to bad breath, cavities, and potential discoloration. Thus maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine.
To avoid this mistake, always brush and floss your teeth before inserting your aligners. Doing this removes leftover food particles that can get trapped between teeth, which can cause plaque and decay. Along with brushing and flossing, regularly use a mild soap and lukewarm water to rinse off the aligners.
This mixture will help prevent bacteria or plaque buildup in the trays. Furthermore, take a few minutes each day to brush your trays with a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste for extra protection.
2. Using Toothpaste to Clean the Aligners
One common mistake people make when cleaning their Invisalign aligners is using toothpaste. Toothpaste is excellent for cleaning natural teeth. But, it can be too abrasive for the delicate aligner material. Toothpaste contains abrasive ingredients like:
- calcium carbonate
- baking soda
It can create tiny scratches on the aligners’ surface over time. It makes them more visible when worn and compromises their transparency.
Instead of using toothpaste, it is recommended to use a mild, non-abrasive antibacterial soap.
To clean your aligners, gently brush them with a soft-bristle toothbrush and the cleaning solution. Make sure to clean both the inside and outside surfaces. Rinse the aligners with lukewarm water to remove any residue.
3. Visiting the Wrong Dentist for Invisalign Maintenance
Visiting the wrong dentist for Invisalign maintenance is one of the most common mistakes associated with caring for Invisalign. Before and during treatment with Invisalign, it is essential to ensure that you see an accredited Invisalign provider who is specifically trained to treat with the Invisalign system.
This specialist is critical in providing successful treatment for the best results. Improper cleaning of the aligners can cause them to become cloudy, stained, and generate a bad taste.
In some cases, the aligners can also lose their shape if not cleaned properly, which may cause them not to fit correctly. You can ensure your Invisalign treatment succeeds by selecting a cosmetic dentist for Invisalign and following all necessary cleaning and maintenance activities properly.
4. Using Hot Water for Cleaning
It’s important to avoid using hot water during your Invisalign cleaning routine. It can cause them to warp or lose their shape. Invisalign aligners are made from a thermoplastic material. It can become pliable when exposed to heat.
Hot water can lead to distortion. It will affect the aligners’ ability to fit and apply pressure to move your teeth. To clean your aligners safely, always use lukewarm water. Lukewarm water is gentle enough to remove debris and bacteria. It will not compromise the aligners’ shape or integrity.
Rinse the aligners under lukewarm water to remove saliva, plaque, or food particles. You can use a soft-bristle toothbrush and mild, non-abrasive soap to brush the aligners. Use the correct water temperature and avoid hot water to ensure that your Invisalign aligners remain in optimal condition.
5. Exposing Aligners to Colored or Sugary Food and Drinks
Be careful with the food you are eating with Invisalign. One mistake that can harm your Invisalign aligners is consuming colored or sugary food or beverages while wearing them. Drinks like coffee, tea, soda, and other pigmented or sugary beverages can stain the aligners. It can contribute to bacterial growth.
The aligners can also trap the pigments and sugars against your teeth. This increases the risk of cavities and oral health issues. To avoid this, removing your aligners before consuming such beverages is crucial. Afterward, rinse your aligners to remove any residue.
Then, clean your teeth before reinserting them. This simple habit ensures that your aligners remain clear, hygienic, and stains-free. It will also safeguard your dental health throughout your Invisalign treatment.
6. Using Harsh Cleaners or Mouthwash
One mistake to avoid when cleaning your Invisalign aligners is using harsh cleaners or mouthwash. Specific cleaning agents and mouthwashes contain chemicals that can harm the aligners. This leads to discoloration, deterioration, or compromising their transparency.
It’s crucial to steer clear of alcohol-based mouthwashes and colored mouthwashes. Also, avoid using any cleaning products that are abrasive or contain harsh chemicals.
Instead, use gentle cleaners recommended for Invisalign or a mild antibacterial soap. These alternatives clean the liners without compromising their integrity. When cleaning your aligners, use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Use the recommended cleaning solution, brushing gently to remove any residue or buildup. Rinse them thoroughly with lukewarm water before placing them back in your mouth.
7. Storing Aligners Improperly
Improper storage of your Invisalign aligners can lead to hygiene issues and potential damage. Leaving aligners exposed to the open air can allow bacteria to accumulate, compromising their cleanliness and potentially causing oral health problems.
To avoid this, storing your aligners properly when they are not in use is essential. Always place them in their designated case provided by your orthodontist or Invisalign manufacturer.
This case protects the aligners from dirt, bacteria, and damage. Remember to clean the case regularly as well, to ensure optimal hygiene.
Avoid These Cleaning Mistakes with Invisalign
The biggest takeaway from this article is that proper care and maintenance of Invisalign is essential in getting the most out of your investment. Taking the time to understand and caution against common cleaning mistakes with Invisalign can help keep your device in top condition to straighten your teeth efficiently.
Discuss any concerns or potential cleaning issues with your orthodontist or a dental professional to ensure your Invisalign remains in excellent condition.