What Are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are a widely recommended dental or orthodontic device. These lightweight, transparent plastic trays are usually customized to fit your unique mouth and teeth shapes and are used to correct teeth alignment. Clear aligners are a popular corrective device for both patients and dental care providers because they are convenient, easy to use, and customizable. Best of all, they are also effective.
Clear aligners work by encouraging your teeth to slowly move in order to give you a straighter smile and may also be used to help close unwanted tooth gaps and eliminate pockets for the bacteria that cause dental disease. Most often, your Massillon dentist will give you a tooth aligner to wear for about two weeks. Then it will be replaced with a slightly different one to encourage your teeth to shift. This process will continue until the desired alignment is reached.
Top Tips For Clear Aligner Maintenance
In addition to wearing clear aligners as directed, proper care of your aligners is essential in order to achieve the results you’re looking for. Follow this comprehensive guide to effective maintenance of your clear aligners, and get ready your new perfect smile!
1. Rinse Your Aligners Each Time You Remove Them
Be sure you take a moment to carefully rinse your clear aligners in cool or lukewarm water every time you remove them from your mouth. This helps prevent staining and discoloration of your aligners by eliminating lingering saliva and plaque that may be left on the device.
2. Don’t Apply Toothpaste To Your Aligners
Many people think toothpaste will keep their aligners tasting and feeling fresh, but in reality, the micro beads and other abrasive ingredients in your toothpaste can scratch the resin that forms the aligner. This will cause discoloration and make your aligner uncomfortable in your mouth. Instead, before you put aligners back into your mouth, it’s a good idea to carefully rinse them in lukewarm water with a clear liquid soap and a dedicated toothbrush that is not the same one you use for brushing your teeth.
3. Gently Brush Your Aligners
Keep a separate toothbrush that is dedicated to brushing your aligners, using an antibacterial soap instead of toothpaste. Gentle daily brushing before re-inserting your aligner into your mouth will remove leftover food particles and will also eradicate the bacteria and plaque that causes bad breath.
4. Soak Your Aligners Once Daily
Ask your Massillon dentist for a recommendation for a denture or aligner cleaning solution. Alternatively, you can make a DIY solution by mixing water with vinegar. Soaking your clear aligners for 30 minutes each day will prevent bacterial growth, keeping your aligners clear and free of odors. Be sure to rinse your aligner when you remove it from the solution. Soaking your aligners during a meal, such as supper, can be an easy way to help you remember this important step of aligner care and keep it consistent.
5. Brush & Floss Your Teeth After Each Meal
Brush and floss your teeth after every meal in order to remove leftover food bits that could get stuck between your aligner and teeth. Not only are stuck food particles uncomfortable, but they can promote bacterial buildup inside your aligners that will cause discoloration and bad breath. A consistent oral hygiene routine will also prevent harmful bacteria from wearing away your tooth enamel and causing painful decay.
6. Do Not Eat Or Drink While Wearing Your Aligners
It’s convenient to keep your aligners in during meals, but your Massillon dentist will advise you to remove them every time you eat. Not only can foods get stuck between your teeth and aligners, causing staining and other problems, but they can easily become cracked from the pressure of chewing. It’s okay to drink water while your aligners are in your mouth, but be sure to remove them when you drink any other beverages.
7. Plan For The Unexpected
Take the best care of your aligners by being prepared for unexpected trips, errands, late nights at work, or lunch out with your friends. Pack a small kit or bag for aligner care essentials, which can include a spare toothbrush, small travel-sized toothpaste, and floss. Most people find it helpful to store this big in their car, desk, or purse so it’s ready whenever you need it. In a pinch, you can use the spare toothbrush to brush your aligners, but remember to use only water – never toothpaste.
Get The Best Care With a Top Rated Family Dental Clinic In Massillon
Pure Health Dental is an award winning family dental practice offering seven convenient locations in Ohio. We provide some of the best preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental solutions to our patients. To better serve you, we are able to work with a number of insurance companies and also offer an in-house savings plan so you can be sure to receive affordable dental care whenever you need it. At Pure Health Dental, you can expect skilled dentists, modern technology, and a pleasant environment for all of your dental needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment!