While orthodontic appliances do the physical work in correcting crooked and crowded teeth, it’s up to you to ensure your devices are capable of delivering your desired results. Maintaining your Invisalign® trays with a routine that prevents deterioration and damage can help you achieve the smile you envision.
While undergoing Invisalign treatment, correction occurs gradually as you change trays every two weeks. The trays are customized to cover every surface of your teeth. Mishandled or damaged trays may not align properly on your teeth and can fail to move teeth to their new appropriate positions, leaving them misaligned for the next set of trays.
As a result, allowing trays to weaken from bacteria, food debris, or physical damage can interfere with the results and timing of your predetermined course of treatment.
At 2K Dental, dentists George Kontoveros, DMD, and Anthony Klobas, DMD, administer expert Invisalign treatment to patients of all ages. Our team assesses your need for orthodontic treatment with advanced imaging technology and designs an individualized Invisalign plan to restore normal appearance and oral function.
Your success with Invisalign depends on following your dentist’s recommendations regarding the proper handling and care of your trays. Find out what to do to ensure your trays remain capable of providing the smile you desire.
Begin your day with clean trays
While you sleep, your trays become coated with a sticky film. Allowing the film to remain in place creates the perfect setting for tooth decay and bad breath. Cleaning your trays every morning ensures you start your day with fresh breath and clean teeth.
Use lukewarm water to clean trays
While cleaning your trays is essential to maintaining their effectiveness, following the right procedure is important. Only use lukewarm water to clean your trays.
Exposing your trays to very hot or very cold water can allow the trays to expand or contract out of shape. Even the slightest change in the shape of your trays can reduce their effectiveness and change your results.
Follow the correct cleaning technique
Properly cleaning your trays involves removing both food debris and bacteria from all the surfaces of your Invisalign trays. Without proper cleaning, your trays can become yellow and foul-smelling.
To avoid discoloration and odor, you must soak the trays in a retainer cleaner, a solution of hydrogen and water, or antibacterial soap. You can also use Invisalign cleaning crystals made by the manufacturer.
In addition to soaking your trays, use a soft toothbrush to gently brush your trays to remove plaque and dried debris. Use a toothbrush set aside specifically for this purpose. Don’t use toothpaste because its abrasive properties can damage and scratch the surfaces of your trays.
Always rinse trays after removing them
While you’ll be wearing your Invisalign trays between 20-22 hours daily, you’ll remove your trays to brush your teeth and eat. When you remove your trays, it’s wise to immediately rinse them, so you don’t replace them without doing so.
Rinsing your trays removes the natural bacteria that accumulate on their surfaces when the trays sit in your mouth. Regular rinsing prevents the bacteria from building up on your trays.
Brush your teeth before replacing trays after eating
Returning trays to your mouth without brushing after eating can seal food debris between your teeth and trays. Allowing this material to remain can allow plaque to form, making your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. You can protect the health of your teeth by removing bacteria and food debris with proper brushing and flossing.
Avoid colored drinks when wearing trays
You can risk staining your trays if you leave them in your mouth when you drink dark or colored liquids. To prevent discoloration of your trays, always remove them before consuming coffee, tea, wine, or any colored liquid.
Protect trays from damage
While virtually invisible trays can help you straighten your teeth discreetly, they can be easily overlooked or misplaced when you remove them. You can prevent losing or damaging your trays if you remember to place them in the plastic case you received at the beginning of your treatment.
Using a protective case can help you avoid accidentally throwing away your trays while eating. It’s not uncommon for patients to accidentally dispose of their Invisalign trays by putting them in a napkin while eating. A case also helps you avoid changing the shape of the trays by leaving them susceptible to extreme temperatures or other types of physical damage.
Always save your most recent Invisalign tray if you lose or significantly damage your existing set of trays. Should this occur, contact our staff for guidance before using a prior or future set of trays so we can ensure you stay on track with your treatment plan.
Following recommendations for care and cleaning can help your Invisalign trays remain invisible and effective. To learn how Invisalign can help you achieve a stunning smile, call our office in Parma, Akron, or Cleveland, Ohio, today to arrange a consultation.