6 ways to care for your clear aligners

Clear aligners have become one of the leading choices for those looking to straighten their teeth. These are made from medical-grade plastic and provide a hassle-free and aesthetically pleasing alternative to wire braces.

Many people have opted for this particular type of treatment because it is less irritating and more straightforward to look after than other braces. However, that does not mean clear aligners don’t require top-notch care while you are using them.

Why is it necessary to clean your aligners daily?

Much like our oral health, it’s important to look after the tools we use to take care of our teeth (such as our toothbrushes). 

Your aligner spends most of its time in your mouth, meaning that it’s exposed to an array of food and bacteria that can get caught and build up over time if not properly cleaned regularly. The result can be complications such as bad breath, tooth decay, cavities, etc.

The invisible aesthetic is one of the many factors that people prefer when it comes to clear aligners, but without proper care, the aligner can become cloudy or stained. The impact on your smile will be negative, causing low self-esteem and poor oral hygiene.

Here are a few tips for looking after your clear aligners.

1. Remove your clear aligner before eating and drinking

Eating and drinking with an aligner are uncomfortable, but they can also cause damage to the device. Often the food and beverages that we consume can be harsh and cause stains or cracks in the aligner. Therefore, it’s always ideal to allow your aligner a break during meal times. However, you also don’t want to get any food stuck inside your aligner, as this can lead to a build-up of harmful bacteria.

2. Rinse your aligner regularly

Unless you’re planning on cleaning your aligner, always give it a rinse when removing and reinserting. Rinsing your aligner with room temperature water provides a quick wash to eliminate any dirt or bacteria on the surface, avoiding smelly odours.

3. Clean your teeth before reinserting your aligner

Before reinserting your aligner, brush and floss your teeth to provide a clean base for it – it’s especially crucial to clean your teeth after eating and drinking. By cleaning your teeth, you will remove any food decay or bacteria that could potentially harm your teeth and clear aligners while it’s in your mouth.

4. Soak and wash your aligners daily

Apart from rinsing your aligner and brushing your teeth, you also need to clean and soak it. Use gentle toothpaste or clear liquid soap with a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the aligner and remove any build-up. Regular cleaning with the right materials will ensure that your aligner is clean while not damaging or tainting.

Soak your aligner alongside cleaning it to take extra precautions for removing all the bacteria and helping it stay completely see-through. Aligner cleaning crystals in lukewarm water provide the ideal soak for your aligner. Leave it to soak for 15 minutes before rinsing and reinserting or storing it.

5. Avoid harsh chemicals

Aligners can be easily eroded or stained if the incorrect cleaning agents are used. Avoid mouthwash or denture cleaner to soak your aligner, and make sure that you use a clear and gentle cleaning solution to brush the aligner. Certain toothpaste is too harsh and will cloud or erode the aligner.

6. Store your aligners in a case

Your aligner will benefit significantly from being stored correctly, so try to make it a habit to pack your Clear Aligners in its case each time you take it out. Make sure that the aligner is clean before placing it into the case, and also regularly clean the case so that you don’t end up putting your clean aligner into a dirty case.

Above all, you should try to create a care schedule for your aligner that fits into your daily routine to continue your regular cleaning and maintain your oral hygiene without compromising your own time or schedule.

To learn more about clear aligners, visit our website.

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