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How to Care for Your Invisalign Aligners

Investing in an Invisalign Aligner can improve your smile, your confidence, and your life. A large part of that investment is taking care of your aligners, and ensuring that they last the duration of your treatment. By adding a few easy steps to your daily routine, your Invisalign Aligner can be a simple, effective way to enhance your smile.

Invisalign is a clear, plastic retainer used for straightening teeth. Unlike braces, Invisalign retainers are not adhered to the teeth; they can be removed at any time. They are typically less painful or prone to breaking than braces, and can realign teeth in half as much time. Instead of having to schedule an appointment to have brackets moved or bands tightened, a new retainer is issued every two weeks. They are much less of a hassle, and can be a much more pleasant experience.

When used properly, Invisalign can be a safer, more convenient alternative to braces. However, they have to be cared for to yield the best results possible. To avoid complications, it is important that you cultivate care habits to keep your retainers clean and in good shape. But, with regular upkeep, your Invisalign Aligner guarantees you a straighter, healthier smile. At Arkansas Family Dental, we provide dental service for families in Little Rock and will guide you through the proper steps to take care of your Invisalign aligners.

Cleaning

One of the most important factors in caring for your retainer is keeping it clean. You should carefully clean your retainer each time you brush your teeth. Invisalign Aligners are made of a flexible thermoplastic  that food particles, plaque, and sugars can stick to, just like they do on your teeth.

While you can remove your retainer before eating, if you put it back on without brushing your teeth, this can trap particulates under the retainer. These food particulates can build up on your retainer over time if you do not take proper steps to remove them. If you put a dirty retainer back in over freshly brushed teeth, you end up coating your teeth in the grime and build up you just cleaned off of them.

How to Clean Your Retainer

  1. Remove your retainer and rinse it with water that is lukewarm or colder. Never use hot water on your retainer, as this can damage it.
  2. Use your toothbrush and toothpaste to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of your retainer. Be gentle, and work your way across your retainer in small, circular motions. Pay special attention to the inside grooves. Food particles can hide there, just like they do in your teeth.
  3. Once you have brushed your retainer, rinse it again, and then either insert it back into your mouth, or in its case to dry.

More Tips for Cleaning Your Invisalign Aligner

Each time you brush your teeth, plan to clean your retainer as well. You will need toothpaste, a toothbrush, and either a denture or retainer cleaner. It may be helpful to carry travel-sized products with you, so that you never have to skip a cleaning.

Do not use hot water to clean your retainer. As we mentioned, the retainer is made of thermoplastic, which can warp when exposed to high temperatures. Using hot water to clean it may change its shape and negatively affect your teeth.

If you notice a film or white build up on your retainer, soak it in either regular denture cleaner or a rinse specifically used for cleaning retainers.

Do not soak your retainer in mouthwash, as it may absorb the dyes, and leave you with a green or blue smile when using your retainer.

Storage

Aside from cleaning, the way you store your Invisalign Aligner can impact its life span, and the progress of your smile. Each Invisalign retainer comes with its own case. You should keep this case somewhere accessible and easy to remember. Keep your case clean, just as you would your retainer. Properly storing your aligners in their case protects them from damage, and from getting misplaced. Your Invisalign dentist in Little Rock can go through the cleaning process with you, and answer other questions you may have.

Eating

Your diet is also an important consideration in your care plan for your Invisalign Aligners. Just as your retainer can absorb the color of mouthwash, it can be stained with coffees, teas, and wines. Dark juices and vegetables like beets can even leave lasting color stains on your retainer, as well. If you do not want to cut these things out of your diet completely, you do not have to. Just try to reduce your intake as much as possible, and when you do eat or drink these products, remember to remove your retainer, and store it in its case. If that is not possible, be sure to rinse it right away in lukewarm water, and brush it as soon as you can to reduce the chance of staining.

At Arkansas Family Dental, we are proud to offer an easy-to-manage, less painful way to make your smile your favorite asset. We will work with you to decide whether Invisalign is right for you, and fully explain the financial and lifestyle commitment required for success. Contact us today at (501)683-8886 to schedule an appointment with our qualified dentists, and discuss the advantages of Invisalign.

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Samaria Mascagni

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