Not all braces require semi-permanent attachments to the teeth. The Invisalign system, for example, uses clear plastic aligners that are custom fitted to your teeth and designed to gently move the teeth into proper alignment. They are fully removable, which makes it easier to continue your usual brushing and flossing routine. The following tips will help ensure that you take proper care of the aligners.
Tip #1: Proper Cleaning Is Key
It's best to rinse your aligners in plain water each time you remove them to eat throughout the day. This ensures that saliva and plaque are removed, which minimizes the chances of staining. Soak the aligners once daily in a glass filled with water and an aligner or retainer cleaner. You can soak the aligners while you enjoy your evening meal, since you won't need to wear them while eating.
Tip #2: Preventing Food and Beverage Stains
Food can stain the aligners, so you will want to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before putting them back in after a meal. Even a small amount of food in a tooth, pressed against the aligner for several hours, can result in a stain. Many beverages, such as soda, juice or tea, can also lead to stains. Drink with a straw so the beverage is less likely to coat and stain the aligners.
Tip #3: Bring Along Protection
It can be very easy to break the aligners when they aren't in your mouth. Carry the aligner's case with you whenever you are out and about. This way, if you need to remove them for a meal you will have a protective case on hand to keep them in.
Tip #4: There's No Need to Brush
There really is no need to use a toothbrush on the aligners, since they should never be exposed to food particles. Avoid using any kind of brush or abrasive towel when cleaning them, since this can etch the plastic. Also, only use cleaners recommended for use on aligners or plain, undyed anti-bacterial soap. Toothpaste and other cleaners can be abrasive, which leads to scratches, and the dyes in some soaps can stain the aligners.
Tip #5: Always Follow the Replacement Protocol
When replacing the aligners after eating, always insert the front first and then move the back of the tray into position. When removing them, start at the back molars and remove toward the front. This will prevent damage to your teeth and to the aligners. To find out more, speak with a business like Port Orchard Dental Care Center.