Lee Orthodontics

How to Care for Aligners During Invisalign Treatment

Posted on December 21, 2020

invisalign treatment

Finding an Invisalign orthodontist near you in Abilene, Texas is only the first step of your Invisalign treatment. In fact, the average time a person will wear traditional braces is about two years. Invisalign treatment is sometimes completed quicker than two years, but will almost always take at least six months to complete.

During this time, the patient must take care of the aligners used to straighten and position the teeth. Without proper care, Invisalign treatment can take longer, and be more expensive, than necessary because the patient may need to order replacement aligners.

Here are three tips for caring for aligners during Invisalign treatment:

Clean Aligners Gently

Aligners need to be cleaned. Ideally, you will be able to clean them once per day when you brush your teeth at night. Cleaning your aligners will prevent bacterial growth that can create odors and cause tooth decay. To clean your aligners you should:

  • Brush gently with a toothbrush: Gentle brushing can remove food particles and bacteria from the aligners. However, you should avoid overbrushing or brushing with stiff bristles because you can scratch the clear aligners.
  • Rinse in cool water: Invisalign aligners are made from thermoplastic polyurethane. Boiling your aligners or even rinsing them in hot water can melt or deform the aligners.
  • Use anti-bacterial soap: Toothpaste contains particles to polish your teeth. However, these particles can scratch clear plastic aligners. Anti-bacterial soap can clean the bacteria from the aligners without scratching the aligners.

Store Your Aligners in a Case

Ideally, you will wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours per day. Keep in mind that the more time your aligners are inside your mouth, the less time your Invisalign treatment will take.

However, aligners are meant to be removed while eating. When eating, be sure to store the aligners in a case to avoid:

  • Broken aligners: Although aligners are made from flexible plastic, the plastic can break if they are subjected to the wrong forces. Sitting on them, dropping them, or stepping on them can break them.
  • Lost aligners: Many aligners have been lost or accidentally thrown away after mealtime. Wrapping an aligner in a napkin or leaving it on the table could result in the aligner becoming lost when the table is cleared.
  • Dirty aligners: Leaving aligners exposed while you eat can risk bacteria or viruses landing on them. During the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists have found that water droplets carrying viruses can be carried on air currents more than six feet and can linger in the air for up to 20 hours.

Periodically Sanitize Your Aligners

In addition to your daily routine of cleaning your aligners, you will need to sanitize them periodically. Invisalign offers a range of cleaning products, including solutions and crystals, that are designed to disinfect aligners by killing bacteria and removing dental plaque from the aligners.

By taking care of your Invisalign aligners, you can have straight teeth without the expense and delay of ordering replacement aligners. Contact Lee Orthodontics today to learn more about Invisalign treatment and how to care for your aligners.