Now that you have made the decision to use orthodontic aligners to create your winning smile, you will need to make sure you keep them clean at all times. If you don’t clean the aligners on a regular basis you will create a setback in your schedule for achieving the smile you deserve.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you don’t do anything that will cause stain to your aligners. If you follow the guidelines below, you are helping to reduce the build-up of stains on your aligners. But remember, these guidelines are preventive maintenance and do not take the place of cleaning your aligners and keeping them spotless and smelling fresh.
- Remove your aligners while chewing food
- Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting the aligners
- Avoid drinking beverages that have artificial dyes
- Use the correct types of cleaner and mouth rinses
- Don’t put foreign objects such as ink pens inside your mouth
- Don’t use denture tablets to clean your teeth or aligners
- Avoid placing aligners on colorful surfaces that can stain the devices
- Keep aligners in protective trays to prevent damage
- Drink water frequently to rinse your mouth and aligners
The next thing you need to do is clean your aligners. You should have an organized schedule for cleaning as bacteria may build up that will have a negative effect on your health and the health of your teeth so cleaning on a schedule is of the utmost importance. Additionally, failing to clean your aligners frequently will minimize the lifespan, quality, and the comfort of the aligner. It is recommended that cleaning take place two times each day. If you do not follow an organized schedule for cleaning your aligners a white film will form covering the aligner. This film is plaque. Plaque buildup is the primary reason why dentists recommend that their patients brush their teeth frequently. If plaque begins to build up on your aligners, it can be almost impossible for you to clean it off well.
To insure a thorough cleaning first remove the aligner from your teeth. It is impossible to thoroughly clean your aligners while you are still wearing them. If you attempt to do this, it is likely that you will miss some of the problem areas. When removing your aligner, follow the instructions you received from your doctor about how to put on and remove the aligners.
Always use a soft toothbrush to clean your aligners. Your aligners can develop a growth of bacteria, so make sure to have a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the aligners at least once a day. Use gentle motions to remove debris from the inside and outside of your aligners to avoid damaging the items. Never forget to rinse off your aligner. Once you have cleaned it, use a steady stream of water to remove any residual cleaner. Use warm water, but not hot water. Hot water could cause aligners to lose their shape.
Use antibacterial soap to wash your aligners. Find a clear soft antibacterial soap at your local drugstore to wash your aligners occasionally. To eliminate bacteria from the plastic, use only a tiny drop of soap combined with cool water to wash the aligners gently.
It is very important to floss and brush your teeth. Always brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to remove food particles that can stain your plastic aligners. If you can also perform oral hygiene at lunchtime, then it is recommended so that you can keep your aligners cleaner.
It is also important to soak your orthodontic aligners when needed. You are required to wear your orthodontic aligners for the majority of the day or night. However, if your plastic aligners are discolored, then you can soak the items to remove debris. Place the aligners in the tray and fill with cool water to soak the devices overnight. Never soak your aligners in mouthwash. It is unnecessary and could damage the aligner. As long as you regularly brush your aligners, they will stay clean and will be bacteria free.
Remember to also keep your aligner trays sanitized. Make sure to keep your orthodontic aligner trays sanitized to prevent any transference of debris such as food particles or bacteria. You can rinse your aligner trays with cool water, or you can brush the items with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
When you are finished with the cleaning process, put the aligner on a towel and let it dry. Wet aligners should not be put back into your mouth. While you are allowing your aligner to dry, take the time to brush and floss your own teeth. There is no benefit to cleaning aligners if you are going to apply them on dirty teeth. It is suggested that you use an antimicrobial mouthwash because the aligners can increase bacteria growth in your mouth. You are then ready to put the aligners back in your mouth once they are completely dry. Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions for reapplying the aligners.
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