With the holiday season among us, we have compiled a list of tips and reminders on caring for your Invisalign aligners. This is a time of year where a variety of foods and drinks are in abundance, but that doesn’t have to ruin the progress of your Invisalign treatment.
Remember that Invisalign aligners are meant to move your teeth over time gradually, so if you’re not wearing your aligners during this holiday season, then the treatment will not be as effective. Taking good care of your aligners requires a bit of care and patience, but we are here to make it simple with these three general rules:
You are required to wear your aligners for a minimum of 20-22 hours a day. This gives you 2-4 hours to pencil in times for meals, snacks, and even a glass of wine or two, if you’re of age, of course. Keep in mind that the only thing you can consume while wearing your aligners is water. Any other foods and sugary or alcoholic drinks can damage and stain your aligners.
As long as you remember to put your aligners back in, after brushing your teeth and rinsing your trays, and stick as close to the 20-22 recommended hours of daily wearing, you will not interfere with your progress orthodontic treatment.
Aligner care kits are just that! A kit that includes anything and everything to care for your teeth and aligners. They allow you to eat anything you want, wherever you are. You can purchase a kit from your orthodontist, or you can make a customized kit that fits your needs. Aligner kits can include anything from a simple travel toothbrush, some toothpaste, floss, an aligner storage case, Invisalign cleaning crystals for soaking if you’re staying overnight, and even extra pairs of trays if you are traveling for longer periods of time. Just remember not to use toothpaste to clean your aligners unless your dentist has cleared it. Certain kinds of toothpaste contain ingredients that may be too abrasive and will scratch the aligners.
Making sure your teeth and aligners are clean is a crucial step. We already know that we should be rinsing our trays in cold water every morning and night to freshen them up and keep them looking clean and clear. This is because rinsing aligners will clear away any dried saliva or bacteria that may be lurking. This step is essential during the holiday season because we have more snacks between meals, which means more brushing and rinsing after every meal to avoid trapping food particles in your trays.
Please refrain from doing so if you cannot brush or floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in. Putting aligners back in without brushing can lead to staining, bacteria and plaque build-up, and bad breath. Leave your Invisalign trays in their case until you get a chance to brush and floss but try not to have them off past the recommended time limit.
Whether you have Invisalign, traditional braces, or neither remember, it’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy all year long. It’s important to take the time to monitor the number of sugary treats and drinks you consume and drinking in moderation. Remember to drink lots of water and, as always, practice good oral care.