Whether you're using the Invisalign system to straighten your teeth or to keep your teeth straight after orthodontic treatment, caring for your aligners/retainers is a must. Without proper care, these transparent aligners can become easily stained or otherwise damaged. Not sure where to begin when it comes to caring for your Invisalign trays? Keep a few tips in mind, and be sure to ask your dentist or orthodontist for additional tips.
Stay Away From Abrasive Toothpaste
Ideally, you should be brushing your Invisalign retainers every time you brush your teeth (at least twice a day). This is the best way to remove food debris that can cause staining and even odors over time. However, be careful about the type of toothpaste you use on your retainers, as abrasive toothpaste can create surface scratches on your retainers. Specifically, you'll want to stay away from toothpaste that contains baking soda, as it is a known abrasive.
Soak Your Retainers For a Deeper Clean
While you don't need to soak your retainers daily, it's a good idea to soak them in a retainer-cleaning solution at least once or twice a week. This can help to remove stains before they become permanent while also neutralizing odors and keeping your retainers looking their best. You can find retainer-cleaning solution at your local grocery store, or you can make your own by mixing a 50/50 ratio of vinegar and water.
Rinse Your Mouth Before Wearing Your Retainers
In a perfect world, you'd be able to brush your teeth before putting your retainers in. However, this may not always be possible, especially if you're not at home. In these cases, it's a good idea to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water before putting your retainers back in. This can help to get rid of food debris that could otherwise stain or damage your retainers.
Take Your Retainers Out Before Using Mouthwash
Mouthwashes often contain blue or green dyes that can discolor your retainers over time, so it's best to remove your retainers before you use any mouthwash. This will also allow the mouthwash to better clean and freshen your mouth.
Caring for Invisalign retainers does take a little bit of time and effort. However, with the proper care, you can keep your aligners looking like new for a long time to come, which could save you hundreds of dollars in replacement costs along the way. Learn more by contacting dentists who offer Invisalign services.