Invisalign orthodontic aligner trays are a miraculous system for straightening teeth without having to wear braces, so only those you want to know will realize you are being treated. After 6-24 months, depending on how complicated your case is, you should have the perfect smile.
However, the outcome and how long it takes also depends on how well you follow the instructions for the optimum way to use the aligners. One of the most common mistakes is not to clean the Invisalign trays frequently and related oral hygiene habits.
When you sleep, bacteria is generated in the mouth that is manifested by a “coated tongue,” which is why many people scrape it off when they wake up. If you didn’t brush and floss thoroughly the night before, particles of food may have remained on the teeth when you put on your aligners before going to sleep, you should brush them with a separate toothbrush from what you use for brushing your teeth.
After breakfast, you should brush with an approved toothpaste for two full minutes (you don’t want to scratch the trays with anything too abrasive). If you use a mouthwash, make sure Dr. Song has looked at the ingredients to be sure they won’t stain the aligners. The same routine should be followed after dinner, when you should also thoroughly floss. Even while you are traveling, these routines can easily be followed for convenience.
There are other tips for keeping your Invisalign aligners clear and clean:
- If you drink coffee, tea, red wine, colored sodas, or dark foods, rinse your mouth out with water afterwards before putting the trays back in. If stains do occur, dip your tray brush into baking soda and lightly brush them. You can also soak them in a bowl of half warm water and half hydrogen peroxide for a couple of hours (or a solution that is half water and half vinegar for 30 minutes; water should not be hot, since that can change their shape).
- At least once a day, soak the trays for 20 minutes in Invisalign cleaning crystal solution (or a mild denture cleaner, but make sure it doesn’t start turning them yellow). You can also soak them in an antibacterial liquid solution.
- Keep the aligners in their case when you take them out to eat or drink, since they will otherwise attract airborne bacteria.
If you have questions about the optimum ways to get to your new smile, ask Dr. Song when you come in for your next exam. We offer orthodontics in the Berkeley and El Cerritos areas.
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