Beginning orthodontic treatment with Invisalign® is the start of your journey toward a straighter smile. With Invisalign clear aligner trays, you’ll have the advantage of wearing virtually invisible appliances while your teeth are gradually moved into their desired positions over time.
Like any orthodontic treatment, Invisalign requires your commitment to follow specific recommendations so you can achieve the desired results. You’ll enjoy optimal outcomes from your time and effort when you work to maintain your aligners and protect them from damage and deterioration.
The dentists at Rifkin Dental in Yorktown Heights and Carmel, New York, have the expertise necessary to administer Invisalign to patients of all ages. Our team determines your orthodontic needs with advanced technology and creates a personalized Invisalign treatment plan to improve oral function and appearance.
With Invisalign, you’ll achieve your goals by wearing a series of clear trays, called aligners, that are customized to fit around all surfaces of your teeth. Since you’ll be responsible for changing over to a new tray every week or two, as prescribed, it’s important to understand how to handle and care for your trays so they can deliver the expected results.
Clean trays every morning
Start your day with clean teeth and fresh breath by cleaning your trays every morning. Bacteria can build up on your trays while you’re sleeping. Cleaning your trays removes the film that can cause bad breath and create the right environment for tooth decay if left in place.
Rinse trays when you remove them
Wearing Invisalign trays requires removing them when you eat or brush your teeth. When doing so, rinse them immediately so you don’t forget to do it before replacing them in your mouth.
Every time you wear your aligners, they accumulate some of the bacteria that occur naturally in your mouth. Rinsing your aligners when you remove them from your mouth prevents this bacteria from building up on your trays.
Clean trays with lukewarm water
If you’re taking the time to clean your Invisalign trays, make sure you’re familiar with the proper technique. Only use lukewarm water to clean your trays because the extreme heat or cold may cause the plastic trays to expand or contract. The slightest change in the shape of your trays can affect their effectiveness and the results you achieve.
Use the right cleaning technique
Cleaning your aligners should include steps to remove both bacteria and food debris from the surfaces of your trays. Failing to properly clean your trays can allow them to yellow and develop an unpleasant odor.
To properly clean your trays, soak them in antibacterial soap, a retainer cleaner, or Invisalign cleaning crystals. You can also use a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water.
Set aside a soft toothbrush specifically for cleaning your retainers. Use it to gently brush your retainers to remove debris and plaque. Don’t use toothpaste since its abrasive properties can scratch and damage the surfaces of your trays.
Avoid exposing trays to colored drinks
The dye in colored drinks can potentially stain your trays if you leave them in your mouth when you drink. Always remove your trays before you drink any type of liquid to prevent damaging the appearance of your existing set of trays.
Brush your teeth before returning trays to your mouth
Returning trays into your mouth without brushing can trap food debris between your trays and your teeth. Doing so can promote the formation of plaque, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease. Proper brushing and flossing removes food debris and bacteria to protect the health of your teeth.
Store trays safely
Since your Invisalign trays are virtually invisible, it’s easy to misplace or overlook them when they’re not in your mouth. To prevent loss, it’s important to store your trays in the protective case you received when you started treatment.
Storing your trays in a protective case reduces the risk of accidentally throwing them away if you put them in a napkin while you’re eating. It also prevents damaging the shape of the trays by leaving them in places where they’re vulnerable to the effects of extreme temperatures or other types of physical damage.
Should you accidentally lose or dispose of an Invisalign tray, contact our office for instructions before using a previous or future set of trays in your rotation. It’s important to save your most recent Invisalign tray so you have it on hand in case of loss or significant damage to your existing set.
Taking time to properly care for your Invisalign trays can help them remain undetectable and effective. To learn more about achieving optimal results with Invisalign, schedule an appointment by calling our Yorktown Heights or Carmel office for rapid, expert dental care.