Cleaning and maintaining teeth aligners is crucial to ensure their effectiveness and to keep your oral hygiene in check. But with all the conflicting information online, knowing the best way to clean your aligners can be challenging. Avoid the toothpaste, be wary of mouthwashes and learn how to clean your aligners from start to finish daily.
Wash Your Hands
Before handling your aligners, always wash your hands thoroughly to prevent transferring bacteria or contaminants onto the aligners. Not only is this an excellent personal hygiene tip, but keeping excess bacteria away from your mouth will make oral hygiene more manageable, too.
Remove the Aligners
Gently remove the aligners from your mouth. Use your fingernails to carefully pop them off your teeth, starting from the back and working your way forward.
Rinse with Cold Water
Hold the aligners under cold, running water to remove any saliva and leftover food debris. Hot water may damage the materials the aligners are constructed from, so using cold water will prevent unnecessary back and forth with your dental provider.
Brush Your Aligners
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush the aligners with clear, anti-bacterial soap or a mild, clear or colorless liquid hand soap. Be sure to scrub along all its surfaces, inside and out. And most importantly, avoid toothpaste, as it can be abrasive and leave a residue on the aligners.
Soak in a Denture Cleaner or Retainer Solution
After a brush, soak your aligners in a denture cleaner or a specialized retainer cleaning solution to remove any remaining bacteria and stains. Follow the instructions on the product for the appropriate soaking time, which is usually 15-30 minutes.
After soaking, rinse the aligners under cold water again to remove any remaining cleaning solution. Make sure there is no residue left on the aligners, as this can affect their transparency and taste unpleasant.
Inspect for Cracks or Damage
While cleaning your aligners, inspect them for any signs of cracks, damage or discoloration. If you notice any issues, contact your dental provider for a replacement and to discuss if you’re ready for the next phase of your aligner kit.
Clean Your Teeth
Before reinserting your aligners, brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. Clean teeth will prevent plaque and bacteria buildup under the aligners, making them easier to clean.
Reinsert or Store the Aligners
If you’re not finished with treatment for the day, gently place the cleaned aligners back onto your teeth. Make sure they fit snugly and are correctly seated. Store your aligners in their protective case to prevent loss or damage when not in use. Avoid leaving them out in the open, where they can accumulate dust or become lost.
Maintain Regular Dental Appointments
Continue to attend your regularly scheduled dental check-ups and follow-up appointments with your orthodontist. They will monitor your progress and ensure your treatment plan is on track.
By following these steps, you can keep your clear teeth aligners clean and in good condition no matter where you are. Whether you’re getting clear aligners in Florida or Montana, ensuring the success of your orthodontic treatment and maintaining your oral health means regular cleaning of your aligners and dental appointments to ensure you’re on the right track with your treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your aligners, don’t hesitate to consult your dental professional or orthodontist for guidance and support.