Living with clear aligners for your teeth can seem daunting at first. You may think it has to change your entire life, similar to the way people think of getting braces. In reality, however, with a few helpful tips and adjustments, you can take good care of your aligners with little impact to your daily routine.
Drs. RJ Henneberg, Filip Orban, Alan Cazan, and Rachel Deininger all love to focus on helping their patients enjoy the day-to-day living that clear aligners can offer. These highly skilled and compassionate dentists are more than happy to help you learn the best ways to manage your aligners when you’re at home, and also provide routine checkups to make sure everything is going swimmingly.
You can make an appointment at Sunrise Dental of Spokane today in one of our two convenient locations.
1. Use cold, clean water to rinse your aligners
Whenever you take your aligners out, make sure to rinse them off with cold, clean water. If the water is too hot, it can warp the plastic of your aligners. (For the record, this can happen whether you wash your aligners with hot water by hand or put them in the dishwasher.) Washing your aligners helps you avoid saliva buildup and keeps them as clean as possible. Rinse them off every time you take them out, including when you eat, drink, and brush your teeth.
2. Don’t eat or drink while wearing your aligners
The reasoning for this rule is simple: Aligners can be easily removed, unlike braces. However, we also know the desire to eat or drink while wearing your aligners can be great. After all, it can be difficult to remove them every time you want to snack on something.
While we ascribe to the philosophy that it’s important to remove your aligners whenever you consume anything, make sure you avoid eating or drinking anything hot while you’re wearing them, as this can have the same effect as hot water.
3. Keep your teeth clean, too
Cleaning your aligners isn’t your only job when it comes to caring for them. You need to make sure you keep your teeth clean, too. Keeping up with your oral hygiene lessens the chances of plaque building up under your aligners, which could create problems down the road. This means brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. To be on the safe side, brush your teeth every time you remove your aligners, like after you eat a meal.
4. Use a toothbrush to clean them
Don’t just brush your teeth after taking your aligners out. You want to brush your aligners, too — very lightly, we might add, with a toothbrush. Also, don’t clean your aligners with toothpaste, but with antibacterial soap instead. This minimizes the chance of scratching your aligners, which is important, as a scratched surface can be visible when you’re wearing them — and you wanted them to be clear for a reason!
5. Use your aligner case
Whenever you take your aligners out to eat, drink, brush your teeth, or do anything else, make sure you keep them in their case. This keeps them from getting grimy or getting misplaced, both of which happen far too often when aligners are left on the bathroom sink.
Have more questions about your clear aligners?
We have the answers! Call 509-593-8349 for our Spokane office or 509-593-8351 for our Spokane Valley office. You can also request an appointment online. We’re always happy to help you with your dental questions as well as to set up follow-up appointments to check on your progress with your aligners.