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Invisalign is all the rage when it comes to achieving straight teeth, and for good reason. It’s a revolutionary way to straighten your teeth without the hassles of braces. Aside from it being nearly invisible to the untrained eye, the removability makes eating, drinking and cleaning much easier than braces. However, it is important to take the proper steps to keep your aligners clean and well-maintained. You may have your Invisalign for months or years, depending on your case, and it’s important to get into good habits from the get-go to maintain good oral health during the process.

Here are Seven tips for caring for your Invisalign clear aligners.

1. Remove, Rinse, Repeat

As soon as you remove your aligners to eat, drink or brush your teeth, give them a good rinse. Do it right away so you don’t forget, as this step is crucial to eliminate as much bacteria as possible. Bacteria can lead to plaque, gum disease and bad breath. Why risk developing any of these unhealthy and unsanitary conditions when they can be avoided by a simple rinse? Make a point of developing this habit when you first start wearing aligners. Repeat it to yourself: Remove, Rinse, Repeat.

2. Brush and Floss Before Reapplying

If you haven’t guessed, keeping your mouth as clean as possible is also crucial during your Invisalign journey. Removing excess bacteria in your mouth will translate into a cleaner environment for your aligner and will help avoid bacteria buildup. This step is important and will help to keep your breath fresh, your Invisalign clean and your smile sparkly. Most dentists and hygienists recommend brushing and flossing twice a day, but with Invisalign, it’s crucial to do it before you put them back in - every single time.

3. Use Lukewarm Water

Plastic can expand or deform when exposed to extreme temperatures. For this reason, you should avoid cleaning your aligners with very cold or really hot water. Stick to lukewarm water and possibly an orthodontic-approved cleaning solution (check with us before using anything else). This will help your aligners keep their proper form so they can straighten your teeth properly.

4. Avoid Cleaning Your Aligners with Toothpaste

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste but do not use it to clean your Invisalign. Toothpaste can be too harsh for plastic materials, and it could potentially ruin your clear aligners or leave uncomfortable scratch marks. Be gentle with your aligners and resist your urge to brush them with toothpaste.

5. Stay Away from Drinks That Stain

Yes, you get to remove your aligners to take a drink, but anything that stains your tongue may also stain your clear aligners. Too many brightly colored Gatorades may give your aligners a strange blue hue, making your teeth look dirty all the time. For now, it’s best to stay away from colored drinks that have dye in them. You can reward yourself with bright blue Kool-Aid when you're done with your Invisalign treatment.

6. Use Their Case

You should be wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours each day, but when you remove them to eat or drink, don’t just throw them anywhere. Not only do you want to avoid losing them, but you also want to protect them. Many an aligner has met its fate in the hands of a toddler or the mouth of a puppy. It’s also important to clean your case regularly to avoid harboring bad bacteria.

7. Be Prepared

Life can throw us curve balls and sometimes food and drinks at social events. Plan for life’s spur-of-the-moment events by preparing a small kit that travels with you wherever you go. The kit might include your case, some floss and a spare toothbrush. Always keep the case with you so you always have a secure place to put your aligners. Wrapping them in a napkin at lunch is the leading cause of lunchroom trash can searches.

The cost for Invisalign in Arizona can be high. Forking out the cost to replace them due to cleaning them incorrectly or not at all is completely avoidable. Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness is always very important for your dental and oral health. Take pride in your clear aligners by following our recommended steps to care for and clean them. Remember the dos and don’ts, and your Invisalign journey will be a breeze. The cherry on top will be your beautiful new smile and sparkly clean teeth. It may sound like a lot of work but if you make these steps a habit from day one, then it will be a piece of cake. Just remember to remove them before eating a piece of cake.

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