Clear aligners have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional metal braces in recent years. Not only are they more discreet, but they are also removable, making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene. However, with the convenience of clear aligners comes the responsibility of keeping them clean. In this blog post, we will discuss how to properly clean your clear aligners to keep them clear and free from bacteria.
Rinse them with water
The first step in keeping your clear aligners clean is to rinse them with water every time you remove them from your mouth. This will help to remove any saliva or food particles that may be stuck to them. It's important to note that hot water should not be used as it can warp or damage the aligners.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of clear, gentle soap, gently brush your aligners, paying particular attention to any areas with visible buildup or stains. Be sure to brush both the inside and outside of the aligners, as well as any nooks and crannies.
Soak them in a cleaning solution
Another option for cleaning your clear aligners is to soak them in a cleaning solution. There are many products on the market specifically designed for cleaning clear aligners. Follow the instructions on the package carefully, as some solutions may require dilution with water or a specific soaking time.
Avoid using toothpaste or mouthwash
While it may be tempting to use toothpaste or mouthwash to clean your clear aligners, it's best to avoid these products. Toothpaste can be abrasive and scratch the surface of the aligners, making them more susceptible to staining and discoloration. Similarly, mouthwash may contain alcohol or other chemicals that can damage the aligners.
Keep them in a case
When you're not wearing your clear aligners, be sure to keep them in a case to prevent them from becoming dirty or damaged. Avoid placing them in a tissue or napkin, as this can easily be thrown away or lost. If you're on the go, consider purchasing a travel case that can easily fit in your purse or backpack.
Brush and floss your teeth before putting the aligners back in
Before putting your clear aligners back in your mouth, it's important to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly to remove any leftover food particles or plaque. This not only helps to keep your aligners clean, but it also promotes good oral health and reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease. Remember, your aligners fit snugly against your teeth, so any bacteria or food particles left on your teeth can transfer onto the aligners, leading to discoloration or odor.
In conclusion, keeping your clear aligners clean is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and ensuring they remain clear and free from bacteria. By following these simple steps, you can keep your aligners looking their best and your smile healthy and beautiful.
How often should I clean my clear aligners?
It's recommended to clean your clear aligners at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. However, if you notice any buildup or discoloration, you may want to clean them more frequently.
Can I use regular soap to clean my clear aligners?
No, it's best to use a clear, gentle soap specifically designed for cleaning clear aligners. Regular soap may contain harsh chemicals that can damage the aligners.
Can I soak my clear aligners in mouthwash?
No, it's not recommended to soak your clear aligners in mouthwash as it may contain alcohol or other chemicals that can damage the aligners.
How long should I soak my clear aligners in a cleaning solution?
The length of time to soak your clear aligners in a cleaning solution can vary depending on the product. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully.
What if I accidentally damage my clear aligners while cleaning them?
If you accidentally damage your clear aligners while cleaning them, contact your dental aligner provider immediately. They will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action, which may include replacing the aligners.