How Can I Clean My Clear Aligners?

woman holding clear plastic aligner in Seattle WA

Clear aligners in Seattle, WA are a popular way to straighten your teeth. Because they are discreet and removable, many patients prefer this system over traditional metal and wire braces.

If you’re considering clear aligners or Invisalign—or if you already have a discreet orthodontic system—you may be wondering how to properly clean and care for your aligners.

Let’s discuss clear aligners and best practices for keeping them clean and functional.

What Is Invisalign in Seattle, WA?

Invisalign is a system of invisible tooth aligners that straighten teeth over a predetermined period. Clear braces start with a visit to our dentist. At this initial consultation, you’ll discuss what you’re looking for in a new smile, and your dentist will tell you how a product like Invisalign might help.

At this appointment, your dentist will also talk to you about the treatment timeline—an average of 18 months—and cost.

If it’s decided that Invisalign is the way to go, we take impressions of your teeth and ship the results to the Invisalign lab. Once there, the people at Invisalign craft your custom aligners. When these arrive at our dental office, you come in to pick them up and have a chat with your dentist or a member of our team.

When you pick up your aligners, you may notice tiny dots on the trays corresponding with attachments on your teeth. These are to help anchor your aligners and move your teeth into position. These dots will not be noticeable to anyone you’re speaking with or when you smile.  

Taking Care of Your Clear Aligners

You wear each aligner for approximately two weeks or based on your dentist’s instructions before moving on to the next. Fortunately, you can take your aligners out to brush your teeth and eat your meals.

Even though you can remove your aligners for brief periods, you still want to keep them clean because they will be in your mouth for 22 hours per day. If you don’t keep them clean, you may develop cavities, gingivitis, and oral infections.

Cleaning and caring for your aligner is simple, and the steps include:

  • Rinsing your aligners each night before sleep
  • Rinsing your mouth thoroughly after brushing and flossing
  • Brushing your aligner gently with mild soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Storing your aligner in the correct case when eating your meals

When you rinse or clean your aligners, we recommend room temperature water for best results. Anything too hot can damage the clear plastic.

Invisalign also sells a special cleaning kit with instructions. We recommend talking to your dentist about this specialized Invisalign care kit.

Another part of caring for your aligners includes following your dentist’s instructions. For example, your dentist will let you know when to change your aligner and how many hours per day you should wear it.

Additional Care for Your New Straight Smile

woman on beach smiling l seattle wa dentistFollowing therapy with clear aligners, your dentist will issue you a clear retainer. This retainer is a way to keep your teeth in proper alignment. Failure to wear your retainer can encourage your teeth to revert to pre-orthodontic positions. This failure is called an orthodontic relapse.

You’ll typically wear your custom retainer only at night. And you care for it the same way you cared for your clear aligners.

Your dentist may provide more specific instructions for retainer wear based on your unique case.

Besides using your retainer according to your dentist’s schedule, you’ll also want to brush and floss your teeth at least two times each day and visit our dental office for check-ups and teeth cleanings twice yearly—just as you did before orthodontics.

For More Information About Clear Dental Aligners in Seattle, WA, Give Us a Call

Helping you reach your smile objectives always makes our team happy. So reach out today to get started toward your new smile. And always call our office if you have questions about aligner care and upkeep.

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