Oral Hygiene: How to Clean Clear Aligners – Forth Worth Orthodontist
Maintaining good oral hygiene requires a combination of three pillar factors:
- Daily brushing and flossing your teeth. Using a fluoride toothpaste will improve your efforts in this department.
- Regular appointments to have a professional cleaning with your dentist.
- Having straight teeth and jaws.
Many people ignore the huge impact teeth alignment has on oral health. Having misaligned teeth, it’s more than an esthetic issue. To avoid tooth decay, dental tartar, and gum disease, it’s mandatory to have excellent dental hygiene.
Why do you think molars are most commonly damaged with dental cavities? The position they hold in your jaw is not irrelevant in this matter. Molars are harder to reach, and we don’t always have the best access to revise them in the mirror. They also have an irregular surface that needs a thorough cleaning.
Tooth decay and gum disease all have in common their cause, bacteria. The accumulation of oral bacteria in your mouth causes issues as inoffensive as bad breath and as delicate as blood infections and tooth loss.
Dental hygiene has the same impact on patients under orthodontic treatment, whether they use braces or clear aligners. When you wear orthodontic appliances, you have to take care of cleaning your teeth and mouth, but also your appliances. Braces and clear aligners can hold bacteria if you do not clean them profoundly and regularly.
The process may seem tricky, but with the help of the internet and your Forth Worth orthodontist, you can learn the best practices to comply with your oral hygiene. You can forget about straight teeth while your mouth is not decay-free and healthy enough.
The Importance of Dental Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment
Maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. But why is it important to especially avoid these issues during orthodontic treatment?
As you know, orthodontics’ goal is to achieve a straight smile, and that’s only possible thanks to the pressure orthodontic appliances such as invisible aligners and traditional braces exert on your teeth. When you develop periodontal disease or cavities, your teeth, and soft tissues are fragile, meaning that applying pressure in these conditions can be risky.
A deeply decayed tooth can easily fracture. Conducting orthodontic treatment to an infected mouth only rises the risk of tooth loss. Not to mention that losing a tooth due to cavities can alter the whole treatment plan.
In less severe cases, poor dental hygiene can slow down your progress and make the treatment last longer.
How to Practice Dental Hygiene With Braces?
Now that you know the risks, let’s dive into the good practices to prevent them. Traditional metal braces make the cleaning process a little more complicated than normal because of the archwires and because, unlike plastic aligners, they are not removable.
Despite these minor difficulties, nowadays, you can count on many tools that will make your life easier. Floss threaders and interdental brushes will become your absolute besties. Of course, brushing thrice a day and flossing will always be fundamental.
Besides the two universal steps, these extra recommendations will help you a lot:
- Use fluoride mouthwash. It will help control the bacteria you couldn’t remove with toothpaste and floss.
- Avoid sugary food and drinks. Sugar is the favorite of bacteria, and it will accelerate the process of tooth enamel damage.
- Use a water irrigator. A Waterpik tool can level up your flossing game by reaching spots under your gumline.
- Never skip your professional cleanings with the dentist so you prevent the calculus buildup that leads to gum disease and decay.
Other types of braces, such as clear braces, require the same dental hygiene routine. For ceramic or clear aligners, it’s recommendable to avoid dark-colored drinks since they could stain your appliances and defeat the purpose of discretion. Learn more here – Forth Worth Clear Braces.
How Is Dental Hygiene With Invisalign
Invisalign clear aligners make the patient’s life easier in various aspects. Because invisible aligners are completely removable, they do not become an obstacle in the toothbrush’s way, and they allow dental floss to enter easily between your teeth.
Invisalign trays are also easier to clean than conventional braces. You can soak them in cleaners that kill bacteria but are safe for you; you can brush them and rinse them, something not possible when you use brackets.
You will not require floss threaders or interdental brushes with Invisalign, though a water irrigator can always help. The rest, the basis, is the same for both treatment alternatives: brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and avoiding excessive sugar consumption.
The extra step is that you have to brush your Invisalign trays daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid toothpaste since it is too abrasive and can alter the trays’ transparency.
How to Clean Invisalign?
There are many methods for cleaning your Invisalign trays. You can find the one that suits you better. The crucial part is to use a method or a product that eliminates bacteria and food debris without compromising your aligners or your health. Different types of antibacterial soaps are the best way to go.
Forth Worth – Clear braces are not the same as clear aligners; please note this. These procedures refer to hygiene practices for Invisalign aligners and plastic clear aligners. Fort Worth Clear ceramic braces require different practices.
Antibacterial Soaps to Clean Your Invisalign Trays
Invisalign has its own cleaning products. The Clear Aligners brand offers Invisalign Cleaning Crystals and different antibacterial soaps.
- Cleaning Crystals: You must dissolve the content of a packet in water and then soak your trays in it for at least 15 minutes. You have to rinse them with warm water before putting them back in your mouth. This product eliminates bacteria, plaque, and odors.
- Invisalign Aligner Cleaning Foam: This cleaning foam does not replace the daily brushing of your trays, but it helps to keep your mouth and appliances fresh and clean during the day. You apply the foam inside each tray, and rinsing is not necessary.
- Steraligner: This a type of soap solution, and it comes with a soaking tray. You pour the product into the sterilizing tray, add water to cover your aligners, and leave for 3 to 5 minutes. Brush them and then rinse thoroughly.
- Retainer Brite: This product belongs to a different brand, but it’s a safe alternative. The indications are the same as the Cleaning Crystals; you have to soak your aligner molds for 15 to 20 minutes, and you must rinse after.
Store Products to Sterilize Clear Aligners
You can also use common store products to clean your aligners. Make sure always to dilute this type of product with water since some of them might be too abrasive for your acrylic retainers.
- Baking soda: Baking soda can remove odors and bacteria if you mix it with water and create a paste to brush your trays with.
- White vinegar: Vinegar is always helpful in removing odors and bacteria. Use the white or transparent kind so you don’t stain your Invisalign Fort Worth. Soak your clear aligners for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
- Hydrogen peroxide: This is a household product you can mix with water to create a liquid solution and soak your clear aligners into it. As with the other brand or store products, you must rinse thoroughly with warm water before putting the trays back in your mouth.
- Dish soap: Dish soap can be an alternative if you don’t have any of the other products in hand. Apply a small amount and brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It’s paramount that you rinse off the soap carefully.
The best you can do is try a combination of these products (but not at the same time!). Use these tips on how to clean Invisalign with vinegar, and also try the brand cleaning crystals because it’s a product specially designed for this purpose, and it will remove bacteria better than anything.
Forth Worth Orthodontist – Clear Braces and Invisalign Aligners
Dr. Evan Perkins has a dental office prepared to offer the best orthodontic treatment in Forth Worth, TX.
The wide list of services at Perkins Orthodontics includes three types of braces (traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, and lingual braces), as well as surgery and Invisalign.