Invisalign 101: How to Keep Your Tray Clean and Fresh

Invisalign 101: How to Keep Your Tray Clean and Fresh
dental care

Investing in Invisalign is one of the best things you can do for your smile; after all, more than 32% of people claim that they’re concerned by the look of their teeth. Whether you’re suffering from crooked teeth, an uncomfortable bite, or gaps you’d rather see gone, Invisalign trays are the best alternative to traditional braces.

But just because they’re easy to use doesn’t mean that they’ll always be a walk in the park. While Invisalign retainers are great for straightening your teeth with minimal effort, it’s up to you to keep them clean and smelling fresh. Between poor dental habits, improper cleaning, and pungent foods, it can be tough to maintain a healthy smile as you straighten your teeth.

If you’re considering investing in Invisalign or struggling to keep your current retainer clean, rely on these refreshing tips to maintain a healthier tray.

Clean your retainer — and its case

While rinsing with water can clear your retainer of debris, it doesn’t actually clean the tray from germs or bad smells. That’s why it’s essential to clean your retainer each time you remove the tray from your mouth. This includes when you eat, brush your teeth, or drink a particularly staining beverage.

Your best bet is to start carrying around a soft-bristled toothbrush with you wherever you go. These soft bristles won’t scratch your retainer and they’ll gently scrub away any buildup on your retainer that you’ve accumulated throughout the day. You should brush your retainer at least once per day to keep your tray in good condition. If you don’t, you might start to see yellowing, cracking, or even mineral build-up over time. Whenever you clean your retainers, you should also do so in cold or lukewarm water — when warm or hot water is introduced, you might bend or misshape the plastic.

However, it’s also vital to clean your case. It’s always best to remove your Invisalign retainers while you’re eating, but placing these dirty trays in its case can lead to bacteria build-up where you store it. Rinse and wash your case regularly but be sure to dry it appropriately when you’re done. Otherwise, you might start to experience issues with mildew or bacteria.

Avoid staining foods and drinks

Red wine, coffee, cigarettes: these are all common things that create yellowed or stained teeth. And just like they stain your teeth, these items can also stain and discolor your Invisalign trays. If you ingest these products while wearing your Invisalign retainers, you’ll soon find that your trays will be harder to keep clean, smell worse, and look even stranger.

Your best bet is to drink clear liquids when wearing your Invisalign trays; save the wine for dinner. Drinking water can also help clear away some potentially dangerous bacteria accumulating in your mouth, so hydrating regularly is good for your body and your retainers.

Some say that you might be able to drink coffee through a straw to avoid tray staining, but this point is up for debate. Your best bet is to limit drinking staining beverages to meal times when you’d naturally take out your Invisalign retainer anyway. Brush your teeth before putting them back on to avoid further issues — and, of course, clean your retainers regularly.

Some people might also be tempted to clean their retainers with mouthwash. It’s essential that you never do this! Most of the time, mouthwash is colored to look more aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, this dye or coloring can also stain your Invisalign retainers. Unless you want to walk around with blue-tinted teeth, stick to water.

Invest in your dental care

If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, your Invisalign retainers will show it: all that tartar and plaque you fail to remove from the surface of your teeth will inevitably show itself on your clear trays. Worse yet, you’ll start to notice a funky smell and hard-to-remove mineral build-up. If you’re constantly having issues with dirty trays, it’s time to invest in your oral health and dental care habits.

Even though brushing after every meal is a necessity for Invisalign users, many will fail to perform the other necessary habits that keep your mouth healthy. This includes flossing twice per day and using mouthwash to clear away any remaining plaque and bacteria. You should also keep up the habit of visiting your dental care provider every six months for an oral health check-up.

These are just some of the ways you can keep your retainers looking great and feeling even better. When you want to learn more dental care tips regarding your Invisalign retainers, rely on the dentist in Lake Ridge VA you can trust: Lake Ridge Dental.

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