How to Clean Invisalign or K-AlignersIf you’re thinking about getting Invisalign or our custom in-office K-Aligner treatment, chances are you already know about the benefits Invisalign and our proprietary K-Aligners offer: • Invisalign and K-Aligners are both clear, making them virtually invisible while you’re wearing them
• The patented plastic material is completely smooth, so they’re really comfortable to wear.
• Invisalign and K-Aligners can be slipped off and on easily, making brushing and flossing a snap. Plus, since the aligners are removed for meals, you can eat what you want; there are no dietary restrictions like you’d have with traditional braces.
• Choose either Invisalign or K-Aligner’s custom design process, which may mean patients can complete their treatment in a shorter time period compared to the old-fashioned metal traditional braces.
After all, these are the most popular features of the Invisalign system and our custom K-Aligners, so it’s not surprising these are the benefits people hear about most often. But there’s one other major benefit of the Invisalign system as well as our K-Aligners that you might not know about: how easy it is to care for the aligners.
The ProcessSince Invisalign’s aligners as well as K-Aligners are each made of proprietary plastic materials, they’re easy to keep clean. You don’t need any special tools — just a little time and some common sense.
• Soak your aligners once each day.You can use special tablets provided by Invisalign or denture tablets you buy over the counter. Soaking helps remove film that can cause odors. Since you wear your aligners while you sleep, you’ll need to soak them during a meal or while you’re brushing and flossing.
• Gently brush your aligners (the interior and the exterior) using a soft-bristled brush. Brush after soaking and any time you brush your teeth. You don’t need to use toothpastes — in fact, many toothpastes are abrasive, which means they can wind up scratching your aligners. Soaking the aligners will kill germs and keep your aligners nice and fresh. Brushing just gives a little extra “oomph” to make sure germs and bacterial film are thoroughly removed.
• Rinse your aligners when you take them out to eat meals. Rinsing helps keep the aligners fresh-tasting when you put them back in your mouth, and it also helps rinse away any plaque or residue that might be clinging to the aligner surface. You should also brush your teeth before replacing your aligners after eating, or at least rinse your mouth thoroughly. If you don’t brush or rinse, you can wind up trapping food particles inside the aligners. Not only does that look really unattractive, but it can also irritate your gums and provide decay-causing bacteria with an easy meal.
• Don’t use soap to clean your aligners. Most soaps contain dyes or chemicals that can stain or discolor your aligners, making them more visible. Plus, soaps that contain scents and other additives can wind up leaving a bad taste in your mouth, and some chemicals in soaps can cause irritation.
• Don’t overdo it. Cleaning and soaking your aligners regularly is important for keeping your aligners in good shape and for keeping your breath nice and fresh. But that doesn’t mean extra-hard scrubbing is the key to good results. In fact, brushing too hard or using abrasive pastes can wind up scratching the aligner material and dulling the finish, which means the aligners will be more visible when you put them back in your mouth.
• Don’t eat with the aligners in your mouth. Keeping your aligners in place while you eat can wind up damaging the aligners, plus any natural or added colors in foods (or colored drinks) can stain the aligner material.
• Finally, always carry your Invisalign or K-Aligner container with you, and put your aligners in their container when you take them out for meals. The container is designed to keep your aligners in good shape until it’s time to swap them out for the next set of aligners.
Invisalign and K-Aligners are both easy to maintain and provide great results for patients wanting a straighter smile. If you have any questions about these services, feel free to call us or stop by our Franklin, Brentwood, or Spring Hill offices to speak with our doctors.