Clear Invisalign braces may be the best option for you if you do not want metal wires and brackets sticking out of your mouth. However, clear aligners may be more visible than you want them to be. To make sure the braces are as invisible as the their name implies, follow the tips below.
Use The Right Cleaning Tools
Invisalign aligners are made out of medical grade clear polyurethane. This means the aligners are perfectly harmless to your health when worn in the mouth. While polyurethane is a durable material, the aligner trays are meant to be slightly pliable. This helps to push the teeth into place gently without causing pain and soreness. The flexibility of the material means that it is a bit softer than a more rigid type of plastic. The soft nature of the aligners makes them easy to scratch. If the aligners become scratched, then they may pick up small bits of coloring agents and plaque that have been left on the teeth. This can lead to discolored aligners.
The most common way that Invisalign braces become scratched is when a regular toothpaste is used to clean them. Your cosmetic dentist or orthodontist will inform you that you should clean the aligners every time they are removed and placed back in the mouth. This helps to reduce the amount of bacteria that come into contact with the teeth. However, toothpastes typically contain abrasive materials that clear debris away by scraping it off the dental enamel. The abrasives can easily scrape the aligners. You will need to avoid toothpastes if you want to keep your aligners smooth. Even low abrasive toothpaste options that contain baking soda can scrape up the braces.
To clean your aligners, use plain hand or dish soap. Place a small amount of the soap on either a washcloth or a paper towel and wipe the inside and outside of the aligners. Rinse the aligners with warm water when you are done, and slip them back into your mouth.
If your braces form a slight film on the exterior, then this may make them look discolored as well. You can soak the aligners for several hours to remove the film. Do not soak the aligners in mouthwash, because the alcohol can dry out the polyurethane and make the aligners brittle. Instead, soak them in denture cleaner, hydrogen peroxide, or a retainer cleaner. Retainer cleaners are often the best choice for soaking aligners, because most modern retainers are made out of the same material as the Invisalign aligners.
Secure The Aligners Tightly
Invisalign aligners are the most noticeable when they do not sit tightly against the teeth. When the braces do not fit perfectly, they sit just underneath the teeth. This leaves small pockets between the teeth and the braces that may be noticed by some individuals. The pockets will disappear and the braces will sit tightly as pressure loosens the ligaments that keep the teeth securely in place. As the ligaments loosen, the teeth shift into the aligner openings and the braces will be far less noticeable.
It can take several days for the dental ligaments to loosen. You can quicken the process a bit by forcing the aligners onto the teeth. Biting down on a damp washcloth where you see openings along the aligners can help with this. You can also ask your dental professional for some chewies. Chewies are small, pliable, and round products that can be placed into the mouth to help fit your aligners to the teeth. The chews are meant to be moved around the mouth as you bite down to force the aligners in place. Chewies can be reused since they are elastic, so they are a fairly inexpensive product to invest in to help secure your aligners better.
For more information about using Invisalign braces, contact a professional such as Michael G Landy DDS.