How to take care of clear aligners?
The clear aligner therapy has one benefit over other Orthodontic treatment modalities, taking care of Clear aligner is minimal. This isn’t a complicated, tedious or mind-boggling process. Keeping in mind a few pointers does the trick. When we start orthodontic treatment many questions and queries cloud our decision making. Aligners being a removable orthodontic appliance makes care of the appliance a cake walk. It is easier, feasible and more convenient. Aligner is transparent; thus, cleaning teeth is equally essential.
In conventional orthodontic treatment including braces, a lot of care is required by the patient:
- Dietary precautions (nothing sticky, chewy or hard is advised)
- Oral hygiene
- Proper brushing
- Inter-dental cleaning is needed but tricky.
- Monthly dental appointments.
It is easy and quick tricks to take care of your clear aligners, as it is transparent thus cleaning of the teeth plays an equal and important role in the keeping the aligners clean and healthy.
- Take precautions while wearing and removing.
- It is to be removed from behind and then the front region for convenience, never remove it from left to right or right to left direction as it may cause breakage of the aligner.
- Clean the aligner with the help of a soft cloth or brush
- Soak in a solution
- Keep teeth/ oral health in good state.
Read: Aligners vs Braces
TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHILE WEARING AND REMOVING CLEAR ALIGNERS
The way you wear and remove the aligner play an utmost important role, considering the aligners are active orthodontic appliance. Improper removal or insertion may cause distortion leading to delayed and unsatisfactory results. Correct technique is the key, let your orthodontist teach you the right way to wear and remove the appliance.
Do not confuse clear aligners as denture, clear aligners are not to be cleaned by any regular solution. Just like before going to bed you brush and clean your teeth similarly aligners can be cleaned with the help of soft bristled brush or with the help of cleansing solution. Dis-solvable pills are available – one needs to dip the aligner in the solution for a while rinse and wear. Do not leave the aligner overnight in the solution as the aligners are to be worn 20 hours or more for effective tooth movement.
KEEP TEETH/ORAL HEALTH IN GOOD STATE
Plaque accumulation is a regular, continuous and a normal occurrence (which can be avoided via regular brushing) – bad breath is not. While using aligners continuously causes bacterial accumulation in the aligner which may cause or lead to bad breath and other oral health issues, although aligners are a sequential orthodontic treatment thus you change aligner every 1 or 2 weeks (depending on the prescription from the company). Keeping teeth clean helps keep the aligner clean. Thus, brush, floss and rinse.
In 21st century we all are living a fast-paced life thus we look for hustle free solutions for almost everything. We don’t know about everything but certainly a quick fix for taking care of your clear aligner, as cleaning aligners with brush is practical only when you are home, no one wants to carry a brush around. If you are short on time quickly run the aligner under running water, make sure you do it under cold not hot water. You can use cleansing foam available to help keep it clean.
Being an Indian give us this opportunity to enjoy a lot of delicacies, but India being famous for Spices causes a lot of staining of the teeth and aligner. Thus, dietary precautions are needed such as
Do not eat hard or hot with the aligners remove and eat. Avoid stain causing food and drinks if possible.
The aligners are worn almost all the time, but when removed while a meal or consumption of hot beverage it must not be kept aside anywhere. Keeping aligner, one might accidentally expose the aligner to bacteria, or any other microorganism. It is advised to keep the aligner in the dedicated container only. It is advised to carry container all the time as to avoid losing the aligner.
- Follow instructions of the dentist properly
- Remove aligner before eating or drinking
- Remove or wear aligner properly (as instructed).
- Rinse in cold water
- Use very soft bristle brush to clean
- Keep it in clean box
- Rinse under cold water.
- Use aligner cleaning solution only.
- Do not use hard brush to clean – as it may cause scratch on the aligner.
- Do not use peroxide to clean.
- Do not eat sugary, stain causing food.
- Do not drink too hot
- Try not to drink anything with aligner, as it may cause inevitable stink.
-by Dr Swapnil Gupta (CEO, Director ODS Aligners)