Aligner Care and Maintenance
It’s important to keep your aligners clean and sanitary to maintain good oral health. Before handling your aligners, make sure to wash your hands. You should clean your aligners before each insertion – if you’re in a situation where you can’t, make sure to at least rinse them with water. You should clean your aligners with a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste (don’t use denture cleaner or mouthwash since these can damage the material). When not wearing your aligners, keep them in their protective case to prevent damage. Your aligners will come with specialized cleaning materials, and we recommend using these once per week or as needed.
Wearing Your Aligners
Your aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours per day, only removing them to eat or drink (you can keep them in when drinking water). Make sure to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily after removing your aligners. It’s important to handle your aligners correctly to avoid breaking them or causing unnecessary wear. Your dentist can show you how to properly insert and remove them.
Make sure to double check that you have the correct aligner – each will be labeled with a “U” for upper and an “L” for lower. To insert an aligner, make sure it lines up with your front teeth first. Then, press on the back portion near your molars until it snaps into place. Make sure not to bite them into place since this can damage them.
Begin on one side of your mouth and work the aligner free of your molars. Do this on both sides, gently prying the aligner away from your teeth. Finally, pull it away from your front teeth. Make sure to rinse it and remove any saliva and plaque.
What to Expect from New Aligners
Beginning your Invisalign® treatment or starting new aligners can cause some discomfort or soreness for the first few days. This is perfectly normal, and it’s a sign that your treatment is working properly. You can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for any soreness according to the bottle’s instructions. During the first few days, your aligners may also affect your speech, but this will go back to normal as your teeth adjust.
If you have any questions about your aligners, treatment plan, or symptoms, make sure to contact us. You can give us a call at (415) 523-9178 or fill out our online contact form with any questions.