Tips for Taking Care of Your Invisalign® Trays

Once you've got your Invisalign® trays, clear aligners that correct your smile almost invisibly, taking good care of them is key to getting the most out of the process. With good hygiene and careful storage, your trays should stay invisible for the two weeks or so you'll use each set. Keeping your trays in good condition prevents any disruption in treatment, and allows Invisalign to effectively straighten your teeth without any inconvenient rubber bands or metal in your mouth.

Kerry Bloom, DDS, offers Invisalign treatment from a practice housed inside Houston’s Methodist Hospital. After he takes a scan of your mouth, you receive custom trays made from a 3D scan of your unique bite. For best results, you should wear your alignment trays for at least 20-22 hours each day. With correct care, the transparent trays will be almost invisible to the eye. As the correction process progresses, you'll get new trays about every two weeks. It usually takes about 3-18 months to fully align your smile. The shortest treatment plan is Invisalign Express 5, which consists of 5 trays and 10 weeks (or 3 months). 

When to remove your trays

You should take out your trays whenever you eat. Foods can damage the material, leaving permanent stains, and the trays may impede your ability to chew if left in while eating. After removing your trays, you can enjoy all your favorite foods without the restrictions that come with traditional braces. To keep from misplacing your trays during mealtimes, tuck them into your Invisalign carrying case until you're finished and ready to reinsert them.

How to clean your trays

You should clean your trays and teeth each time you take the trays out and before you reinsert them to prevent discoloration and buildup of unhealthy and bad-smelling plaque and bacteria. Brush and floss before replacing your trays.

When you brush your teeth, use your toothbrush to clean your trays as well, but be sure to rinse off any toothpaste first. Most toothpastes are abrasive, and can scratch and damage your trays. A little antibacterial soap will work better if you need a quick clean to cut down on oral bacteria, but only use clear soap, as dyes can permanently discolor your trays. If you're pressed for time, just rinse your trays with clean water to help reduce buildup.

You'll need to deep-clean your trays regularly, as well. You can soak your trays in denture or retainer cleaner, or use Invisalign cleaning crystals periodically to completely remove buildup.

To get started with Invisalign braces, or for more advice on caring for your trays once you've begun the process, contact Dr. Bloom today. Our office has extensive experience with all aspects of Invisalign treatment, and is here to support you as you straighten your smile. Call to make an appointment.

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