Clear aligners are clear plastic trays that straighten the teeth over time with a series of trays. The aligners offer patients an option for orthodontic treatment with a less noticeable look and lower maintenance than traditional metal braces. But don’t let their slim design trick you! They are a fantastic and effective option for straightening your teeth.
Our team at Petrunic Orthodontics are excited to share with you some tips and tricks we’ve learned to create the beautiful smile you have hoped for at the end of your Clarity or Invisalign treatment.
Don’t forget to wear them.
This tip might seem obvious, but we must stress the significance of wearing the aligners for the prescribed amount every day, which is usually about 22 hours per day. You should only take them out to eat, drink, and clean your teeth.
Not wearing them appropriately can prolong your overall treatment time and keep you from the smile of your dreams. We know each new tray can be a little uncomfortable at first, but the more you wear them, the quicker that will go away!
Clean your aligners.
Even though you will start using a new tray every two weeks, you should still clean your trays every night before putting them back on for bed.
The trays can harvest bacteria and plaque if not properly cleaned, which can damage your teeth over time. These bacteria and germs will make the aligner smell, too, which wouldn’t encourage anyone to wear them! They also risk losing their clear aesthetic and making your breath smell as bad as they do.
The good news is that cleaning the trays is pretty simple! You simply lightly brush them with a different toothbrush using lukewarm water than the one you use for your teeth. Toothpaste is not recommended for clear aligners! Make sure to follow the instructions for the solution! Before using any product on your Clarity or Invisalign aligners, ask Dr. Petrunic if it is safe for them.
Bonus tip: If you eat or drink anything that might stain your teeth, such as coffee or any tomato-based foods, we advise cleaning your teeth before putting the aligners back on to lessen the chance that any residue left in the mouth will stain the trays.
Store them properly.
Aligners are small, clear, and easily lost. You might be surprised how many end up in restaurant trash cans or fallen out of a purse or suitcase, never seen again.
Clarity and Invisalign clear aligners are durable but not invincible. For example, your pet might like to chew on them, or they might get stepped on. No one thinks they will need new aligners because they lose or damage theirs, but it could happen to anyone!
Carry your aligner’s case everywhere you go. The case protects them and makes them harder to forget because they take up more visual real estate. Replacing your trays might extend your overall treatment time. While we love all of our patients at Petrunic Orthodontics and are always happy to see you, one of the benefits of clear aligners is fewer office visits. We know you are very busy, but the more you need new trays, the more time you need to spend in our office. We are happiest when you are happy, so please, carry your case wherever you go.
Brush and floss!
Clear aligners do not protect your teeth from bacteria or germs. Brushing and flossing your teeth is still a requirement for a healthy and happy smile!
Unlike braces, you do not have to learn a new oral hygiene routine with removable aligners! You don’t need to carry any special cleaning tools for after meals (except maybe a travel toothbrush kit). Every morning and night, you just need to take the trays out to brush and floss like normal!
Neglecting to brush and floss will give you bad breath and cause the trays to smell and stain. Improper oral hygiene can lead to painful consequences, like cavities, infections, gum disease, or even tooth loss.
To ensure a beautiful smile at the end of treatment, take care of your teeth and gums! If you have any questions about proper oral hygiene, our team would be happy to help.
Change your aligners on time.
We know how tempting it can be to jump straight to the final set of aligners in a series or to switch trays sooner than you’re supposed to. The sooner you finish the set, the sooner your smile will be how you imagine it, right?
Truthfully, the answer is yes and no. The answer is yes because the sooner you get through the trays prescribed by Dr. Petrunic, the sooner your teeth will align how you want. The answer is no because if you change the trays too soon, too late, or go out of order, you could prolong your treatment by altering your alignment or damaging the tray!
When using clear aligners, you have to trust the process! By trying to rush it, you will only slow it down.
Want more information about clear aligners?
Our team at Petrunic Orthodontics has plenty of experience in giving our patients the smiles they desire with clear aligners. We know that a healthy and helpful at-home routine starts with quality care information. Call or visit us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Petrunic today to get personalized keys for success.