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Getting Invisalign® is exciting. Before you know it, you’ll have the straight, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. And you know what helps treatment stay on track? Good oral care. Why? Because conversely, oral health issues like cavities and gum disease can disrupt your orthodontic treatment, delaying your progress as you wait for fillings or gum disease treatment.

To keep your smile healthy during Invisalign, Dr. VanderWall has 5 oral hygiene tips with clear aligners that will help — not hinder— the best clear aligner experience. 

1. Take out Invisalign to eat and drink

One of the first rules of Invisalign and oral care? Take out your clear aligners when you eat or chew gum. Otherwise, food gets trapped between your teeth and the aligners, which can contribute to tooth decay. Plus, you’re caring for your Invisalign, too. Clear aligners aren’t designed to withstand chewing forces — eating with them can damage them and delay your progress.

You can also practice optimum clear aligner and oral care by taking out your Invisalign when drinking anything other than water. Other drinks leave sticky sugars or staining ingredients on your teeth that can affect your teeth more if consumed with clear aligners.

2. Brush before putting aligners back in

So you took out your Invisalign when you ate. Great! But now you might be asking, “Can I put my Invisalign back in without brushing my teeth?” Yes, but it’s not preferable for your oral health.

Best case scenario: brushing your teeth before putting aligners back in. Remember that sugars from your food and the resulting oral bacteria remain in your mouth after you eat. Brushing after a meal helps remove these, leaving cleaner teeth for Invisalign.

3. Stick to your daily oral hygiene routine

One of the perks of Invisalign is brushing and flossing your teeth as usual in the morning and evening. That is, no need to worry about brushing more nooks and crannies from braces brackets or attempting tricky flossing around wires. You can continue a daily habit of brushing twice a day. 

However, brushing your teeth with Invisalign treatment is an excellent opportunity to level up your regular oral hygiene routine. Ensure you’re brushing for two minutes every time, and consider adding an antibacterial, fluoride mouthwash if you haven’t been using one. 

And flossing? How often should you floss with Invisalign? The once-a-day standard is adequate, although we at VanderWall Orthodontics encourage flossing after meals for better Invisalign and oral care.

How to brush teeth with Invisalign attachments

If you have Invisalign attachments bonded to your teeth, you’ll be glad to hear you can brush them as usual. Just be sure to brush extra thoroughly around them.

4. Clean your trays every day

We’ve talked about brushing and flossing teeth with Invisalign; now let’s cover clear aligner instructions for cleaning your trays. The first tip from an expert clear aligners orthodontist in Cary, Raleigh, and Durham? Always rinse them with water before putting them back in your mouth. That way, you clean off lingering food debris, sugars, or bacteria.

We also suggest cleaning your clear aligners as part of your morning and evening oral care routine. In the morning, take them out and rinse them with warm water to get rid of bacteria that accumulated overnight. In the evening, brush them with water and a soft toothbrush, then rinse.

Clear Aligners Care with Invisalign Crystals

Go the extra mile with your Invisalign care by soaking them in a special cleaning solution with Invisalign crystals twice weekly. Follow with a soft brushing to dislodge lingering food particles or plaque. This extra step in clear aligner care takes just 15 minutes each time.

5. Continue with dental check-ups and cleanings

Dental check-ups catch any oral health issues that might affect your Invisalign treatment and oral health. And cleanings provide a deep, professional clean from plaque and tartar build-up that could potentially cause problems. After all, you want a stunning and healthy smile at the end of clear aligner treatment, right?

Your Clear Aligners Expert in Cary, Raleigh, & Durham

Now that you’ve got some Invisalign and oral care tips, are you ready to start your journey to a new, confident smile? 
If so, contact your NC orthodontist today for a free initial consultation.

Dr. Clay VanderWall

Author Dr. Clay VanderWall

Dr. VanderWall attended Kalamazoo College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences. He spent a semester doing research at the Dental Research Center of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he wrote his Senior Individualized Project (SIP). He furthered his studies at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Dentistry, receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1999. He graduated with honors and was inducted into the national dental honor society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU). He also received the Pierre Fauchard Academy Student Award and was a recipient of the Health Professions Scholarship from the United States Navy.

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