Clear aligners like Invisalign and ClearCorrect are advantageous over the traditional metal wire and bracket braces because their transparent aligners make straightening your teeth an invisible process. However, if you don’t take care of your aligners, fail to clean them, and don’t take them out before consuming staining foods and drinks, then your aligners will not be so clear anymore.
To learn about what factors contribute to clear aligner staining, how to care for your aligners to prevent this from happening, and what you should avoid when wearing your aligners, then read on. In this blog from Pearl Dental Studio, we’re giving you the inside scoop on how to keep your clear aligners as clear as possible.
Causes of Discoloration in Clear Aligners
There are so many staining foods and drinks that you need to steer clear of while wearing your aligners. While you can remove your aligners to eat and drink whatever you like, you need to be cognizant of remembering to remove them and storing them properly.
The following all contribute to staining, discoloration, and damage to your aligners:
- Drinks other than water
- Hot liquids (melt the mold)
- Colored toothpaste & mouthwash
- Saliva, plaque, & bacteria
Always remove your aligners before consuming any foods and drinks other than cold or room temperature water. While many foods and drinks contain staining properties that can become trapped in your aligners, hot liquids or foods will also alter the shape of your mold and affect their ability to apply proper force onto your teeth.
This means you’ll need to remember to take your retainers out when having your morning cup of coffee. Though you can still enjoy these hot beverages, you may want to think about cutting back if it will cause you to take your aligners out too frequently. You need to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day to produce the best results.
Other than consuming food and drink products, your saliva can stain your aligners. Saliva dries as a yellow tint on your aligners if they are not rinsed out so you should always rinse out your aligners when taking them out and before putting them back in.
If you eat and drink with your aligners in, plaque and bacteria can form around your teeth and your aligners which leads to discoloration and tooth decay.
How to Care For and Clean Your Aligners
Besides remembering to take your aligners out to eat, drink (other than water) and clean your teeth, you need to store them in their proper storage case to prevent bacteria from getting into them, losing them, or accidentally throwing them out.
Every time you take your aligners out, you should clean them by rinsing them out with water or giving them a quick brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush and non-staining toothpaste. You’ll also want to brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in. An alternative to toothpaste is a baking soda solution made of 1 cup water and 1 tsp baking soda.
For deep cleaning, you can purchase denture or retainer cleaning tablets that work on clear aligners or you can get Invisalign cleaning crystals. Pop these tablets into the specified amount of water and soak your aligners in this solution for 30 minutes.
Interested in Clear Aligners to Fix Your Smile? Book a Consultation at Pearl Dental Studio Today!
If you can remember to take your aligners out before consuming foods, drinks, and hot liquids, and take care of them properly, then you won’t have to worry about staining your clear aligners. Contact us online or call us at (864) 214-1440 for more information.
You will be switching out your aligners for a new set every couple of weeks, so you won’t have to worry too much about the risk of staining if you follow directions. To find out if clear aligners are right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Lindsay Cash at Pearl Dental Studio today.