If you're considering opting for clear aligners, such as Invisalign, to straighten your teeth, you may be wondering what's involved in keeping them in tip-top condition. Aligners are an investment in your oral health and are often used to improve a wearer's self-confidence relating to their smile, so the last thing you want to do is damage them or cause them to become stained by not looking after them properly. Understanding how to care for aligners will also help you decide whether they are the right choice for you. Thankfully, they're pretty easy to care for once you get into a routine and keep a few best practice recommendations in mind. Read on to learn about what's involved in caring for aligners.

You Should Clean Your Aligners Daily

If you don't keep your aligners clean, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can damage the health of your teeth and gums, and they can also become discoloured, which will make them much less discreet. Get into a habit of cleaning them each time you brush your teeth, but don't be tempted to use toothpaste on them, as this can be too abrasive and damage the protective coating on your aligner. Instead, use a soft toothbrush and gently apply a little clear liquid soap to remove bacteria before rinsing your aligners in warm, not hot, water.

You Should Remove Aligners Before You Eat Or Drink

You should never eat or drink anything other than water with your aligners in, as in addition to staining, they could crack when you are chewing food. They're not designed to cope with the pressure created when you chew food. Additionally, food can get trapped between your gums and the aligner, which could impact the aligner's performance and cause bacteria to build up on your teeth. Take them out to eat and drink and give them a little rinse before you put them back in to keep them nice and clean.

You Should Soak Your Aligners When Not In Use

You will likely have to wear your aligners for the majority of the day, but when you remove them for a short period, use that time to soak them in an antibacterial cleansing solution specifically made for aligners. As you can likely imagine, wearing your aligners day after day could cause them to develop an odour, but regularly soaking them will ensure your aligners stay odour-free and can help keep the material transparent.

Aligners are discreet and comfortable to wear, but they can take some time to get used to. If you're interested in investing in aligners for your oral health, ask your dentist or orthodontist to show you some samples.