All About Aligners

Brushing and Flossing

Our clinical studies conducted at Rittenhouse Orthodontics have shown Invisalign to be better for the health of your gums.  It is not because there is any magic in the plastic, but it is simply because you can take off the aligner and floss and brush as you please.  You must floss and brush!  Do it as many times as you can during the course of the day.  Do not allow the aligner to be a breeding site for bacteria.

Ways to clean an aligner are simple.  Use your toothbrush and toothpaste to scrub as you would your teeth.  You may also purchase an ultrasonic cleaner and dip your aligners in it.  Feel free to use it to clean your jewelry.

If your aligners are turning dull and yellow, you may soak them in hydrogen peroxide, which you purchase from the drugstore. An even more effective method is to place the aligners in common laundry bleach.  To do this, take a cup of water, add a tablespoon of bleach and dip the aligner.  Leave it in there for about a minute; not more. Then, rinse copiously to remove the smell of bleach.  If you soak and forget, the plastic will turn dull, opaque and yellow in color. When that happens, please move onto the next aligner in the series, but wear it longer.

Never boil the aligners or place them in microwave oven. After all, they are plastic.  You should not use alcohol on them either.

Eating

Do not eat in aligners or drink anything but water. Sugary drinks will rot the teeth.  Colored drinks will make your teeth brown or burgundy.  If you forget to take off the aligner and drink such beverages, as soon as you recognize you had done that, remove the aligners and rinse copiously under running water to remove all traces of the drink from the aligner and your teeth.

There are no foods to avoid once the aligner is out.

Athletics

If you play sports, the aligner may be your protective mouthguard.