Avoiding Cavities with Clear Aligners

By: Dzhingarov

As a more discrete alternative to metal braces, clear aligners have introduced the newest trend in teeth straightening. Clear aligners, or invisible braces, provide a more comfortable way for gaining the smile you’ve always wanted, both on a physical and emotional levels. For the most effective outcome, it is recommended that the trays be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. It is important that these users follow proper hygiene instructions to prevent tooth decay from forming. Since clear aligners cover your teeth entirely, maintaining healthy gums and teeth are more important than ever. Here are some tips on doing so:

Always take trays out to eat or drink.

It may seem like a simple solution, but it is considered one of the most important rules when wearing clear aligners. With the exception of water, it is necessary to take out your trays when eating or drinking anything. Not only does this keep the trays from potentially getting damaged, but also prevents food and sugary drinks from building up inside the clear trays. For those who are out during most of the day, keeping a small bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss maybe beneficial to keep handy.


By Army Medicine under CC BY 2.0


Actively clean trays.

Anytime you remove your aligner trays it is important that you clean them with a soft brush and rinse them in lukewarm water; this keeps any bacteria or plaque that may have gotten into them from accumulating. Soaking them in denture cleaner once a day will keep them extra clean and clear. Above all, it is extremely important to at least rinse out the clear aligners prior to putting them back on teeth.

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Increase water intake.

A common concern about invisible braces is the worry about teeth not being exposed to salvia, which plays a factor in keeping teeth clean. Water is the only beverage to be consumed while wearing the clear aligners, which works out well because it also helps to rinse teeth and the trays. Increasing the amount of water you drink a day is not only a healthier but will ultimately help keep teeth clean.

Use a fluoride mouthwash.

Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. When taking the clear trays out before bedtime, using a fluoride treatment is recommended to keep teeth strong. It is important to note that food should not be consumed for at least 30 minutes after fluoride treatment. While it is not okay to eat or drink directly after fluoride mouthwash, it is perfectly safe to put the clear aligner trays back in afterwards.

Don’t cheat.

Keeping up with excellent dental hygiene will go a long way and produce faster results. Taking a weekend off of cleaning could result in wearing the clear aligners for an extended period of time. It is important to maintain healthy habits and make a routine effort for the best outcome from clear aligners.