Clear aligners have become one of the most popular orthodontic treatments for people of all ages, and for good reason. Convenient, affordable, and discreet, clear aligners make it possible to achieve a healthier, more radiant smile quickly and comfortably. Although clear aligners are considered relatively low-maintenance, especially compared to traditional metal braces, they should still be appropriately cared for to ensure you receive the best results possible when your treatment is complete.
Check out these 5 simple tips to take care of your clear aligners from the orthodontic experts at Schwab Orthodontics.
Clean Them Regularly
One of the most important steps you can take to keep your clear aligners in prime condition is to clean them frequently. Even though clear aligners are replaced with new ones every two to three weeks, making sure they stay squeaky clean is necessary to keep changing smiles healthy and beautiful. To keep your clear aligners clean, keep these tips in mind:
– Always rinse them with water after removing them from your mouth
– Gently brush them every night with a soft wet toothbrush
– Clean them if they appear cloudy or dirty to prevent tooth discoloration or bad breath
Remove Them to Eat, Drink, & Clean
People love clear aligners for their convenience. Unlike with traditional braces, you can eat and drink whatever you like. However, it’s critical to make sure you remove your clear aligners before eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. Not only can food and drinks stain your aligner trays, but they can also cause them to crack or break. Hot foods, in particular, can warp or distort the shape of your aligners. For these reasons, be sure to carefully remove them before consuming anything.
Use Your Protective Case
Your clear aligners should be worn at least 22 hours a day, preferably whenever you aren’t eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. When you do remove them, however, where you place them matters. Putting them in your purse, backpack, or on a napkin is never a good idea since they could easily get lost or broken, causing your treatment process to be extended. Instead, it’s best to always place your clear aligners in the protective case given to you by the orthodontist. This will help you keep track of them and prevent them from getting damaged.
Handle With Care
While clear aligners are durable, they should still be handled with care to ensure they stay in good condition throughout your entire treatment process. Always be sure to:
– Wash your hands before removing them
– Insert aligners one at a time, applying pressure with your fingertips on either side of it until it snaps into place
– Never bite down to pop your aligners into place
Taking the time to care for your clear aligners by rinsing them after every use, brushing them daily, and protecting them when they’re not being worn is the best way to ensure you achieve the straight, beautiful smile you’re hoping for at the end of your orthodontic treatment. For more tips on how to care for your smile while wearing clear aligners or to schedule your free consultation, contact the friendly team at Schwab Orthodontics today!
Tips to Ease Sensitivity after Orthodontic Treatment
1. Use Oral Anesthetics
Oral anesthetics like Orajel and Anbesol can relieve tooth sensitivity when rubbed on the sensitive tooth or gum. They desensitize your teeth and gums, relieving the discomfort of shifting teeth.
2. Gargle Ice-Cold Water
Coldwater is maybe the easiest and most convenient way for many people to relieve tooth sensitivity. Coldwater in your mouth helps numb the jaws to relieve pain and discomfort.
3. Eat Soft Foods
After braces are placed or after tightening, try eating soft foods like mashed potatoes and soup. This is because hard or crunchy food may cause sensitivity or get stuck between teeth, and you do not want that.
4. Take over-the-counter Pain Relievers.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or pain relievers are known to effectively manage the sensitivity, especially to highly irritable people or those with a low pain threshold. You can even take them an hour before your orthodontic appointment to prevent sensitivity.
It is important to note that the medicine is not meant to be used for an extended period, so if the sensitivity or pain persists after several days, it would be best to check in with your orthodontist.
You should also consult with your orthodontist before self-medicating to know which meds work best.