Understanding Why You Should Not Agressively Clean Your Clear Aligners

Invisalign is a good choice for people who want reduced pain and soreness as they work to straighten the teeth. The braces and the tooth straightening progress will be overseen by either a cosmetic dentist or an orthodontist. However, you will have a great deal of independence when it comes to wearing the aligners. This means that you will need to work hard to keep the clear braces in good shape. However, aggressive cleaning practices are one thing that should be avoided. Keep reading to learn why.

It May Scrape The Aligners

Your clear aligners are made with a completely clear and smooth thermoplastic. While the plastic is strong and durable, it must be pliable and flexible as well so gentle pressure can be placed against the teeth. The pliability means that the aligners can be scraped, scratched, and bent if they are not handled properly. Scraping is a serious problem because this creates small indentations in the aligners. Not only will this make them appear more opaque, but the scratches allow bacteria and plaque to collect and this can cause dental decay.

The two most common things that can cause scratches are toothpaste and toothbrushes. Toothpastes specifically contain things like calcium compounds, silica, and alumina ingredients that polish the teeth. Since plastic is much softer than enamel, the compounds can easily scrape the teeth. This is true of any hard nylon brush like your toothbrush. 

Cleaning is important when it comes to your aligners, so use plain soap instead that does not contain any silica or cleaning beads. Use a washcloth for cleaning or a  baby toothbrush. 

You May Warp The Braces

Scraping and scratching are serious concerns when it comes to wear and tear across your clear aligner braces. Warping is an issue as well. Your dental professional may have told you to keep hot beverages away from the aligners and to only consume cold water while the aligners are in the mouth. 

You also should make sure to use only warm or cool water when cleaning the aligners. This is important to keep the plastic from warping. If the aligners warp, the position of the tooth openings may change slightly. This means pressure may be placed on the teeth in places where they are not designed for. 

Warped aligners also rarely fit into the mouth the way they used to, so they may not even snap over the teeth. New aligners sets can be ordered by your dental professional. This is something that commonly happens if the aligners are thrown out or broken accidentally. You should understand that this will cost you extra and it may also set your behind at least a few weeks when it comes to your straightening plan. This can be avoided by keeping warm water and other hot substances away from the aligners.