Invisalign® Post-Operative Instructions
How often are Invisalign® aligners worn?
Invisalign® aligners should be worn around the clock except for those times when the patient is eating, drinking or brushing and flossing. For a person with normal habits, it is expected that they will be wearing their aligners on the order of 22 hours per day
Invisalign® aligners require cleaning just like your own teeth do.
One of the hallmark characteristics of the Invisalign® Orthodontic system, as opposed to conventional braces, is that the appliances used to straighten your teeth are removable. This means that throughout your months of treatment you will still be able to brush and floss your teeth in your normal fashion. Once you have begun wearing your aligners you’ll probably notice that the same debris (dental plaque and tartar) that tends to accumulate on your teeth will start to build up on your removable braces too. Over time this debris will not only start to show but also be the source of odor.
Of course the saving grace of Invisalign® treatment is that you move on to a new set of aligners every few weeks. So, even if you have failed in your cleaning efforts with one set you will soon get to start a new with another. Hopefully this time around your goal will be to keep your aligners clean so you don’t encounter the same problems. And fortunately, by utilizing just a little bit of knowledge and effort, it should be easy enough for you to learn how to keep your aligners fresh and clean for the entire duration that they are worn.
Invisalign® aligners Care
Taking care of Invisalign® clear aligners is very simple. Every time you brush your teeth you can brush your aligners as well. They can also be soaked and cleaned in a cleaning solution while you are busy eating. It is not advisable to remove them at night. Moreover, you will feel so comfortable wearing them that the thought of removing them at night may not even occur to you.
The Invisalign® Cleaning System.
There are a number of different techniques that can be used to keep your aligners clean, both commercial and homemade. For example, Align Technology, Inc., the makers of the Invisalign® system, sells a product they call the “Invisalign Cleaning System®.” This system is composed of a quantity of prepackaged “crystals” which, when added to water, make a soaking solution that Align Technology say will remove dental plaque from a patient’s aligners. The drawback with this system is that it’s a bit pricey. It costs on the order of a dollar a day, a factor that leads many Invisalign® patients to look for an alternative.
Is it necessary to use the Invisalign Cleaning System®?
When compared to other cleaning methods, the cost of the Invisalign® Cleaning System is a bit steep. Knowing this might make some people wonder how important it is for them to use this product. After all, Invisalign® treatment is already expensive enough. Is it really necessary for a patient to buy their expensive cleaner too?
Per the Invisalign® people, the answer to this question is as follows. They suggest that the use of other cleaners can cause surface damage to Invisalign® aligners that can cause them to become dull or cloudy and therefore more visible when they are worn. (Note that this stated damage is only cosmetic in nature, not damage that affects the aligners in a way that interferes with their function.) The question is “how accurate is this statement”? Do alternative cleaning methods exist? Dr Antonious believes that soaking the aligner in a gentle denture cleaning solution or a 50/50 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide will achieve good results.