Mistakes To Avoid When Caring For Your Aligners

Clear braces for adults are a miracle for some adults who never had the chance to have teeth straightened with traditional braces. You may know very little about clear aligners at first, but your cosmetic dentist, general dentist, or orthodontist, will provide you with a great deal of information about them. While this is true, some individuals still make mistakes when it comes to caring for the aligners. Keep reading to learn about a few:

Using the Dishwasher for Cleaning

Clear aligner braces are made out of plastic, and this is one reason why some people think they can set the aligner in their dishwasher to clean and sanitize them. However, this is not something that you should do. In fact, the high heat from the dishwasher will melt the plastic. Clear aligners are made from something called thermoplastic. Thermoplastic is a resin material that is heated and then molded into a shape. The plastic can be reheated and molded many times. This makes it easy to create aligners that are thin and slightly flexible. However, any heat will melt the plastic. 

This means that dishwashers, microwaves, and even hot water can warp your aligners. Keep them out of the dishwasher and rinse with warm water only. If you do warp the aligners somehow, then you will need a replacement. You can order them fairly quickly through your dentist and each new set will cost about $50.

Soaking in Mouthwash

Clear aligners will appear slightly opaque and sometimes a bit yellow at the end of the wear period. While most wear periods are short and only last about two weeks, they can be extended to four weeks if your teeth are not moving as quickly as they should. If wear periods are extended, you may try to release the staining from the aligners. If you use mouthwash, then the aligners can become even more stained than they were before.

While the thermoplastic is nonporous, the stains on the exterior will be covered in tartar. The tartar can absorb the artificial coloring agents in the mouthwash and cause them to appear blue, green, or yellow, depending on the color of the fluid. 

There are some clear mouthwashes that can be purchased. However, these products can cause aligner cracks due to the drying effect of the alcohol. If you want to soak aligners, then use a clear and plain dish soap to create the soak. Add just a few drops of peroxide to the mix to help with sanitization. You can also buy dedicated aligner cleaning agent.