Seeing the dentist is a part of life. From filling cavities to orthodontic work, there are many reasons to visit the dentist. One other common dental procedure involves placing dental implants.Dental implants are free-standing replacement teeth. They mimic the entire structure of a natural tooth. The process involves placing the implant, titanium screw/threaded post, into…
Keeping Stains off Clear Braces
Clear braces are often chosen as a low profile alternative to traditional braces but are susceptible to stains. This negates the benefit of being discreet clear braces like Invisalign®. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent and remove stains.
Both the outside and inside of clear braces can become stained or warped during everyday wear. Both of these issues can be prevented by adopting some simple habits.
Pay Attention to Drinks
A slushy that can turn a tongue blue can also stain clear braces. The same goes for drinks like coffee, soda, wine, and even hot chocolate. Hot drinks are especially dangerous because they can warp plastic braces like Invisalign. A good rule of thumb is to remove braces when eating or drinking anything but cool water.
Keep Teeth Clean
Every meal leaves particles in the mouth that could stain the inside of Invisalign®. Smoking can also dirty aligners. One of the most effective ways to prevent this is to brush and floss after every meal. Frequent rinsing with mouthwash can also help eliminate hidden particles in difficult to reach places of the mouth.
Treat Aligners Right
Plaque and bacteria can build up on your braces as well as your teeth. Regular rinsing of aligners under cool water can help prevent this. A soft toothbrush and soap can also be used. Another important consideration is storage. When braces do have to be taken out, it is important to use a clean case to prevent both stains and damage.
If a soft toothbrush and soap are not enough, there are a few options for removing more serious stains. It is highly recommended that a patient consults a provider before trying anything drastic. Scrubbing too hard or using strong soap can scratch or damage the aligners.
For Invisalign® patients, there is an official cleaning kit. This kit includes soluble cleaning crystals that the customer dissolves in cold water. The next step is to then soak the braces in the solution for 15 minutes, rinse in lukewarm water, and return the aligners to the mouth. Invisalign® claims the solution can remove stains, odors, tartar, and plaque.
Another option for clear braces is retainer baths. These work in a similar way to the Invisalign® system because crystals are used; however, also used is a special container that vibrates to help dislodge particles and plaque. Many baths also ship with a dental brush and a strainer to help with the cleaning process.
Patients may also consider a two-step process using household items. It is recommended to consult with a dentist before doing it. Some invisible braces can be cleaned by soaking in half-and-half hydrogen peroxide and water for 30 minutes, rinsing thoroughly, and then soaking in half-and-half vinegar and lukewarm water for another 30 minutes. Finally, the aligners are brushed under cold water with a soft toothbrush.
Stains on clear braces can be frustrating. Not only do marks on aligners negate the low profile that many choose Invisalign® for, but they are also difficult to clean. Fortunately, by adopting simple habits and using orthodontist approved cleaning methods, stains on clear braces can be prevented and removed.
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