Materials To Keep Away From Your Clear Aligner Braces

If you want clear aligner braces, then you will have to commit to wearing the trays for at least 20 to 22 hours each day. This is essential if you want to see continual straightening progress. Your dentist or cosmetic professional will provide you with a variety of other tips and pointers you should follow to ensure success. Some of these tips may involve keeping your aligner trays in good condition while you use them. Specifically, there are several different things you will need to keep away from the aligners during the straightening period. Keep reading to learn about a few.

Hot Liquids

You may understand that you can drink water while wearing the aligners. However, you should only drink cool or cold water. You also should remember to keep water lukewarm when cleaning the trays. Invisalign aligners are formed from a special type of moldable plastic called thermoplastic. Specifically, the material is a medical-grade polyurethane resin, and it retains some flexibility once it cures. This flexibility is what ensures the good comfort and fit of the aligners.

The flexible and soft aligners can warp when exposed to heat. This heat is what helps with the initial molding process, and an increased temperature can also destroy them. This means that you can and should keep all hot liquids away from the aligners. Hot soaks should be avoided, and you absolutely should not cheat and drink coffee or tea while the aligners are in. Not only can the plastic be warped, but these beverages can easily stain the aligners and trap the tannins close to the teeth. 

While it may be easy to avoid hot drinks, you may have some difficulty cleaning the aligners without using hot water. Plaque can be particularly difficult to remove, but a dish soap or hand soap can remove the debris. Just make sure to use an unscented variety so lingering additives do not leave a foul taste in the mouth. There are many fragrance-free soaps on the market. If you have trouble finding one, then look for a soap that is labeled as hypoallergenic. When you are ready, pair the soap with a wide cleaning implement, like a fingernail brush. Use gentle pressure when cleaning and use cold water to rinse. 

Chemical Agents

There are a wide variety of chemical cleaners that can be used to clean plastic. Bleach and ammonia-based cleaners are a few examples. While these cleaners can effectively clean plaque and remove calcium deposits and stains, they can also damage the aligners significantly. While rigid polyurethane plastics are highly resistant to chemical attacks, the resin-based plastic that makes up your aligners is far less resilient to solvent and chemical degradation. Specifically, the agents reduce the tear and tensile strength of the material. In response, the aligners can rip, bend, or crack, and a new set will be required.

Not only can chemical agents destroy aligners, but they can create a residue on the surface. The residue can then enter your body. Basically, you will be ingesting the cleaners when you put the aligners back in your mouth. This is especially true if the chemicals erode the plastic and create pores in the material. You can significantly burn or damage the soft tissues of your mouth and across your body when you ingest the cleaners. 

If you are serious about cleaning and disinfecting your aligner braces, then use safe products like plain white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Gentle cleaners made for aligners and retainers work well too. Whatever type of cleaner you decide to use, check with your dentist first to see if it is safe for the aligners as well as for your body first. 

To learn more, check out websites like