Two Things You Absolutely Should Not Do With Invisalign Retainers

Invisalign retainers are a great choice for realigning misaligned teeth. They are preferred by many because they are the least invasive orthodontic treatment option. However, it's important that you follow your dentist's recommendations for taking care of the trays; otherwise, you may accidentally render them useless or even harmful to your teeth. Here are two things you absolutely must not do to your Invisalign retainers.

Clean Them with Hot Water

To protect your oral health, it's important to keep the Invisalign trays clean of debris, which is why dentists typically recommend you always brush your teeth after eating and before putting the retainers in your mouth. Additionally, your dentist will usually give you (or recommend) products you can use to clean the retainers, such as official Invisalign cleaning crystals.

However, sometimes things happen where you may feel like you need to sanitize the trays, such as if you drop them on the ground or in the toilet. While this is understandable, it's critical that you do not wash the retainers in hot water. These trays are made from plastic, and high temperatures can cause them to warp in a way that makes them impossible to use again.

If you feel your retainers need to be sanitized, soak them with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. You can also soak the trays in a mix of mouthwash and water. Mouthwash typically has a small amount of alcohol, which can kill bacteria. However, alcohol can also damage the retainers if exposed to them too often, so only clean your Invisalign retainers once in a while using this solution. Rinse them off in lukewarm water.

Use Them If Cracked

Although the plastic the retainers are made from is very sturdy plastic, Invisalign trays can still be chipped or cracked. It's essential that you discontinue using the trays if this occurs. The sharp edges that form after a portion of the tray has chipped off can irritate your gums, leading to oral health issues. Second, chips and cracks can reduce the effectiveness of the trays, meaning they may not move your teeth as required for your treatment.

If you damage your retainer, contact your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist may order a replacement for you to use or have you start on the next tray, depending on how much your teeth have already shifted.

For more information about caring your Invisalign retainers or to schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options for getting straighter teeth, contact a dentist in your area.