Dos and Don'ts of Clear Aligner Storage

Clear aligners are removable, but this doesn't mean they're low maintenance. Unlike fixed braces, you don't need to clean food from wires or brackets. However, clear aligners still require careful and disciplined upkeep.

Taking good care of your clear aligners is essential. This means looking after them when they're not in your mouth just as much as when they are. If you don't store them properly, they can get damaged or lost. But you can avoid these issues by following simple storage tips and avoiding common mistakes.

Even small mistakes, like not handling your aligners correctly for a couple of hours, can delay your treatment. It's important to know the right way to store and care for your aligners. Here are some key dos and don'ts for proper aligner storage and maintenance.

When thinking about how to store clear aligners properly, remember that even small errors can affect your treatment. Clear aligner maintenance tips often include storing them in a safe place when you're not wearing them. This helps prevent damage or loss.

Aligners are part of different treatment plans, including Invisalign, which is similar to traditional braces. However, unlike lingual braces, which are fixed, clear aligners need you to properly care for them as part of your aligner treatment. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your treatment is successful and your aligners stay in good condition.

DO:  Store Them High


Store Them High

If you live with any furry friends at home, then you’re probably familiar with their desire to chew everything in front of them. Puppies, in particular, engage in intense teething, and they engage in this habit:

  • To ease pain, boredom, and stress
  • To learn more about the world around them
  • As a natural part of baby (and subsequently, adult) teeth development

When caring for your teeth, especially if you are straightening them, it's important to remember the basics of dental hygiene. Always brush and floss your teeth regularly. This is crucial whether you're using a set of aligners or any other type of braces. Maintaining good oral health is not just about straightening your teeth; it's also about keeping them clean and healthy.

If you're using aligners, remember to take them out while eating or drinking anything other than water. After each meal or drink, it's a good idea to brush your teeth before putting the aligners back in. This prevents food particles from getting trapped and helps maintain oral hygiene.

It's also important to keep your aligners safe. Pets, especially young ones, are curious and might mistake your aligners for chew toys.

To prevent this, always store your aligners in a place where pets can't reach them. An elevated position is ideal. By doing so, you ensure that your aligners stay clean and undamaged.

Lastly, while aligners are a great tool for straightening your teeth, they require careful handling. Always handle them with clean hands and store them safely when not in use. This way, you ensure that your journey to a better smile is both effective and hygienic.

If your aligner tray drops on the floor, don’t take any chances, and don’t hesitate to   clean it ASAP .

DO:  Clean and Dry Before Storing


Clean and Dry Before Storing

    Researchers have identified over 700 different species of bacteria that live inside the human mouth. Most of these species are harmless, but saliva can sometimes transmit numerous infectious diseases, including:

    • Mono
    • Colds
    • Flus
    • Hepatitis
    • Strep bacteria

    You don’t want your aligner appliances to become a Petri-dish for these germs, nor for plaque. That’s why it’s so crucial to follow a three-step process every time you remove your clear aligners:

    1. Rinsing the saliva, plaque, and additional contaminants out with warm water
    2. Gently brushing the aligners using a non-toxic, non-abrasive cleaner for good measure
    3. Rinsing and drying, to prevent moisture buildup

    It’s not good to let moisture stay on the appliance, as bacteria thrives in moist environments. To prevent this, it’s a good practice to let the aligner tray air-dry before storage. Additionally, stick to using aligner containers with small vent holes, as those can also help facilitate air drying before storage.

    DO:  Stay Prepared


    Stay Prepared

    When caring for clear aligners, it's important to have a plan for when you're not at home. If you don't have a case for your aligners, you may face issues. To get the best results, always keep your aligners in a pouch or a dedicated bag. This is a key part of clear aligner care instructions.

    It's essential to protect your aligners from damage and dirt when you're on the move. Storing them properly ensures they stay clean and effective. This practice is an important aspect of maintaining your aligners' condition.

    A spare container
    Lip balm
    Travel cleaning supplies
    Pain relief wax
    A clear aligner removal tool

    Removing aligners, especially when you're new to wearing braces, can sometimes be challenging. They might feel tight, making it difficult to take them out. Using an aligner removal tool can help. This tool often features a small hook or lever, designed to gently loosen the aligner without discomfort.

    As you adjust to the process of moving your teeth, it's essential to maintain good oral hygiene. Remember to floss your teeth regularly.

    Cleaning your aligners is also crucial. Use lukewarm water and a soft-bristled toothbrush for effective cleaning. This routine helps keep both your teeth and aligners in top condition.

    To make life easier, consider color-coding your aligner containers. This simple step can help you quickly distinguish between your home and travel containers. If you often forget to pack your container when heading out, leave a spare one in your school, work, or travel bag. Just make sure to return it to its usual spot after you're back home.

    It's important to remember that while your aligners are tooth-colored and less noticeable, they still require consistent care. Regular cleaning and proper storage are key to ensuring your braces work effectively in moving your teeth to their desired position.