Aligners used by Invisalign patients are among those devices requiring added attention during this unprecedented time of COVID-19. The team at Dentistry by RSE wants to offer some easy tips to help patients keep their Invisalign appliances safe and clean at all times.
It really does bear repeating that perhaps the most effective mode of halting viral spread is to engage in regular handwashing. Prior to putting in or taking out Invisalign aligners, it is best to wash hands thoroughly using soap and water. At least 20 seconds of washing is suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This protocol takes on even greater importance when in public places or after coming into contact with any surface that may be COVID-19 contaminated. For times when access to water and/or soap is lacking, it is best to clean the hands with a sanitizing product featuring no less than 60% alcohol.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of ensuring the cleanliness of Invisalign aligners each and every day. Aligners should get a morning brushing as well as one prior to bedtime. If possible, a brushing after lunch is also a great idea. Manually cleaning the aligners helps eliminate the buildup of bacteria and plaque that can grow on the aligners throughout the day. Making it a habit to rinse the aligners as soon as they are taken out of the mouth is another great way to minimize buildup on the surface.
Aligner Soaking Tips
Also helpful to the process of keeping Invisalign aligners as clean as possible is to soak them in denture cleaner or crystals recommended by the manufacturer. This works to eliminate buildup and eradicate bacteria. If these products are unavailable at a given time, it is possible to simply use a solution made of half distilled vinegar and half lukewarm water. The result will be shiny and clean aligners. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of between 0.5 to 3% is another alternative to consider. Never use Listerine or other tinted mouthwashes as a soaking solution for aligners, as they can stain the appliances.
Aligner Case Protocols
It can be easy to overlook the aligner case itself as a place where odor and bacteria can grow. As such, patients should always remember to wash aligner cases every couple of days using soap and warm water as a means to get rid of the daily grime that can begin to build up over time.
Many continue to feel a lingering sense of unease about COVID-19 and all of its far-reaching implications. However, as long as everyone does their best to comply with the CDC guidelines regarding masks, handwashing, and social distancing, we should remain confident that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you would like to consult with our team or discuss additional tips for maintaining good oral hygiene during this difficult time, contact Dentistry by RSE today.