I’ll be using the Invisalign system soon to straighten my teeth. My friend is getting great results with hers, but I have a question: since the trays are worn all day every day for as many hours as possible, will I develop decay or staining from where the trays collect moisture and stuff? I’m trying to keep my teeth as white as possible, and I may want to professionally whiten them once I’m done with treatment. So I really don’t want stains. Is there any danger of this?
Thanks so much,
Great question–it sounds like you’ve thought this through. It is exciting to look forward to having a beautifully straight smile.
Invisalign Is A Great Choice
Instead of metal brackets, bands, and wires, Invisalign trays use clear aligners, which is obviously what so many people love about them. They are thin, clear and flexible, and comfortable enough to wear all day and they are invisible even at a conversational distance. Yes, they do have to be worn against the teeth for many hours a day, and even at night.
The good news is that the Invisalign system promotes much less staining than traditional “old fashioned” metal brackets do, which collected plaque around the edges and were more difficult to keep clean. The plastic material that the aligners are formed from does not pick up stains.
That being said, if the trays are not cleaned properly and regularly they can collect plaque, bacteria, and food debris, all of which can then collect stains. If allowed to rest against the teeth for many hours a day, this could transfer the stains to the enamel, or worse, demineralize the enamel and lead to decay. This is especially true if highly-staining foods are regularly eaten without frequent cleansing: foods such as beets, red wines, coffee, black tea, and the like. Use a straw, and rinse right after eating if you do take in these foods.
It Is Simple
You will not have this problem as long as you cultivate the habit of brushing and flossing well each time before placing clean trays into your mouth. Also, be sure to change your aligners as directed, ensuring a fresh start. If you do notice stained, white, or discolored areas on your teeth despite these measures, let your doctor know right away.
You Can Whiten Right Now
I have some more good news for you as well. Your Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This will allow you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time. All you need is some professional strength whitening gel that your dentist can provide for you. Simply wear the gel in your aligners at a time that is convenient for you and you will soon be sporting not just a straight smile, but a white one.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.