Caring for Your Aligners

Like braces, caring for your Laster Perfect Smile clear aligners during treatment will ensure you have a stress-free journey to your perfect smile. Once you get your first set of clear aligners, you’ll want to take caution to follow your orthodontist’s specific care instructions.

Common Problems Patients Have with Clear Aligners

Since you will be wearing these custom-designed clear aligners every day, ensuring they remain clean, odor-free, and safe from damage is crucial. Follow our care tips to navigate the most common problems patients experience with clear aligners.

The Problem: Stains and Buildup

Although you will be removing your Laster Perfect Smile clear aligners whenever you eat or drink anything except water, neglecting to clean your trays correctly can cause a buildup of foul-smelling bacteria. In addition, the tray itself may become discolored from bacteria, saliva, and plaque build-up.

The Solution: Cleaning Your Aligners

One of the reasons many adults and teens choose clear aligners is that they are discreet. Stains and build-up can discolor your aligners, making them noticeable against your teeth. The best way to prevent stains and buildup in your clear aligners is to clean them.

  • Never clean your aligners using a colored mouthwash – The dyes used in most mouthwashes tend to discolor aligners.
  • Rinse your aligners in cold water every time you remove them – Dried saliva and plaque can easily build-up on clear aligners if they aren’t rinsed after use.
  • Clean your aligners with products meant for cleaning aligners – Use  cleaning crystals, denture cleaner, or a retainer cleaner like Retainer Brite to keep your aligners sanitized, clear, and odor-free.
  • Try a soft toothbrush and clear anti-bacterial soap – Instead of using toothpaste to clean your aligners, use a clear, antibacterial soap. Use your soft toothbrush and soap in a gentle, circular motion to clean the aligners.

The Problem: Losing an Aligner

Aligners are small, and sometimes patients are forgetful and may misplace their clear aligners.

The Solution: Store Your Aligners Carefully and Contact Your Orthodontist

If you lose your LPS aligner, the first thing you need to do is contact your orthodontist.

  • Store your aligners with care – Keeping your aligners stored safely in the case provided by your orthodontist when not in use will keep you from misplacing them.
  • Get a replacement aligner – You may be able to order a free Laster Perfect Smile replacement aligner from your orthodontist. The faster you let your orthodontist know you’ve lost your aligner, the better your chances are of fixing the issue without affecting your treatment.
  • Move onto your next aligner – If your aligner has been worn for at least a week, your orthodontist may recommend that you go ahead and move on to the next aligner in your treatment plan.

The Problem: Cracking an Aligner

Aligners from Laster Perfect Smile may be prone to cracking under certain conditions. There are many causes of cracked aligners, all of which are preventable. Here are the common ways patients crack their aligners:

  • Biting or chewing on the aligner trays – While the materials that are used to create aligners are durable, if the tray is bitten or chewed on, it can still crack under the extreme pressure from your bite. This is why you should never eat while wearing your clear aligners.
  • Continuously using the same removal technique – If you remove your clear aligner by pulling on it at the same place each time, you may crack your aligner. To prevent this, each time you remove your aligner, alter which side you use to remove it.
  • Grinding your teeth in your sleep — If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you may crack your aligner.

The Solution: Contact Your Orthodontist

If you crack your aligner, contact your orthodontist. Not only will your orthodontist be able to replace your cracked LPS aligner, but they will be able to help you prevent another cracked aligner from occurring again.

  • Always remove your aligners before you eat – This will prevent your aligners from cracking due to bite pressure.
  • Switch up your removal technique frequently – Each time you remove your clear aligner, alter which side you use to remove it.
  • Let your orthodontist know you grind your teeth — If you have Laster Perfect Smile, your orthodontist can create new clear aligners for you that are designed to withstand teeth grinding.

The Problem: Loosening of Teeth

Like with braces, loosening of teeth with aligners or other supervised, clear aligner treatments is completely normal. If you are experiencing loose teeth during your aligner treatment there is no need for concern because this is expected as teeth shift to their new position. The loose feeling should gradually subside as your treatment progresses.

The Solution: Contact Your Orthodontist If You Grow Concerned

If you feel that your teeth are shifting too fast, or start to feel excessively loose, you should contact your orthodontist. If teeth shift too quickly, this may result in tooth loss. This is part of the reason why your orthodontist stresses supervision over your treatment and advises against mail order aligners.

As with other orthodontic treatments, clear aligners require special care so that they can work efficiently to create your perfect smile. As long as you wear your aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours a day, remove them for eating and drinking, clean them regularly, and store them properly, you will be on your way to a beautiful smile in no time.

At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to Propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster’s in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.