One of the best aspects of Invisalign aligners is how subtle they are. As any Invisalign patient will tell you, most people won’t even be able to tell you’re wearing them until you mention it.
However, that’s only the case if your Invisalign aligner stays clear, and not everyone has that experience. There are a few reasons that you could start to see a set of aligners turn yellow if you aren’t careful. Here are a few ways that can happen, and what you can do about it.
You’re going to be wearing your trays for 20-22 hours a day, so naturally, they’re going to collect a little bit of your saliva. That isn’t necessarily a problem, but when saliva dries it can have a yellow tint. If you don’t rigorously clean your aligners when you take them off, that discoloration can start to build up over time.
Plaque is a combination of bacteria with starches and simple sugars, and everyone has a little bit of it on their teeth. If you aren’t rigorous with brushing, a lot of that plaque can transfer to your Invisalign trays. While plaque is often clear, it can have a slight yellow color in some cases.
It’s recommended that you take your aligner out any time you eat or drink anything besides water, and one reason for that is so stains from coffee, soda, and other foods and drinks don’t settle on your aligner. Each of these foods can yellow your teeth, and your aligner isn’t any different.
How to Prevent Aligners from Turning Yellow
If you want your trays to stay as clear as the day you got them, proper maintenance is key. First of all, it’s important to take out your aligners before you eat, so that they don’t collect any more food stains than they have to.
You should use that opportunity to clean your aligners before you put them back in. Brush them gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush (no toothpaste, as this can damage your tray) and rinse them off to remove any saliva buildup.
If your aligner does turn yellow, it isn’t the end of the world—you only wear any given set of trays for a few weeks anyway. Just keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to ensure that this doesn’t become a recurring problem.
About the Author
Dr. David Tillman is a dentist who loves to make a positive impact on the lives of others. He feels enormously gratified to be able to help a wide variety of patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. Dr. Tillman received his dental degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, and since graduating he has completed a stunning 2500 hours of continuing education to stay updated on the latest in oral medicine.
If you have any questions about how you can maintain your Invisalign aligner, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (817) 870-4746.