Clear aligners like Clear Correct have become a popular alternative to traditional braces for straightening your teeth. You don’t have to worry about the same self-consciousness you would feel with bulky metal brackets on your teeth. No one wants their dental work to be the most noticeable thing about them! Instead, these translucent plastic aligners fit snuggly over your teeth to gently shift them to their ideal placements without anyone the wiser.
What do you do, then, if your aligners start to turn yellow? If you’re feeling defeated by foggy or tinted trays, keep reading to learn 2 reasons it occurs and what you can do to prevent it.
Reason #1: Eating Foods that Stain Them
Another benefit of Clear Correct over traditional orthodontics is that they can be easily removed for meals. If you aren’t taking advantage of this, then you could be contributing to their discoloration. One way they can take on a dingier hue is through eating or drinking foods that stain, including:
- Dark soda
- Red wine
- Dark berries
- Colored mouthwash
You can keep your trays sparkling by taking them out to eat or drink and then replacing them once you’re done.
Reason #2: Developing Buildup
Because you’re wearing your aligners for 22 out of 24 hours each day, bacteria have plenty of opportunities to thrive in the spaces between them and your teeth. They produce acids from foods you’ve eaten which can form a layer of plaque on both your teeth as well as your Clear Correct. It hardens into a tartar on the plastic surface which can give them a yellowish tint as well as an unpleasant scent.
How Can I Keep My Clear Correct Clean?
It defeats the purpose of choosing invisible orthodontics if you can’t keep them clear! Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to keep them sparkling, like:
- Taking them out for meals. This ensures that you’re not exposing them to foods that will leave them discolored. Just be sure you bring your case for them if you’re eating out so you can store them properly. You wouldn’t want to set them in a napkin and then accidentally throw it out!
- Cleaning them properly. Consistently removing food particles and unwanted germs from your aligner trays will keep them from developing buildup. You should remove them twice a day to brush them gently but thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Drinking lots of water. Water rinses your mouth and orthodontics instead of staining them and doesn’t attract bacteria like sugary beverages. It’ll keep you well-hydrated as a bonus!
Fortunately, you’ll only have your current set of aligner trays for a week or two before your dentist provides new ones as you move further into your treatment. Now that you know how to keep them fresh, you’ll do better with the next set!
About the Practice
Our dentists at BridgeMill Dental Care want you and the whole family to feel at home when you’re here. We offer a comprehensive array of dental services for patients of all ages, including Clear Correct aligners. If you have bite alignment issues or crooked teeth you’d like to address, you’re welcome to request an appointment on our website or by calling (803) 650-3925.