If you want straighter teeth as an adult, then clear Invisalign aligners may be your best option. The clear aligners work to straighten the teeth over the course of one or two years. During the straightening, you will be able to take the aligners out of your mouth. When you do this, you want to make sure that you do not encourage bacterial activity by poorly handling the aligners. Keep reading to learn about the mistakes that you should avoid if you want to keep bacteria at bay.

Mistake - Failing To Rinse The Aligners

Every time you take the aligners out of your mouth, you should rinse them with either cool or lukewarm water before placing them back over the teeth. If you do not do this, then the saliva on the aligners will dry. This creates a tacky film that can collect food and encourage bacteria to develop and thrive. 

If the aligners feel tacky to the touch or if they start to look opaque instead of clear, then it is time to brush the aligners thoroughly to clean them. Use soap, warm water, and a baby toothbrush for this. You can also use a washcloth or another type of soft cloth to complete the cleaning. 

If you use a brush to clean, then scrub very gently or you may scrape the aligners and create grooves where bacteria can gather and cause dental decay. 

Mistake - Eating With The Aligners Still In

You may find it difficult to eat meals and snacks when you need to continually remove the aligners and then slip them back into your mouth. However, you do need to remove the aligners when eating or you may encourage bacterial activity. If you consume foods with the aligners still in the mouth, plaque and food can slip down underneath the aligners. Bacteria then follow to consume the leftover bits of food. 

Bacteria will remain underneath the aligners until they are removed and cleaned. Saliva usually rinses away the microorganisms and the food particles left in the mouth. However, it cannot do this if the aligners are sitting over the teeth. 

If you are having a hard time removing the aligners, then consider eating larger meals throughout the day and skipping your usual snacks. Also, consider drinking more water. Water can be consumed without removing the Invisalign trays. Also, the fluid helps to clear out any bacteria and plaque that may be sitting underneath the trays.