If you invest in Invisalign aligners, then you are likely drawn to the clear appearance of the aligners. This is one of the main selling points of the braces. While this is true, the aligners can stain. This is not a problem for some people, since the aligners are usually changed about once every two weeks. However, if you are concerned about the possibility of the aligners staining, then keep reading to learn about two surprising ways you may inadvertently cause a discoloration issue. 

Soaking In Mouthwash

Clear aligners can smell after being worn for several days. The smell is typically the result of saliva collecting and drying on the surface of the Invisalign braces. Also, bacterial activity and the collection of microorganisms in the small scratches and cracks along the surface of the plastic can cause odors to form too. If you want to try to clean and sanitize the aligners, then you may place them in a small glass with a soaking compound. 

Mouthwash is often chosen to soak the aligners. While alcohol-based mouthwashes can kill bacteria and clear away debris, they can do some negative things as well. The rinse can dry out the aligners and cause more cracks to develop. This can create an opaque appearance. Also, the dyes used in the mouthwash can leach into the aligners. This is especially concerning once the plastic becomes dry. 

If you want to clean and sanitize your aligners without staining them, then there are a variety of substances you can use. You can soak the aligners in vinegar, or you can use a fluid, powder, or tablet product that is made for cleaning retainers. Some cosmetic dentists and orthodontists also have Invisalign cleaners that can be purchased through them. 

Wearing Aligners After Drinking Coffee

You probably know that both coffee and tea can stain the teeth. However, you may not understand that the two beverages can also discolor your clear aligners. The beverages are able to cause stains due to the tannins in them. These strong coloring agents can stain anything they touch. If you decide to drink coffee and place your aligners over your teeth afterwards, then the tannins are likely to transfer to them. Your braces are likely to look a dingy yellow color afterwards, just like your teeth.

You can work the tannins off the teeth by using a two-pronged approach. You should rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking the coffee. Right before you go to put your aligners in, rinse with mouthwash and then again with water. The vast majority of the tannins should release from the teeth. 

For more information about Invisalign and how to care for your aligners, contact a dental clinic in your area, like Janzen Janzen & Chwa Orthodontics Ltd.