Aligners? Never Leave Home Without These 7 Things!

Wearing Aligners? Never Leave Home Without These 7 Things!
Posted on 11/14/2022
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I like to keep an aligner “tool kit” in my car and one in my desk at work. When I have everything I need with me, my aligner treatment is something I don’t need to spend a lot of time thinking about. Here are some things I always like to have on hand.

Aligner Case
If my aligners are not in my mouth, they are in my case. This helps to keep them clean and safe. Your aligners should never be loose in your pocket or your bag, or wrapped in a napkin. Keep your aligners in their case to avoid cracking, breaking, or losing your aligners.

Hand Sanitizer
I keep hand sanitizer with me so that I have clean hands when I am removing and placing my aligners. If there is no place for me to wash my hands, sanitizer is the next best option. I like to wash my hands after I touch my aligners, too, to reduce the spread of germs.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Whenever I can, I brush and floss after eating or drinking anything besides water. This keeps my mouth feeling fresh and clean. After I brush my teeth, I use my toothbrush to brush the inside and outside of my aligners. This helps to keep my aligners from discoloring and collecting plaque.

Mouthwash is a good option if there’s no opportunity or place to brush. If you don’t have mouthwash, rinsing with water is another option. It’s important that sugars and food particles do not sit on your teeth for an extended amount of time.

Floss Pick
I prefer floss picks to a roll of floss. Floss picks can be reusable and are generally more discreet and less messy to use, compared to a roll of floss. I keep a few floss picks in my tool kits.

Aligner Hook
Also called an “aligner retrieval tool,” an aligner hook is a small plastic tool that can be used to remove your aligners. It eliminates the need for using your fingernails, and can be very helpful in your first few days of a new aligner, when your aligner can feel particularly tight and difficult to remove. I keep my aligner hook in my aligner case so that I always have it with me.

Chewies are so underrated! I use them almost every time I put my aligners on. Chewies are an aligner seater tool that help you get the best fit from your aligners. They are cylinder-shaped soft material that are safe to bite into. When your aligners are in place, put a Chewie between your upper and lower teeth. Start with the Chewie on one side of your mouth, biting down for 5 seconds before moving it to the next area until you have used it all the way around your mouth. You will feel your aligners “seating,” or fitting, better and even more tightly as you use your Chewies. This allows for your aligners to get the best possible hold on your teeth for optimal tooth movement. Chewies can be especially helpful during the first few days of a new aligner.

Check out these other blog posts for more tips and tricks from your Rhode Island orthodontist, Tollgate Orthodontics, to help guide you through your clear aligner treatment: