Your Guide to Using Clear Aligners During the School Year

It may only be June, but it’s never too early to prep for the school year with clear aligners. Many patients begin orthodontic treatment during the summer months to spend the time away from their peers getting used to their new appliance – but that means getting ready for school can feel a little stressful. There are many reasons to get a head start on your game plan for returning to class, so here’s your guide to using clear aligners from the pros at Beam Orthodontics during the school year.

#1: Make Your Case Your New Best Friend

As the proud owner of a new pair of clear aligners, your worst fear is losing them. Many patients remove them for lunch or a snack and leave them lying on the table, wrapped in a napkin, or hidden in a lunchbox – and too many good aligners have gone down the trash bin for this very reason!

Trust us, having to replace these trays can be stressful. It’s better to keep your clear aligner case on you at all times to help you avoid losing one or both of your aligner trays. Simply remove your appliance, place it in the case, and keep it in plain sight until you’re ready to reapply your trays. This crucial step will ensure your trays stay safe and your treatment plan remains on track for success.

#2: Don’t Miss Appointments

When patients start treatment in the summer, it makes it very easy to make every appointment. After all, there’s no school bus to catch, and if you’re a student, your schedule is probably free and clear.

The school year can be a much busier time than the summer, making it a little more challenging to keep up with your appointments. We encourage you to plan as far ahead of time as possible to ensure you don’t miss a check-up. Every missed appointment can cause your treatment to take longer than originally expected, so trust us on this one!

#3: Remove Your Trays When You Eat

Lunchtime, snack time, or dinner time – it’s time to remove those aligner trays whenever you’re eating! Chewing with your trays in your mouth not only traps food in your mouth for cavities to enjoy or your friends to see, but it also makes it possible for your trays to break!

Your aligner trays are delicate, and the excess force of chewing can often be more than they can take. And at the end of the day, broken trays extend your treatment stay – that’s what we always say!

#4: Keep Your Aligners Clean & Your Breath Fresh

No one wants to go to school with bad breath, but if you don’t learn how to clean your aligner trays properly, you run that risk! After eating, talking, and listening to your teacher with your mouth closed all day, your aligner trays can trap food particles and saliva that can catch an unseemly smell if not cleaned properly.

The best way to prevent lousy aligner breath is to clean your trays properly. In general, you should gently brush your trays with mild soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush every evening before bed – but don’t use toothpaste! The granular materials found in most toothpaste can harm your aligners over time, so sticking with mild soap is your best bet.

You should also soak your aligner trays once per week. You can do this by creating a baking soda solution by dissolving a tablespoon of baking soda in a warm cup of water. Let your aligner trays soak for 30 minutes before rinsing, and voila! Clean, clear aligners and clean, fresh breath, all school year-round.

A Beam-ing Smile Is Next On Your List

Getting the smile of your dreams is easy with the team at Beam Orthodontics. Whether you’re interested in clear aligners or traditional braces, we have the experience to guide you through the treatment process with the top tips from the pros. If you’re ready to start orthodontic treatment, schedule your free consultation with our team today!