Keeping up appliances

The most important part of having dental appliances, like your aligners and retainers, is (drumroll please) actually wearing them. To do that, they have to be clean and … not lost. Appliance hygiene isn’t just good for your health, it makes for a better experience.

Dr. Kenneth Pyle, a top dentist in cosmetic dentistry who pioneered the use of intraoral photography, is here to talk about the importance of taking care of your aligners and retainers. 

Know where they are

First things first: Try not to lose your retainers or aligners. Sounds simple, but it happens often.

Dr. Pyle tells us that just a few days without your aligners or retainers, “especially in the beginning can cause relapse pretty quickly.” Meaning, your teeth will go back to the position they started. If you do lose them, it’s important to replace them as soon as possible. If you’re in aligners, you might need to go back to a previous week so you don’t lose too much progress.

SmileDirectClub’s TileTM-powered trackable aligner case is the perfect way to avoid a lost aligner or retainer situation. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled storage case that comes with a built-in location- tracking chip. You can track your case using the Tile app. It’ll even ring to help you find it faster. Plus, there’s a bonus feature – a surprise swivel mirror to check out your smile progress.

If you do get into the unfortunate situation of losing your aligners, you can always call our Dental Care Team for help.

Clean them up

Dr. Pyle reminds us that “We want to clean our aligners and retainers because they can become a Petri dish of bacteria.” They collect whatever is in our mouth all day and night, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.

Dr. Pyle emphasizes the importance of taking your aligners out when you eat. It’s recommended that you brush, floss, and rinse them after each meal. However,

“if you cheat or if you have something to drink while they are in, get to a water fountain, take them out, rinse them, and swish out your mouth. The important thing is to make sure you don’t leave any sugar stuck between the aligner and your teeth because that will cause damage.”

Whenever you’re taking a break from wearing your retainers or aligners, you can use our smile spaTM to kill 99% of odor-causing bacteria with ultrasonic and UV light.1

Dr. Pyle also recommends soaking your appliances in a cup of water with one of our Universal Cleaning Tablets. “It’ll keep them from getting stained. When they dry out, they absorb whatever is on them.” Plus, it’s another great way to kill that odor-causing bacteria.

When your aligners and retainers are squeaky clean, you’re more likely to wear them.

Get into a routine

The last part of taking care of your dental appliances is making it a part of your oral care routine. Here are simple ways to keep up with them every day.

  1. Put your aligners in your smile spaTM at the beginning of your brushing and flossing routine, and they’ll be ready to go back in when you’re done.
  2. Leave a cup for water and your Universal Cleaning Tablets on your bathroom countertop as a reminder to soak your retainers and aligners.
  3. Bring your TileTM case with you when you leave the house. That way, you’ll have a safe space to put your aligners when you want to eat. It’s tempting to just roll them up in a napkin, but why do that if you don’t have to?

Your aligners and retainers are going to help you get – and keep – your dream smile. SmileDirectClub has some great accessories to help you keep track of and clean them. If you do that, chances are you’ll enjoy wearing them and you’ll be on your way to that smile you love.


15 common odor-causing bacteria: S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, S. mutans, P. loesheii, F. nucleatum.


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