What Should You Do About Stained Invisalign Trays?

What happens if your Invisalign trays become discolored during the course of your treatment? The functionality of your Invisalign trays won't be affected, but this isn't to say that there will be no effect at all. 

Stained Trays

Although they're designed with strength in mind, your Invisalign trays are made of thermoplastic, and this thermoplastic can be susceptible to staining and general discoloration. Of course, this doesn't happen without cause. You are expected to remove your trays for eating, and for drinking all liquids except for water. Many liquids can severely stain your thermoplastic trays. Red wine, many types of soda, coffee, and tea are amongst the worst offenders.

Still Functional

It's all too easy to stain your trays, and once they're stained, they'll stay that way. This isn't as bad as it might sound, however, just because their physical appearance has changed, their functionality hasn't. Your trays are still able to hold your teeth at the right tension and angle to facilitate bone remodeling, which slowly repositions them into their optimal alignment. In short, the look of the trays doesn't affect their ability to fulfill their purpose.

No Longer Invisible

Since the trays are still functional, it could be argued that nothing happens if your Invisalign trays become discolored during your treatment. But you might have a different opinion. When the trays are significantly stained, it can affect your self-confidence. Invisalign trays are known as invisible braces, and when they're stained, they're very much visible. So what can you do?

Switched Out

It's not as bad as it might seem at first. Remember that each tray is only worn for a relatively short period before being switched out for the next in the series. Depending on your specific needs, you're only going to need each tray from one to two weeks. If staining occurs towards the end of a tray's service life, a brief period of conspicuous staining may not be a major concern. Some flexibility may be possible too, and you may wish to ask your orthodontist if it's possible to replace a tray slightly ahead of schedule.

What Not to Do

Don't attempt to remove the stains from your trays. For example, you must not try to bleach your trays to remove staining, as this can seriously damage them. Likewise, don't attempt to clean them in the dishwasher, because the heat of the drying cycle can warp them. 

Although you may be able to change trays early, you'll otherwise have to temporarily tolerate the discoloration. The trick is to precisely follow your orthodontist's dietary and care instructions, allowing you to avoid staining in the first place. 

For more info about Invisalign, contact a local dentist.