Why Clear Aligners Turn Yellow (& What You Can Do About It)

The whole point of clear aligners is to straighten your teeth with subtle treatment, but the trays can become yellow if you aren’t careful.

To date, more than 12 million patients have chosen to straighten their teeth with Invisalign. If you also picked clear aligners over metal braces, the subtlety of the clear aligners probably appealed to you. As a result, you might be a bit discouraged when they start to yellow. The good news is that there are several ways to prevent that from happening. With this in mind, keep reading to learn why clear aligners turn yellow and what you can do about it!

So, Why Do Clear Aligners Discolor?
Most often, discoloration surfaces from not following the Invisalign treatment guidelines. One example is that you’re supposed to remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water. If you pick up the habit of sipping on coffee, soda, or wine with your trays in, then it won’t take long for noticeable stains to develop.

Another example is that you need to consistently clean your aligners throughout the day. If you don’t rinse them with clean, cool water before putting them in their storage case or you don’t use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub each surface after you’re done eating, food particles, plaque, and other debris will cling to your trays, causing them to turn yellow.

4 Simple Tips for Keeping Your Trays Clean and Clear
The good news is that you really only need two things to keep your aligners clean: cool water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. We recommend adopting the below habits:

Rinsing your trays with water each time you take them out
Placing your aligners in their designated storage case when you aren’t wearing them
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and water to clean your trays after each meal
Using the cleaning crystals to clean your aligners as needed
How To: Use Your Invisalign Cleaning Crystals
When you open your Invisalign welcome kit, you’ll see a few things, including a few packets of cleaning crystals. These are designed to give your trays a bit of a deeper clean. To use them properly:

Fill a small, clean container with lukewarm water
Add a packet of cleaning crystals to the water
Shake the container gently to dissolve the cleaning crystals
Gently place your aligners in the mixture
Allow your trays to soak for 15 minutes or so
Remove your aligners, rinse them with water, and put them back in your mouth
Remember, Brushing and Flossing Are Important Too!
Even if you are diligent about cleaning your aligners, they will look dull and yellow if you don’t take good care of your teeth. So, make sure to follow all of your dentist’s advice! That starts with brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash consistently and extends to coming in for a checkup and cleaning every six months. It’s also a good idea to make water your beverage of choice and eat light-colored foods when possible, like white fish, hard-boiled eggs, and plain yogurt.

With a commitment to following a good oral hygiene regimen and taking good care of your trays, you won’t have to worry about noticeable, yellow stains surfacing!

Dentists & Dread: The Causes of Dental Phobias

If you’re afraid of going to the dentist, you’re far from being alone. Understanding where the fear comes from may help you overcome it. Otherwise, your dentist may offer a solution to make your time in the chair better.

True enough, dental phobias are a fairly common issue. Studies suggest that nearly a third of Americans have a fear of dentists. Still, do you ever wonder what causes this dread? Knowing its source would help you overcome the problem. From there, you could get the crucial dental care you need! Luckily, your local dental practice is here with some answers. Read on to learn about dental phobias, their causes, and how best to treat them.

What are Dental Phobias?
If you didn’t know, phobias are a kind of anxiety disorder. They lead to excessive fear of situations that aren’t harmful. Left unchecked, they’ll lower your quality of life.

Given these facts, dental phobias are those related to dentists. Patients with them will often fear the mere thought of dental care. As such, the afflicted often struggle with regular dentist visits. Their oral health can then suffer as a result.

Aside from fear and anxiety, dental phobias have several common signs. These include the following:

Excessive sweating (i.e., hyperhidrosis)
Dizziness or lightheadedness, as well as nausea
Chills, shivering, trembling, or shaking
A racing heartbeat or heart palpitations
Shortness of breath (i.e., dyspnea)
Upset stomach or indigestion
What Causes Them?
As it turns out, a great many things can cause dental phobias. The most common and probable ones are:

Shame or Embarrassment – At times, a patient may feel strange about a dentist being close to their face. This closeness can prompt fears about how your teeth look or your breath smells.
Feelings of Helplessness – For some people, lying in a chair and keeping your mouth open for a while can make you feel powerless. This sense of helplessness may inspire great fear.
Your Family History – Your risk of having a phobia rises if you have a family member with a phobic disorder. Perhaps your heightened anxiety stems from a gene mutation.
Past Experiences – Those who’ve had traumatic experiences with dentists may develop dentophobia. Such incidents may include having a dental procedure done without consent, oral pain, etc. Hearing someone talk about their fear of dentists can also spark a phobia in you.
Is Treatment Possible?
Truthfully, there are ways to treat dental phobias. They can be gathered under roughly two headings: Mental wellness practices and sedation dentistry.

Over time, good mental health practices can reduce your dental anxiety. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) would change how you see and respond to dentists. Similarly, deep breathing and muscle relaxation can lower your stress levels. Either way, these and related methods would let you look at dental care with a calmer mind.

Of course, there’s also the highly effective option of sedation dentistry. This field uses sedatives to calm you down for dental care. By keeping you relaxed, it allows the dentist to proceed with treatment smoothly. You’ll then get a healthier mouth without the hassle of an anxious mind.