What do I do with my aligners at the pool?

Posted .

Take them out? Keep them in? Clean them after?

It’s HOT. Summer is in full swing and here in Utah that means long days of full sun. Nothing feels better than cooling off with a dip in a pool or splashing in a waterpark. It is around this time of year that we start getting asked “What do I do with my trays when I hit the pool?”

In general, you don’t need to take extra precautions with your aligners while poolside. Most people aren’t spending the majority of the time with their mouths open under the water. However, prolonged exposure in chlorinated pools are associated with yellowing teeth and enamel erosion. In order to avoid any unwanted staining, we recommend:

  1. Brush your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste before swimming. This gives your teeth a protective boost before being exposed to the altered pH in the pool.
  2. If you’re primarily lounging poolside or keeping your head out of the water, keep your aligners in! Small amounts of pool water won’t affect your smile.
  3. However, if most of your time will be spent with your head and mouth under the water, take your aligners out and place them in their case.
  4. After your swim, have a drink of water (not pool water!) and rinse your aligners to wash away the chlorine and other chemicals.
  5. Wait a few hours before brushing your teeth, in case the pool water has temporarily “softened” your enamel.
  6. If you’re concerned about the dental side effects of chlorine pools, seek out a salt water pool or natural swimming hole!

Did you know that chlorine pools could affect the brightness of your smile? Stay cool out there!