You are starting on an exciting journey: Invisalign to straighten your smile! It’s important that you follow all of the dentist’s recommendations for wearing the aligners to ensure that this treatment is effective. One essential detail is learning how to clean Invisalign trays correctly.
The truth is that learning how to clean Invisalign retainers is simple as long as you are using the right cleaning products. Harsh cleaning chemicals or improper usage can cause issues with your aligners and potentially affect your results.
Rinsing Vs. Cleaning Invisalign Trays
In the same way that you clean and brush your teeth each day, it’s also important that you clean your Invisalign trays. Even though you will dispose of each set every few weeks, the trays can get dirty and stinky since they are in your mouth all day long. Regular cleaning helps to keep the trays fresh and prevents issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.
You might want to rinse the aligners when you are replacing them after a meal or snack. But rinsing isn’t as thorough or effective as a full cleaning. Bacteria can start to build up on the trays, even if you don’t see any visible build-up.
Things to Do: How to Clean Invisalign Retainers
Follow this general checklist when you are wondering how to clean Invisalign retainers. This cleaning process should be followed nightly when you are done eating for the day and ready for bed:
- Rinsing: Start by rinsing the aligners under the faucet to wash away any debris or buildup.
- Brush: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove anything that might be on the inside or outside surface of the aligners. It’s best to have a dedicated toothbrush for this cleaning (not the toothbrush that you use for your teeth). You can use a little bit of clear liquid soap while brushing the trays.
- Rinse Again: After brushing the trays, make sure to rinse them thoroughly to wash away any cleaning solution or anything that was removed from the aligners.
- Place in Mouth: Once you are done cleaning, put the aligners back in your mouth. Make sure to brush and floss your teeth before wearing the clean aligners.
Also, keep in mind that it’s essential to protect your aligners when you aren’t wearing them. For example, you might remove the aligners to wash them and eat a meal. The best solution is to put them in a case to protect them from damage, dirt, and bacteria.
How Often Do Invisalign Aligners Need to Be Cleaned?
These trays should be thoroughly cleaned at least once per day. The best habit is to clean the aligners on a nightly basis. Most people clean their aligners when they are brushing and flossing their teeth before bed. Failing to clean your aligners can cause them to become discolored, and you could also be exposing your teeth and gums to bacteria throughout the day.
Also, you need to know how to clean your Invisalign trays when they are visibly dirty. Not only does the buildup affect the appearance of your smile, but the debris can also affect your oral health. For example, you might notice visible buildup if you were wearing the aligners while accidentally drinking something other than water or if you put the aligners in your mouth too quickly after eating.
Additionally, make sure you are diligent about cleaning the Invisalign case regularly since it can also be a place where bacteria collect. How do you clean the inside of an Invisalign case? Once a week, soak the case in white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide for 15 minutes. Then, rinse with water and gently brush the inside of the case with your cleaning toothbrush.
What Can I Clean My Aligners With? The Best Way to Clean Invisalign
Some people don’t feel that a toothbrush is sufficient for cleaning. If you are wondering how to clean Invisalign and want a deeper cleaning practice, consider using other Invisalign cleaning accessories. For example, you can buy a “Steraligner” product from Invisalign that uses a tray and natural antiseptic combination (rubbing alcohol and sodium bicarbonate).
You place the aligners in the cleaning tray, then let them soak for 3 minutes. Next, brush the aligners and rinse them well.
There are also Invisalign cleaning crystals that dissolve in water to create a soaking solution. These products contain cleaning agents that help to remove buildup and bacteria.
What Should You Not Clean Invisalign With?
It’s important to protect your aligners from damage and harsh chemicals, so there are certain products that should be avoided for cleaning the aligners.
Products to avoid include:
- Mouthwash, especially products with alcohol
- Denture cleaners
- Scented soaps which can make the trays taste bitter
- Colored soaps because the dyes can stain the trays
These products are too harsh, which means you might accidentally damage the Invisalign trays. Also, avoid a coarse bristle brush. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent scratching or damaging the aligners.
Best Practices to Care for Your Invisalign Aligners
Not only do you need to learn how to clean Invisalign aligners, but it’s also wise to implement a few other best practices to protect the trays. Here are a few recommendations you might hear from your dentist:
- Always remove the aligners when eating
- Don’t drink anything except water while wearing the aligners
- Avoid exposing the Invisalign trays to hot water because it can cause the trays to warp
- Use an airtight container for storage when you aren’t wearing them
Personalized Invisalign Treatment to Improve Your Smile
Are you ready to upgrade your smile? Then Invisalign might be the ideal treatment for you! Reach out to our team to schedule a consultation and see if you are a good candidate for this treatment. Not only will we help you determine the ideal cosmetic service, but we will also take time to educate our patients about how to clean Invisalign, how to care for the trays, and tips for gaining the best results from the treatment plan.
Reach out to us at myDental to learn more. We are happy to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient locations.