Invisalign continues to gain popularity as a discreet, comfortable, and more convenient way to align your teeth. It uses invisible trays, also known as aligners, that uniquely fits your dental structure. These clear trays gradually move your teeth into place, giving you a more beautiful and youthful smile. After your Invisalign treatment, your dentist will usually provide you with some instructions on cleaning Invisalign aligners. If you want to know more about how to clean Invisalign, we are here to help you with some guides from our experts.
Is this your first time to have an Invisalign treatment? If yes, then we’d like to send you our warmest congratulations for taking the first step towards an ultimate smile transformation. Aside from being an affordable alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign aligners offer promising benefits to your oral health.
In order to experience the full potential of this one-of-a-kind orthodontic device, you must know how it works. Not sure where to begin? Luckily, we are here to guide you through. Remembering the proper techniques on how to clean Invisalign aligners is one of the essential plans of action for a smile that will last over a lifetime.
The Importance of Invisalign Cleaning
Keeping your Invisalign aligners clean is an essential rule if you want to experience the best results. Invisalign cleaning is not only for cosmetic reasons, but it is also for your oral health. Failing to maintain proper oral hygiene will make your Invisalign aligners filled with unnecessary sediments. Wearing a cloudy and dirt-filled tray will harbour bacteria and make your teeth more susceptible to plaque build-up and dental caries.
Instead of having a better smile, you may worsen your condition, negatively affecting your overall health. Bad breath, gum diseases, and tooth loss are only some of the worst things that could happen when you skip Invisalign cleaning. Fortunately, with the right mindset and determination, you can prevent this nightmare from happening.
How To Clean Invisalign Aligners
Ensure proper care techniques to your Invisalign aligners by following our guide towards Invisalign cleaning. From suggested daily routines to at-home remedies and store-bought solutions, these treatment methods and alternatives will surely keep your aligners sparkling and shining for a long time.
Suggested Daily Routine
The best way to care for your Invisalign aligners starts with a daily routine. If you don’t know how a typical day looks like with Invisalign, fret not. We’ve listed down our maintenance guide for you to follow through.
Clean your teeth and Invisalign trays every morning and night
Since you sleep while wearing your aligners on, the first thing that you must do is to remove them as soon as you wake up. Bacteria can thrive in your saliva and your mouth, especially during night time while you sleep. You must clean your teeth and your aligners each morning after removing them before placing it back into your mouth. You should also repeat this step before you go to bed as well.
Routinely rinse your aligners every after removal
It would be best if you take your Invisalign aligners off when having your meals. Having a case where you could place your aligner is incredibly essential in order to avoid exposure from the air. If you happen to leave your aligners out in the open, it can cause the saliva to dry out and make the tray appear cloudy and turbid. It is crucial to make sure that you rinse your aligners every time you remove them. By doing so, you are washing away any leftover residues and preventing bacteria from build-up.
Brush and floss before putting back the trays
As mentioned earlier, you should remove your Invisalign aligners ideally only when you take your meals. After such time, it is essential to brush and floss your teeth carefully before you put your aligners back in. This step is a critical one as immediately wearing the Invisalign, and skipping this step will place you at a higher risk of trapping food particles inside the aligners. When this happens, you are increasing your chances of acquiring cavities and other dental issues.
Soak your trays daily
Ensure a deep clean with your Invisalign aligners by soaking it on trays daily using either Invisalign crystals or denture cleaners. After cleaning, don’t forget to brush the trays to eliminate any remaining plaque and food residues.
Avoid Basic Mistakes
When cleaning your Invisalign, keep in mind the following common mistakes to avoid to maintain its quality:
- Do not use hot water.
Never use hot water as it may cause the Invisalign material to warp and bend out of shape. An ill-fitting tray may lead to discomfort and other injuries. Remember to use temperate or lukewarm water, whether for soaking or for rinsing.
- Don’t use harsh ingredients as a cleaning solution.
Remember to check your cleaning solution’s contents and make sure it would not affect or cause damages to your trays. If you are looking for cleaning solution alternatives, check out below for our list of at-home remedies and cleaning recommendations.
- Avoid using mouthwash.
Never soak your Invisalign aligners using mouthwash as its chemicals can cause damage to your trays.
- Do not leave your aligners sitting out in the open.
Leaving your Invisalign out in the open can harbor bacteria and plaque build-up. Any residues or particles that dry out can also cause stains which will make your aligners appear cloudy.
At-Home Tips to Keep Your Trays in Good Condition
Being aware of the daily Invisalign routine is one thing, but it will always be better to equip yourself with these additional care remedies. These are proven ways if you need some at-home alternatives to maintain your aligners.
Soap and Water
If you don’t have enough resources to get Invisalign cleaning crystals, you can use soap and water as an alternative cleaning solution. Saturate a gentle, unscented liquid soap in a cup of warm water and keep on stirring until you see suds forming. Afterwards, carefully soak your aligners for about twenty to thirty minutes. Once done, brush and rinse any excess particles for a deeper clean.
Vinegar and Water
We all know the wonders of using vinegar as a household cleaning solution, and now, we can add aligners to the list of its merits. With one part of white distilled vinegar combined with three pieces of water, carefully soak your aligners in the solution for twenty minutes. Afterwards, make sure to brush and rinse it thoroughly to avoid any remaining vinegar taste.
Peroxide and Water
Hydrogen peroxide is a well-known tooth cleaning solution. You can also use it to sanitize your aligners by mixing equal parts with water. In as fast as thirty minutes of soaking, you’ll have a squeaky-clean tray almost looking new. Though, you’ll want to brush and rinse first before replacing it in your mouth.
Baking Soda and Water
If you want a more traditional yet deep clean, try using baking soda and water. In a tablespoon of baking soda, mix a half cup of water until you form a consistent mixture. Place the aligners inside the liquid for sixty minutes before brushing and rinsing thoroughly. Ensure that no forms of residue remain before wearing.
Store-bought professional retainer cleaning products can also be used as an alternative to clean your aligners. In terms of quality, retainer cleaners are the closest to a suitable replacement for Invisalign crystals. Some of these cleaners may come in tablet or powder form, which dissolve in water. However, it also comes in the form of wipes for convenient and on-the-go cleaning.
How To Clean Invisalign: Final Thoughts
Besides brushing your teeth and flossing, keeping your Invisalign aligners clean is essential to complete oral hygiene. If you want to maintain a clean, comfortable, and longer-lasting aligner, be sure to follow the guides and tips that we’ve shared. Keep your mouth fresh and maintain bright-looking teeth along with that killer smile, and you’re good to go.
Norris, Taylor. (May 2018). How Much Does Invisalign Cost and How Can I Pay for It?
Watson, Shawn. (January 2020). How to Clean and Care for an Invisalign Retainer.
Frisbee, Evan. (November 2020). Invisible Aligners for Teeth.
Roberts, Anna Monette. (February 2020). 11 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Got Invisalign.