Invisalign braces or aligners are one of the most preferred options for teeth straightening as they are almost invisible, virtually painless, and easy to wear and take off. So if you too have chosen them recently and have questions about cleaning them, this guide is all you need. Listed here are important do’s and don’ts about how to clean Invisalign.
Here are the best ways to clean Invisalign, important dos & don’ts, and FAQs regarding how to clean Invisalign.
How to Clean Invisalign Trays? Cleaning VS Rinsing!
Many people get confused between cleaning and rinsing the Invisalign trays. Rinsing is different. You must rinse your aligners with plain water every time you take them out of your mouth.
In this way, plaque and dried saliva will not be accumulated on the aligners. However, rinsing is not enough to eliminate unseen bacteria. You need cleaning for that!
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Aligners?
Cleaning of aligners is something you must do at least twice a day, typically in the morning and evening or night. Or you can do it every time you brush your teeth which is generally in the morning and night.
But how to clean your Invisalign? Various methods to clean your aligners properly are mentioned in the upcoming section of this article. You can use any of them.
What to Do to clean your Invisalign?
Rinse your Aligners:
Every time you remove your aligners, rinse them. This helps prevent the buildup of dry saliva and plaque. If the trays are removed and kept in open and aren’t rinsed before use, the risk of bacteria growing on them increases.
Brush and Floss your Aligners:
During your morning oral hygiene routine, clean Invisalign and your mouth thoroughly. Keep an extra brush with soft bristles to clean the aligners so that their surface is not scratched. Brush and floss your teeth properly so that no food debris is trapped between the trays and teeth when you wear the aligners. Be sure to do this during your nighttime oral hygiene routine also.
Soak your Aligners:
Make sure that you soak your Invisalign braces every day in either a solution with Invisalign cleaning crystals or a denture cleaner. After some time, use the extra toothbrush to brush away any remaining food or plaque particles. Next, rinse the trays properly before placing them back in the mouth. If you have questions such as for what duration of time should I soak the trays or how often should I repeat this process in a day, get in touch with us. Our dental experts will help you understand the process of cleaning Invisalign better.
Use Professional cleaning products:
Choose professional retainer cleaning products to clean Invisalign. These are available in various forms such as tablets, powders, or wipes. You can also try safe DIY methods such as a cleaning solution made by mixing baking soda, peroxide, or vinegar with water. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly so that no residue of the solution remains on the trays.
What Not to Do while cleaning your Aligners?
Don’t Eat or Drink With Aligners:
Don’t eat while you are wearing the aligners. Invisalign aligners are not meant for chewing and can get damaged if you eat regularly while wearing them. Also, eating with these trays increases the possibility of food particles getting stuck between them and your teeth. Besides some kinds of foods and drinks can stain the trays.
Don’t Leave the aligners in open:
Don’t leave the Invisalign trays in the open when not in use. Doing so might lead to bacterial buildup which is responsible for causing bad odor and tooth decay. Instead of exposing them to open air, keep them in their case when not in use. Always rinse them before putting them back in your mouth.
Don’t Soak in Hot Water:
Don’t soak or clean the aligners in hot water as this can severely damage the trays. Coldwater is a much better choice to ensure that the special plastic material of these aligners is not damaged in any way.
Don’t Use Toothpaste:
Don’t use toothpaste, mouthwash, or scented soaps to clean the aligners. Toothpaste can cause damage and discoloration in the trays. Mouthwashes often contain alcohol and dyes which can be harmful to the material of the aligners. Scented or colored soaps can not only stain the trays but also leave an unpleasant odor or taste in them.
How to Clean Invisalign Using the Top 5 Cleaning Methods?
Using Invisalign crystals is the best way to clean Invisalign aligners. Invisalign company has designed these cleaning crystals to clean the Invisalign without scratching and discoloring the aligners. The steps to clean Invisalign trays with cleaning crystals are as follows:
- Open the packet of crystals and stir them well into a bowl full of warm water.
- Let your Invisalign sit in this solution for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, take the trays out and brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Finally, rinse them with clean water
It’s simple to clean Invisalign with hydrogen peroxide. Soak the trays in the solution of water and hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes. Afterward, brush to remove any leftover plaque from Invisalign before rinsing them with plain water.
Baking soda has unique abrasive quality. When you clean Invisalign with baking soda, you ensure that the bacteria, plaque, and stuck-on food particles get removed from your trays.
Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water. Soak your trays in this solution for 30 minutes. Then take them out, brush them, rinse them, and they are ready to wear!
Distilled White Vinegar
Cleaning Invisalign with vinegar is also simple. But make sure you use distilled white vinegar only. Others may stain your aligners. Mix one part vinegar with 3 parts water. Soak your trays for 15 minutes in this solution. Now brush away, loosen up plaque and rinse your trays.
You can use clear (without any color) and antibacterial soap to clean the Invisalign tray. Either soak your trays in a soapy solution for some time or apply the soap directly on aligners. Whatever you do, ensure that the trays are appropriately rinsed. Antibacterial soap is unfit for consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign:
Why does Invisalign turn yellow?
Invisalign turns yellow primarily because of a lack of cleaning and rinsing. Another common reason for discoloring Invisalign is consuming colored beverages like soda, coffee, wine, etc. So rinse your tray every time you remove them and clean them properly twice a day. Avoid strong-colored drinks and food.
Can I use toothpaste to clean my Invisalign?
Generally, Invisalign cleaning crystals and other methods explained in this post are only advised by your orthodontists to clean your aligners. However, some orthodontists allow using toothpaste. So you need to confirm this with your orthodontist only.
Can I use mouthwash while wearing Invisalign?
The harsh ingredients and colors in the mouthwash are harmful to Invisalign. Therefore it is advisable to avoid mouthwash during your Invisalign treatment.
The information provided in this article will surely help you maintain clean Invisalign aligners. These do’s and don’ts are sure to help you maintain clean Invisalign aligners. If you still have any queries regarding these aligners, feel free to schedule an appointment with us today.
Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD, runs a successful dental practice in Salem, MA. Dr. Isaac strives for quality on a daily basis and this commitment to quality is reflected in her constant pursuit of advanced training. Her firm belief that even experts need to stay updated about what’s new in the dental field, enables her to provide every patient with optimal oral care. As the founder of Coral Dental Care, she is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles for her patients and also to educating dental and non-dental community with her engaging articles on all things related to oral health,recent dental innovations, and latest treatment modalities.