Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces, especially because Invisalign retainers can be removed while you are eating. But even if you don’t eat with the aligners in your mouth, they still need to be cleaned on a regular basis. The good news is that it is easy to clean Invisalign retainers and you can even use things that you already have at home.
Why Cleaning Clear Aligners is Important
The way Invisalign aligners cover the teeth is with a snug fit. The plastic is thin and comfortable, and the tight fit is essential so that the teeth can be gently moved by the pressure being exerted when the aligner is in place. The goal is to hold the teeth in the new, desired position.
Because Invisalign retainers cover the teeth, it means that anything inside your aligners or on the surface of your teeth will be trapped between the teeth and the plastic aligner – including food particles, liquid, plaque, bacteria, sugars, and more.
Also, the way the teeth are covered means that saliva isn’t flowing freely over the surface of the teeth to wash these particles away. So, if there is anything between the Invisalign aligners and your teeth, these elements stay on the enamel, which can increase your risk of tooth decay. The key is to be proactive about good oral hygiene and clean the retainers regularly.
Best Practices for Keeping Your Teeth and Aligners Clean
There are several habits you should practice for maintaining Invisalign trays and keeping your teeth clean while using this orthodontic system. For example, when you remove the aligners to eat a meal or snack, make sure to rinse your mouth well before replacing the aligners in your mouth again. Even better, it’s a good idea to brush your teeth before using the aligners.
Keep in mind that things will build up on the aligners over time, which is why they need to be cleaned twice daily. Knowing the best way to clean Invisalign retainers at home is essential.
Also, never eat or drink when the aligners are in your mouth. For example, if you are sipping on coffee while wearing your aligners, then it’s likely that the clear plastic will become stained and cloudy. Then, you’ll have more cleaning problems because you will need to know how to remove coffee stains from Invisalign.
How Often Should Invisalign Retainers Be Cleaned?
Ideally, your Invisalign trays should be cleaned as frequently as your teeth: twice a day. When you brush your teeth each morning and night, make the habit of cleaning the trays as well. At a minimum, Invisalign retainers should be rinsed well. But it’s best to clean them thoroughly.
In addition to the regular, daily cleaning, it’s also recommended to do a deep cleaning occasionally. Keep reading to learn more about the best practices for safely cleaning your aligners without causing damage or discoloration.
Tips for Cleaning Invisalign Aligners
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are cleaning your aligners:
- A Toothbrush Works Great:While there are many special tools you can buy to clean the aligners, don’t underestimate how effective it can be to use a standard toothbrush. In the same way you brush your teeth, use warm water and a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any particles on the aligners.
- Don’t Use Toothpaste:Even though you are using toothpaste on your teeth, it’s not recommended to use toothpaste on Invisalign aligners. The texture of the toothpaste can cause scratches on the plastic and affect their appearance, due to the abrasive ingredients in toothpaste.
- Clear Soap:If your aligners are starting to smell or need to be cleaned more thoroughly, then you can use an unscented, colorless soap. But make sure to rinse very well before putting the aligners back in your mouth.
- Water Temperature:Warm water is best when cleaning your Invisalign retainers. If the water is too hot, then it can cause the aligners to warp. Never put your aligners in a bowl of hot water or a pot of boiling water.
- Invisalign Cleaning Crystals:The Invisalign brand sells cleaning crystals that can be used to clean the aligners. This system works great, but it’s not necessary since there are also other methods that can be used to clean the trays.
- General Retainer or Denture Cleaners:Most general, over-the-counter retainer cleaning products will work for Invisalign aligners. The simplest solution is to place your aligners in a cup with enough water to cover them, then drop in a specialized retainer cleaning tablet that will fizz in the water. But it’s always a good idea to check with your dentist to ensure the product you have is safe for Invisalign.
- Distilled Vinegar or Hydrogen Peroxide:You can make a DIY cleaning solution at home using distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. The benefit of these ingredients is that they disinfect and deep clean the Invisalign retainers. Mix equal parts peroxide or a ratio of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water and let the aligners soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse well before placing them back in your mouth again.
Try these different Invisalign retainer cleaning hacks to see which products and routines you prefer. It can be simple to clean the aligners – so don’t over-complicate the process. For example, you might make it a habit to soak your Invisalign retainers in a cleaning solution every time you get in the shower each morning. Then, it will be ready to rinse when you are finished showering.
Are You Interested in Invisalign?
If you are considering your options to straighten your smile, then reach out to our experienced team to see if Invisalign is right for you. This modern system makes it easy to correct common dental misalignments and improve the overall appearance of your smile.
When you are ready to learn more, the best option is to schedule a consultation with our team. Contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas today for information about Invisalign and other cosmetic dental services that we offer. We are here to help!