A lot of people are turning to Invisalign to straighten their smile. But just as regular dental work, your Invisalign invisible aligners needs regular cleaning as well. If you start to ignore your aligners, you could end up disfiguring your smile or having to remove them early.
To properly clean your Invisalign aligners, you must follow the instructions from your orthodontist. The cleaning process will depend on how often you wear your aligners and how well you take care of them. See below to find the importance of cleaning your aligners, along with some of the best methods for caring for your clear aligners.
Why cleaning your Clear Aligners is Important
In many ways, cleaning your Invisalign retainers is similar to keeping proper oral hygiene for your teeth. With proper oral hygiene like brushing and flossing your teeth daily, cleaning your aligners each time, you’ll keep them clean and clear from bacteria. Failing to do so can result in them becoming stained, food particles or bacteria being trapped, resulting in bad breath. When the bacteria spreads, it can cause cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis, or even gum disease to develop. With proper care of your clear aligners and your teeth, you’ll protect yourself against unnecessary dental issues while you straighten your teeth.
5 Tips on how to Clean Invisalign Aliginers
Keeping your Invisalign trays clean is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best results from your Invisalign treatment. Especially when this type of orthodontic treatment can start from $3000 or more. Follow these cleaning tips to keep your Invisalign aligners clean and in good condition.
Remove Your Trays Before Eating
Each time you eat, it’s important to remove your trays to avoid food particles from building up around your teeth and in your trays. You’ll also avoid having to clean your aligner tray after eating, which can be a hassle and messy. If you do eat with your aligner without proper care, it can cause harm to your gums and teeth. Food particles can get stuck between your teeth and tray, and can cause harmful bacteria in your mouth to create plaque.
Plaque is a sticky film that clings to the surface of your teeth which you can typically feel. You can remove it by brushing your teeth and cleaning your enamel. If you don’t brush regularly, the plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which can be difficult to remove on your own. To avoid all of this, we recommend to remove it prior to eating or drinking.
Keeping your Invisalign Aligner Trays Clean
The easiest way to keep your aligners clean is to follow these steps.
Step 1 – Remove your aligners from your teeth. Your dentist can show you how to remove them safely if you’re unsure of how to do so.
Step 2 – We suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your aligner. Baby toothbrushes have smaller brushes, making it easier to clean in between the grooves; however, any toothbrush can be used for cleaning your aligner. Gently brush the outside edges of your aligners as well after each meal; this ensures that your aligners are free of small particles that can cause odor. In addition to brushing your aligners, you can also soak your aligners in the tray using a solution called Steraligner. To clean your aligners with this method, you will place them in the tray and soak them in lukewarm water for 3-5 minutes. After 3-5 minutes, rinse the cleaning solution off, and brush the trays with room temperature water.
Step 3 – After each brushing and or soaking the trays, be sure to rinse your trays with lukewarm water to remove any leftover residue. Never use hot water as it can cause your trays to bend and lose their shape, and never use cold water as it can cause your trays to contract.
Step 4 – Set aside your aligners so they can air dry.
Step 5 – Good oral hygiene is essential for the success of your aligners. That way, you prevent bacteria from the food you eat before putting on your aligners. So brushing your teeth at least twice a day and floss every night before bedtime to remove any food particles or debris is crucial.
Step 6 – After brushing and flossing your teeth, gently place the dry aligners back into your mouth, following the instructions from your dentist.
Preventative Tips To Keep Your Aligners Clean
You’d never skip brushing your teeth, would you? To make sure your aligners look great and fit well, use these preventative tips to keep them clean.
- Practice excellent oral hygiene – Taking care of your smile pays off. Nothing worse than getting a straight teeth and then having to deal with cavities. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to help prevent plaque buildup and food bits from causing cavities.
- Keep Teeth Clean – Remove your aligners when eating and drinking – To make it easy to remember, always take your aligners out of your mouth whenever you eat or drink (water is safe to drink while wearing your aligners). Failing to do so may cause your aligners to stain.
- Wash your aligners when you take it off – Invisalign trays can attract oral bacteria, which is often what causes your retainers to smell bad. If you’re not at home, feel free to rinse it with lukewarm water or use unscented clear soap until you get home where you can wash them properly.
Keep The Trays In a Case
We hear from some patients that they lose their trays because they misplace them or they accidentally throw them away when they took it off. To avoid this when you’re not wearing your aligners, place them in a case instead of putting it on a napkin.
Avoid Basic Mistakes
Here are some basic tips on what not to do to help you keep the quality of your aligners looking like new.
- Avoid using cleaning solutions with harsh ingredients such as denture cleaners, mouthwashes, scented soap, antibacterial soap, and toothpaste
- Don’t soak your trays in mouthwash as it can discolor the tray
- Don’t rinse your aligner in hot or cold water
- Avoid leaving your aligners outside of your container as you may misplace or damage them
- Please only drink water while wearing your aligners. Any other liquids, particularly foods and beverages with high sugar content, may cause staining or damage to your aligners.
Is Invisalign for you?
Now that you know all about the best way to care for your Invisalign aligners, you’ll have a stress free routine when cleaning your Invisalign aligners. If you’re thinking of using Invisalign to straighten your teeth, we offer Invisalign and Six Month Smiles clear aligners to help you get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. When it comes to your smile, there’s no such thing as a minor problem. Whether you want to correct an alignment issue or simply brighten up your teeth, we can help.
To learn more about this dental treatment, we’re here to help. Call our office at (972) 468-1440 to request an appointment with us. We’ll be happy to talk to you about the benefits of Invisalign and which options are best for you.