Many patients think they know everything they need to about going to the dentist. But it’s a common misconception that dental treatments have stayed the same for decades. You may...
If not cleaned often and adequately, Invisalign aligners will begin developing stains, become discolored, and be more noticeable while wearing them. Invisalign aligners are designed to be easy to maintain. By cleaning your aligners, you will help to prevent bacterial growth and foul odors from occurring. Frequently cleaning your aligners also prolongs the life of the trays. It is strongly recommended that cleaning your aligners should take place two times each day.
Step By Step Instructions For Cleaning Invisalign Aligners
Step One: Remove the aligners from your teeth. By removing the aligners before cleaning, you won’t miss any problem areas that could be trapping bacteria. Always follow the specific instructions your provider gave to you when removing and reinserting your aligners to avoid any damage.
Step Two: Only ever use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your aligners. Using a brush that isn’t soft-bristled can result in scratches to the aligners. Some patients find that a baby toothbrush with a smaller brush head allows for easier cleaning; however, you can clean with any soft-bristled toothbrush. Gently brush both the inside and outside of the aligner, guaranteeing you do not miss any areas that food may be trapped.
Step Three: After brushing, thoroughly rinse your trays with water to remove any left-behind residue. Hot water can cause aligners to lose their shape and morph, so only use warm or cold water for cleaning purposes.
Step Four: Let your aligners air dry by placing them on a clean towel.
Step Five: Brush and floss your teeth, so you aren’t putting clean aligners over the top of dirty teeth. We also suggest incorporating an antimicrobial mouthwash to eliminate any potential bacteria growth in your mouth due to wearing the aligners.
Step Six: Following the placement instructions from your dentist, place the aligners back into your mouth once they are dry and your teeth have also been cleaned.
Top Invisalign Cleaning Tips
The best way to clean Invisalign aligners is to follow a cleaning regimen that tackles plaque and bacteria on multiple levels.
Some of our top Invisalign cleaning tips we’ve discovered over the years include:
- Frequent Rinsing – Get into the habit of rinsing your aligners every time you take them out. A quick swish under lukewarm water can help to limit the buildup of plaque and bacteria.
- Daily Brushing – Brush your aligners at the same time that you brush your teeth. Do not use the same cleaning solution or toothbrush that you use on your teeth. Most kinds of toothpaste are abrasive and may scratch your aligners.
- Toothbrush Type Matters – Be sure to use the softest toothbrush you can find. Baby toothbrushes work great because of the smaller brush head. Always use gentle pressure while brushing.
- Deep Clean Often – Soak your aligners daily using either the Invisalign Cleaning System or a gentle denture solution. If you use denture cleaners and notice your Invisalign aligners starting to turn yellow, discontinue use and contact your dentist or orthodontist.
- Never Use Hot Water – Remember always to use lukewarm water when rinsing and cleaning your aligners. Hot water has the potential to change the shape of your trays and even alter your treatment plan.
Preventative Tips To Keep Aligners Stain-Free
Use these preventative tips to keep your Invisalign aligners clean at all times:
- Perfect Your Oral Hygiene Routine – Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.
- Keep Your Teeth Clean – Always put your Invisalign aligners back in your mouth only after you have brushed and flossed your teeth. Your aligners will stay cleaner if they are placed on clean teeth.
- Remove Aligners While Eating and Drinking – Most beverages and many foods have incredible staining power. Always remove your aligners any time you are eating or drinking anything other than water.
- Wash Aligners – Invisalign trays can attract bacteria, which can cause your aligners to smell foul. Use clear antibacterial soap on occasion to help fight against bacteria buildup. Only use clear soap as colored soap can cause your retainers to lose their “invisibility.”
Avoid These Cleaning Mistakes
- Never use any abrasive cleaners or coarse brushes.
- Don’t use abrasive toothpaste on aligners.
- Never soak the trays in mouthwash, specifically any that contain alcohol.
Invisalign is an excellent alternative to wearing traditional metal braces for many teens and adults. To learn more about how Invisalign can transform your teeth and give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of, schedule a consultation appointment with Hoffman Dental Care today!