One of the top reasons patients choose Invisalign® orthodontic treatment is because it’s so discreet. However, in order to keep your Invisalign® clear, you have to clean your Invisalign® aligner trays properly and regularly. Fortunately, it’s easy!
Most of our patients don’t have any trouble with keeping their aligners clean, mainly because we change them every week so they don’t have much of a chance to get dirty. But if you are noticing slight discoloration of your Invisalign® aligner trays, here are our best tips for keeping your Invisalign® trays clean and clear.
Clean Trays Start With Clean Teeth
Have you ever gone to the dentist and had topical fluoride treatment? It’s usually applied as a flavored gel or foam within a tray shaped to fit over your teeth. Now imagine that same tray but, instead of fluoride, it’s full of food fragments and saliva.
Kind of gross, right?
Since your Invisalign® aligners are meant to fit over your teeth for most of the day, any dirt, leftover food, or saliva trapped inside the tray will contribute to staining (and tooth decay). If you remove your Invisalign® aligner to eat, only put it back on after you’ve flossed and brushed your teeth.
Clean Your Invisalign® Aligner Tray With A Soft Toothbrush
The easiest way to keep your Invisalign® aligner clean is with a toothbrush. Make sure it’s soft—hard bristles can scratch your tray. Using toothpaste on your Invisalign® is fine, as long as it’s non-abrasive (so avoid the kind with baking soda or any other larger particles). You can also use dish soap on your aligners as it’s non-abrasive and safe. Just make sure to rinse well in cold water, or you’ll be tasting soap for a while!
Don’t Use Mouthwash Or Denture Cleaner On Invisalign®
Use mouthwash after you brush and before you reinsert your aligner tray, but don’t soak your Invisalign® aligner in mouthwash. It can easily discolor your aligner, which means it will no longer be invisible. Some kinds of denture cleaning products can also turn your Invisalign® trays yellow, so don’t use those products to keep your aligner clean.
Use An Ultrasonic Cleaner
If you want to go high-tech in keeping your aligners clean, you can buy a portable ultrasonic cleaner. We recommend the company Retainer Brite, which sells the ultrasonic cleaners along with cleaning tablets. Simply add the tablets to water inside the ultrasonic cleaner, place your aligners inside, and let it do the work for you! In just two minutes, your Invisalign® aligners will be sparkling clean. There are other companies which sell ultrasonic cleaners as well—you should have no problem finding one online.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide And Water
If you are looking for a home remedy that will do in a pinch, you can also soak your aligner tray in a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water. Just make sure you rinse your Invisalign® tray thoroughly in cold water before putting in back in your mouth.
Never Use Hot Water While Cleaning Your Invisalign® Trays
It’s important to remember to never use hot water while cleaning your aligners. Hot water can warp the Invisalign® material, meaning your aligner tray won’t fit properly and won’t guide your teeth into their intended position. Only use cold or room temperature water when cleaning your Invisalign® aligner trays!
Questions About Invisalign®? We’re Here To Help
If you have any more questions about cleaning your aligner trays—or anything else to do with Invisalign®—Montano & Cardall are here for you! We’re an Elite Top 1% Invisalign® Provider, so we can answer any questions you may have.
If you don’t have Invisalign® but think it could help you reach your smile goals, request a FREE consultation with us today!