How to Clean Invisalign: A Step-by-Step Guide

a close-up of a person's mouth wearing an invisalign

Invisalign clear aligners have revolutionized the world of orthodontics, offering a discreet and comfortable way to straighten your teeth. However, to ensure their effectiveness and to keep your smile bright, it's important to know how to clean Invisalign properly.

In this guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of how to clean Invisalign aligners effectively and effortlessly, ensuring your smile stays on the right track throughout your orthodontic journey.

Why Clean Invisalign Matters

Maintaining the cleanliness of your Invisalign aligners is not only about aesthetics but also about preserving your oral health. When aligners aren't cleaned regularly, several problems can arise:

  • Plaque Buildup: Without regular cleaning, plaque can accumulate on your aligners, potentially causing tooth decay and bad breath.
  • Discoloration: Improper cleaning can result in visible stains and discoloration on your aligners, affecting their discreetness.
  • Bacterial Growth: Bacteria thrive in a moist environment, and neglecting to clean your aligners can lead to bacterial growth, which can be harmful to your oral health.

Top Dental Care Products for Invisalign

Properly cleaning your Invisalign aligners is essential for the success of your orthodontic treatment and overall oral health. To ensure you're using the most effective products, here are some of the best options available for keeping your aligners in pristine condition.

Retainer Brite - This effervescent cleaning tablet is widely recommended for Invisalign aligners and other clear aligners. It helps remove plaque, bacteria, and odors effectively.

Denture Cleaning Tablets - Some people use denture cleaning tablets to clean their aligners, as they can be cost-effective and readily available.

Invisalign Cleaning Crystals - Invisalign also offers branded cleaning crystals designed for aligner cleaning, which can be a convenient option.

Hydrogen Peroxide Solution - You can dilute hydrogen peroxide with water (usually 1:1) and soak your aligners for a few minutes. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly before reinserting them.

Mild Dish Soap - A gentle, unscented dish soap can be used with a soft toothbrush to clean aligners. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue.

Ultrasonic Cleaner - Some people invest in ultrasonic cleaners, which use high-frequency sound waves to clean aligners thoroughly. These can be more expensive but can be used for various cleaning purposes.

As you can see, a wide variety of options are available to you for maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of your aligners, from specialized cleaning chemicals to simple remedies.

a toothbrush and toothpaste in a glass

Essential Invisalign Cleaning Practices

Maintaining your Invisalign aligners is a simple process that shouldn't be overlooked in light of its significance. Here's what you need to know:

Rinse Them Regularly

After each time you remove your aligners, a quick rinse with lukewarm water is all it takes to eliminate accumulated saliva and debris efficiently.

Brush Them Gently

Just as your teeth require care, your Invisalign aligners do too. A soft-bristle toothbrush and a mild, clear soap or Invisalign cleaning crystals will do the trick. Be sure to brush gently to prevent any unwanted scratching.

Soak Them Daily

Daily soaking is an absolute necessity for those stubborn stains and persistent bacteria. Invisalign cleaning crystals or a reliable denture cleaner can be your trusted allies here. Following the package instructions diligently will ensure optimal results.

Avoid Hot Water

While hot water may seem tempting for a quicker clean, it's best avoided as it can potentially distort your Invisalign aligners. Stick to lukewarm water for a gentle yet highly effective cleanse.

Don't Forget Your Teeth

Remember, while caring for your aligners is paramount, your teeth deserve equal attention. After meals, brush and floss to prevent pesky food particles from becoming trapped between your aligners and teeth.

Keep Them Safe

When you're not wearing your aligners, store them securely in their designated case. Leaving them out in the open can expose them to harmful bacteria and damage, which we certainly want to avoid.

Spending just a few minutes a day cleaning your Invisalign aligners will go a long way toward preserving your treatment timeline and protecting your pearly whites from potential damage.

a person washing their invisalign

Mastering Invisalign Cleaning Routine

Having a consistent cleaning process in place will help you keep your Invisalign aligners clean at all times. To assist you in doing so, below is a simple routine to follow:

Daily Cleaning Routine

  • Rinse: After removing them, rinse your aligners with lukewarm water to remove saliva and debris.

  • Brush: Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and clear, antibacterial soap for gentle cleaning, avoiding colored or scented soaps.

  • Soak: Soak your aligners in denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaning crystals, following product instructions.

  • Rinse Again: After soaking, rinse your aligners thoroughly to eliminate any cleaning solution residue.

  • Store Safely: When not in use, store your aligners in their provided case to prevent damage or loss.

Weekly Cleaning Routine

  • Vinegar Soak: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a glass and soak your aligners for 15-20 minutes to remove stubborn stains and bacteria.

  • Brush Again: After the vinegar soak, gently brush your aligners once more with clear soap.

  • Rinse Thoroughly: Ensure there's no vinegar taste left on your aligners before reinserting.

With these practical cleaning routines at your disposal, you can confidently maintain the hygiene and functionality of your Invisalign aligners, supporting both their durability and the positive progress of orthodontic care.

The Do's and Don'ts of Cleaning Invisalign

Knowing the proper cleaning habits and safety measures for your Invisalign aligners will help keep them in top shape and extend theirl life. Here’s a list of recommended actions and things to avoid:

Do's

  • Rinse Before Reinserting: After removing your aligners, rinse them with lukewarm water to prevent saliva and food particles from drying on them.
  • Brush Your Teeth Before Reinserting: Always brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in to prevent trapping food particles.
  • Soak in Denture Cleaner: Soak your aligners in a denture cleaning solution or Invisalign cleaning crystals as recommended by your orthodontist.
  • Use Clear Anti-Bacterial Soap: Gently brush your aligners with clear, anti-bacterial soap and a soft toothbrush to remove debris and bacteria.

Don'ts

  • Avoid Hot Water: Never use hot water to clean your aligners, as it can distort their shape.
  • Skip Toothpaste: Avoid using toothpaste or colored soaps, as they can stain or damage your aligners.
  • No Harsh Chemicals: Steer clear of harsh chemicals like bleach, as they can harm your aligners and your oral health.
  • Don't Eat or Drink with Aligners: Remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything besides water to prevent staining and warping.

If you stick to the aforementioned instructions, you will have a far better chance of getting the results you want and the self-assurance that comes with it.

a person holding a plastic container with a white lid with an invisalign inside

Addressing Common Issues with Aligners

Sometimes, even with the best efforts, you might run into issues. What follows is how to tackle a few prevalent ones:

Yellowing or Staining

  • Reason: Clear aligners can sometimes become yellowish or stained over time as a result of factors like food and drink staining.
  • Solution: Soaking your aligners in a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide (commonly a 1:1 ratio) for about 15 minutes can help remove stains and restore their transparency. After soaking, be sure to rinse them thoroughly before reinserting.

Bad Odor:

  • Reason: Unwanted odors can occur when bacteria or food particles are trapped in your aligners.
  • Solution: Create a mixture of water and vinegar in equal parts (1:1 ratio) and soak your aligners for a few minutes. Once done, you can confidently reinsert them.

Aligners Not Fitting Properly:

  • Reason: If your aligners don't fit properly or if they become uncomfortable, it could be due to a few reasons, such as changes in your teeth or aligner damage.
  • Solution: Contact your orthodontist or dental provider as soon as you notice issues with the fit of your aligners. 

Keep in mind that clear aligners are a part of your orthodontic treatment plan, and any issues or concerns should be communicated to your orthodontist promptly. They are there to help you achieve the desired results and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Duo Dental Spa Presents: Invisalign - The Clear Choice

In a world where first impressions matter, let your smile be your standout feature! With Invisalign at Duo Dental Spa, you are not just getting a treatment; you are getting a transformative experience.

We believe in staying at the forefront of dental technology, and Invisalign is no exception. Our state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with the latest advancements to ensure your treatment is efficient, precise, and comfortable. No wires, no worries, just wonderful results.

Don't put off your dream smile any longer—book your appointment today and let your smile shine brighter than ever before!

Conclusion

Now that you've got the lowdown on how to clean Invisalign aligners, maintaining their clarity and hygiene should be a breeze. Remember, a little effort in cleaning goes a long way in achieving that dazzling smile you've always wanted.

So, keep them spick and span, and you will be flaunting that beautiful smile in no time!

FAQs

Is it necessary to clean aligners every time it is removed?

While cleaning your aligners regularly is essential, you don't need to clean them every time you remove them for a short period, such as during a meal. A thorough rinse suffices in such cases.

Is it normal for aligners to develop an odor?

It's normal for aligners to develop a mild odor over time due to bacteria and saliva. Regular cleaning and soaking can help keep them smelling fresh.

Can you eat with the aligners in?

Eating with your aligners in is not recommended, as it can potentially damage and stain them. To ensure the longevity and cleanliness of your aligners, it's a good practice to remove them before eating and store them securely in their designated case.

How can you prevent your aligners from getting cloudy?

Establishing a proper cleaning routine is essential to maintaining the clarity of your aligners and preventing cloudiness. Gently but thoroughly brush your aligners with clear soap every morning and night.

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