Neglecting to clean your Invisalign aligners is not something you should do. If not cleaned properly and often, your aligners will begin to develop stains. Stains and discoloration will make your aligners more visible and may even give the impression that you have stained teeth.

Your aligners have been designed to be easy to maintain. Regular cleaning prevents bacterial growth and prevents foul odors from developing. Regularly 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.

Follow These Steps When Cleaning Your Aligners

Step One: Remove the aligner from your teeth. Removing the aligners prior to cleaning allows for a proper clean without missing any problem areas. When removing your trays, follow the specific instructions you received from your dentist.

Step Two: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your aligners. Some patients find that a baby toothbrush with a smaller brush head allows for easier cleaning; however, brushing can be done with any toothbrush. Gently brush both the inside and outside of the aligner, ensuring 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 could cause aligners to lose their shape, so only use warm or cold water for cleaning.

Step Four: Place your aligners on a towel and let them air dry. Wet aligners should not be put back into your mouth.

Step Five: Brush and floss your own teeth, so you are not putting clean aligners over the top of dirty teeth. It is also suggested to utilize an antimicrobial mouthwash to eliminate any potential bacteria growth in your mouth as a result of wearing the aligners.

Step Six: Following the placement instructions from your dentist, put the aligners back into your mouth once they are completely dry and your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned.

Invisalign Cleaning Tips

The best way to clean Invisalign aligners is to follow a thorough cleaning regiment that tackles plaque and bacteria on multiple levels.Our top Invisalign cleaning tips 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 own teeth. Most regular toothpastes are abrasive and may scratch your aligners.

  • Toothbrush Type Matters – Be sure to use the softest toothbrush you can find. Baby toothbrushes work well because of the smaller brush head. Use gentle pressure while brushing.

  • Deep Clean Regularly – 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 a little yellow, discontinue use and contact your dentist or orthodontist.

  • Never Use Hot Water – Remember to always use lukewarm to tepid water when rinsing and cleaning your aligners. Hot water has the potential to change the shape of your trays.

Removing Plaque Buildup

To remove any plaque buildup, make a solution that consists of half lukewarm water and half distilled white vinegar. This will help to remove any tartar or plaque buildup on your aligners. Soak your Invisalign aligners in this solution for another 30 minutes, and then rinse them off in cold water, brushing them gently with a soft toothbrush.

Preventative Tips To Keep Your Aligners Clean

Use these preventative tips to keep your Invisalign aligners clean at all times:

  • Practice excellent oral hygiene – Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.

  • Keep 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 your aligners when eating and drinking – Most beverages and many foods have incredible staining power. Always remove your aligners any time you are doing anything other than drinking water.

  • Wash your aligners with antibacterial soap – Invisalign trays can attract bacteria, which is often what causes your aligners to smell foul. Use clear antibacterial soap on occasion to help fight against bacteria buildup. Make sure to stick with clear soap—colored soap can cause your retainers to lose their “invisibility” feature.

Avoid this cleaning mistakes

  • Do not use denture cleansers.
  • Do not try any abrasive cleaners or corse brushes.
  • Do not brush your Invisalign Aligners with toothpaste.
  • Do not 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 smile, schedule a consultation appointment with Kim Okamura DDS today!

Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.