How to clean your Invisalign aligners
From the moment you receive your aligners and start the treatment that will give you the smile you’ve always wanted, you will need to know how to look after your purchased treatment. However, this does not stop at knowing how long they should be worn each day. You will also need to know how to clean your Invisalign retainers, in order to keep them in good working order and to promote good levels of oral health.
If you have any questions or concerns about your Invisalign trays, please call us or come into our clinic as soon as you possibly can.
We want our customers to be happy with the treatment plan they have, so we will do everything we can to see you comfortable.
Different cleaning methods
There are a number of ways to clean Invisalign, but each method must start with you removing them from your mouth. You cannot clean them properly while you are still wearing them!
The first method is to put your aligners in a bath, along with specialist cleaning crystals that will create a solution to clean them. To use these Invisalign cleaning crystals, fill a container with warm water (use the amount suggested in the product instructions) and pour in the right amount of crystals (sometimes they come in packets, or tablet form). Add your aligners and wait for 15 minutes.
After this time has passed, remove the aligners and rinse them thoroughly under warm water. This will help to remove bacteria, but it will also help to wash away any remaining cleaning solution that could cause an allergic reaction. Because of this, you should also wash your hands and the container used as a bath, while your retainers dry on a clean towel.
Once your retainers are dry, you can put them back in your mouth.
It is possible to clean stained Invisalign trays using homemade chemical solutions, too. The first is a hydrogen-peroxide solution diluted with warm tap water in a ratio of 1:1. Soak your Invisalign in this for at least 30 minutes, before rinsing them with more warm water.
It must be noted that while this does clean your retainer of any bacteria present, it does not remove built-up plaque.
You can both remove tartar and kill bacteria with distilled vinegar and warm water, by mixing the two liquids in equal parts and cleaning your trays in them for between 15 and 30 minutes. Once this is done, brush them very gently with a soft toothbrush and wash them with warm water.
Again, you should place your Invisalign on a dry, clean towel until they are ready to be put back in. Whichever method you use as an Invisalign cleaner, you must not put the retainers under hot water, as this can permanently warp and damage the plastic.
Can you use toothpaste on Invisalign?
Many people believe that it is a good idea to clean your Invisalign retainers with toothpaste. It’s good for your teeth, so it must be equally good for your braces, right?
Unfortunately, this reasoning is not entirely correct. As many types of toothpaste are abrasive (especially those that whiten teeth), they can eventually dull your retainers and form micro-scratches that create traps for bacteria. Because of this, we recommend that you do not use toothpaste on Invisalign, if possible. Soaking the aligners in mouthwash can also discolour them, so we would suggest that you do not do this, either.
If you have no alternative but to use toothpaste on your Invisalign, gently brush the retainer with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush, to reduce the chance of damage occurring. After clearing the aligner of any food particles present, use a steady stream of lukewarm water to rinse it off and allow it to dry on a clean towel before placing it back in your mouth.
How often should you clean Invisalign retainers?
Your retainers should typically be cleaned twice a day, usually when you are brushing and flossing your teeth. Because your Invisalign is only as clean as your mouth, this will give it the best chance of remaining good for your teeth. This will also mean that you can then put your retainer back in, once it has dried off.
For more information
If you would like to know more about Invisalign, how to care for it and what not to do if you have it already, get in touch with Splash Orthodontics today. We are specialist orthodontists and we can provide expert advice on how to look after and clean your aligners.
We can also help you book a free consultation if you need braces and feel as though you might like to try Invisalign to get the smile you have always wanted. So, contact us today and one of our friendly staff members will be able to help with whatever you need.