Do you know what happens if you don’t clean your Invisalign trays properly? They can get stained and smelly, defying your purpose of getting Invisalign as a discreet treatment. Therefore it’s vital to take good care of your Invisalign and clean them regularly. But what is the best way of cleaning Invisalign?
Thankfully Invisalign company launched a few effective Invisalign cleaning products, such as Steraligner and Invisalign cleaning crystals. You need to dissolve your pair of aligner trays in the solution with these cleaning products to clean them. Since these products belong to the Invisalign company, it’s best to use them for cleaning Invisalign aligners.
Dos & Don’ts of Cleaning Invisalign Aligners
Some major Dos & Don’ts of cleaning Invisalign aligners are mentioned here to help you identify the best practices and also the wrong techniques to clean Invisalign.
Dos of Cleaning Invisalign
- Use Unscented & Antibacterial Cleaning Products
It is best to clean your aligners with the Invisalign cleaning products only. However, if you choose otherwise, use unscented cleaning soaps or solutions with strong anti-bacterial properties.
- Do it First Thing in the Morning
Clean your Invisalign tray and your teeth first thing after you wake up. This is because you have accumulated plaque and bacteria in your mouth from the previous night that needs to be cleaned ASAP to prevent bad breath.
- Rinse your Aligners Regularly
The bacteria could form a dried-out layer on your aligner if you leave them without washing them for long. Therefore it’s good to wash your Invisalign tray with warm water every time you remove your aligners. It keeps your trays free of bacteria.
- Don’t Eat While Wearing Your Aligners
It isn’t easy to chew with your aligners. They can get stained by the food and drinks you consume. So always remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything apart from water. One of the most significant conveniences of Invisalign treatment is that you can remove your aligners and eat anything you want.
- Brush Your Teeth After Eating
It’s essential to keep your teeth clean while you are undergoing Invisalign treatment. Otherwise, the trapped food particles can convert into cavities, plaque, and bacteria. Therefore always brush your teeth after eating anything before wearing your aligners again. If bruising is not possible every time, at least rinse with a mouthwash.
Don’ts of Cleaning Invisalign
- Don’t Use Toothpaste to Clean
Toothpaste is good for your teeth but not for your aligners. In most cases, toothpaste contains baking soda or silica. These substances work as abrasives and can rub away the plastic. It can result in the appearance of grooves and scratches on your aligners.
- Don’t Use Colored Soap or Dishwasher
Using colored or scented products to clean Invisalign would be a recipe for disaster. You will feel that when you wear your aligners after cleaning. They may taste nasty, and the colors may stain your aligners. So steer clear of such products.
- Don’t Keep Your Aligners in Open Space
Whenever you are not wearing aligners, keep them secured in their case only. Never leave them uncovered in open space as they can get damaged or bacteria can build on them.
- Don’t Clean With Hot Water
Extremely hot water can wrap your aligners, ruining their shape. A wrapped Invisalign tray will not be as effective and delay your treatment duration. So never use hot water to rinse your aligners. Always use cold or lukewarm water only.
- Don’t Smoke While Wearing Aligners
It’s a big no to smoking with aligners! The tar and nicotine can easily stain your clear Invisalign trays. In fact, you must avoid smoking altogether during your ongoing Invisalign treatment. Even if you smoke after removing the aligners, the remains of tar and nicotine in your teeth are enough to stain your aligners.
FAQs Regarding Cleaning Invisalign
By going through these FAQs, you will get additional information on what is good for cleaning aligners and what is not.
- How often do Invisalign trays need to be cleaned?
It’s ideal to rinse your aligners every time you remove them. As far as cleaning goes, you can clean them properly twice a day when you clean your teeth.
- Can teeth whitening solutions be used for cleaning Invisalign?
No. You can’t clean Invisalign with a teeth whitening solution for the same reason you can’t use toothpaste for cleaning them. They can scratch your aligners as they contain abrasive substances.
- What is the reason for the discoloration of Invisalign?
Your Invisalign trays turn yellow either because your oral hygiene is poor or you ate and drank too many colored beverages. It’s tough to eliminate the stains entirely, no matter how hard you clean your aligners. So be cautious of not getting stains on your aligners.
- Do aligners need to be removed before using mouthwash?
Yes. It’s safe to remove aligners before you use mouthwash. There are two reasons for that. First, the mouthwash can’t reach every corner of your teeth and mouth with aligners. Also, chemicals in mouthwash can damage the surface of Invisalign trays. Therefore it’s always advisable to remove the Invisalign before using mouthwash.
Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League-trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile makes a person look great and feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about orthodontics, the importance of correctly aligned teeth, and good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.