Properly cleaning your Invisalign aligners is not only essential for maintaining good oral hygiene but also for ensuring the effectiveness of your treatment.
At Enhance Dental Centre, we understand the importance of personalized care and professional guidance when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping you achieve your desired smile with Invisalign, backed by advanced technology and tailored treatment plans.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the best practices for cleaning your Invisalign aligners, ensuring they remain clear, odor-free, and comfortable throughout your treatment. Let’s explore how simple steps can make a significant difference in your orthodontic experience.

Cleaning Vs. Rinsing Invisalign Aligners

Cleaning Vs. Rinsing Invisalign Aligners

When it comes to Invisalign, it’s important to distinguish between simply rinsing and thorough cleaning. While rinsing your aligners may improve their appearance, it doesn’t address the unseen bacteria that can accumulate.
The nightly cleaning process recommended includes:

  • Start by rinsing your aligners with water every night.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush (dedicated to aligner cleaning, not your daily toothbrush) and a gentle, clear liquid soap to brush away debris and food particles.
  • Rinse your aligners thoroughly after brushing.
  • Always store your aligners in a protective case when they are not in use to prevent damage or contamination.
What Should You Use to Clean Your Invisalign?

What Should You Use to Clean Your Invisalign?

There are several easy and effective ways to clean Invisalign trays. These are some of the ones I find the most effective:

1- Clear Hand Soap

Using clear, lightly-scented hand soap along with a soft manual toothbrush offers the simplest and most effective method for cleaning your Invisalign trays. Since you’re already brushing your teeth, why not clean your aligners at the same time?
While it may be tempting to use toothpaste with an electric toothbrush (which should ideally be your regular choice!), toothpaste can cause scratches on your aligners, and electric toothbrushes don’t fit well inside the aligners. Just be sure to avoid using colored or heavily-scented soaps, as they could potentially stain your aligners.

2- Hydrogen Peroxide

If your Invisalign turns yellow or brown, hydrogen peroxide offers a simple and budget-friendly solution for cleaning them. Create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide and lukewarm water. Allow your aligners to soak in this solution for 20 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly before putting them back in.
Removing stubborn stains may require multiple attempts. Additionally, you can try using white vinegar (but not simultaneously with the peroxide) to tackle any hard buildup that the stains may be attached to.

3- Distilled White Vinegar

White vinegar is a great way of removing hard buildup from your aligners. To create a cleaning solution, dilute 1 part distilled white vinegar with 3 parts water and soak your aligners in this mixture for 15-20 minutes. Afterward, rinse the aligners thoroughly and use a soft manual toothbrush to brush away any loosened plaque.
Be aware that vinegar will leave your aligners smelling like vinegar even after rinsing. Soaking your aligners in plain water for a few minutes will help but a faint smell might linger for longer.

4- Invisalign Cleaning Crystals

Invisalign cleaning crystals are a widely-used and easy-to-use daily cleaning solution. Simply dissolve the crystals in lukewarm (not hot) water and soak your aligners for 15 minutes or longer. While convenient and effective, it’s important to note that these crystals are considerably more costly than other cleaning options available.

5- Invisalign Cleaning Spray and Foam

Both the foam and spray are pre-mixed solutions containing hydrogen peroxide and SLS (detergent) for ready-to-use cleaning. They offer great convenience but come at a significantly higher cost compared to other alternatives. Keep in mind that the bottles are very small in size!

Are There any Cleaners to Avoid?

Are There any Cleaners to Avoid?

When cleaning Invisalign aligners, it’s important to avoid using certain cleansers or products that can damage the aligners or affect their appearance. Here are some cleansers to avoid:

1- Harsh Chemicals

Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach, acetone, or other strong cleaning agents. These can damage the aligners and potentially cause them to break down or become discolored.

2- Colored or Scented Soaps

Using colored or heavily-scented soaps can potentially stain the aligners. Stick to clear, mild soaps or specifically designed Invisalign cleaning products.

3- Hot Water

Avoid soaking or rinsing your aligners in hot water. High temperatures can distort or warp the aligners, affecting their fit.

4- Abrasive Toothpaste

Do not use regular toothpaste to clean your aligners, especially ones containing abrasives like baking soda. Toothpaste can scratch the aligners, making them more prone to picking up stains and bacteria.

5- Vinegar

While diluted white vinegar can be used occasionally to remove buildup, excessive use can affect the aligners’ clarity and may leave a lingering odor.

6- Alcohol-based Cleaners

Avoid using cleaners containing alcohol, as these can also cause damage or discoloration to the aligners.

How Often Should You Clean Your Aligners?

How Often Should You Clean Your Aligners?

It’s important to clean your aligners nightly, ideally as part of your routine when you brush and floss your teeth. This helps remove any accumulated food, debris, and bacteria from throughout the day.
If your aligners become visibly dirty, such as after consuming anything other than water while wearing them, or if you put them back on too quickly after eating, it’s a good idea to clean them. In addition to thorough cleaning, remember to rinse your aligners each time you remove them.
Even though you change your aligners every 2 weeks, it’s crucial to clean them diligently to avoid discoloration (which can make your teeth look yellow) and bad breath. Neglecting to clean them properly also means exposing your teeth to built-up bacteria.

Tips For Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene While Wearing Invisalign

Tips For Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene While Wearing Invisalign

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your aligners stay clean and clear throughout your treatment.

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, especially before reinserting your aligners after meals or drinks.
  • Use mouthwash to eliminate any lingering bacteria or food debris.
  • Soak your aligners in cleaning crystals or utilize the Steraligner system daily to eliminate plaque and bacteria from the aligners.
  • Avoid consuming anything besides water while wearing your aligners to minimize buildup on your teeth and aligners.
  • Regularly visit your dentist for cleanings and check-ups to ensure optimal oral hygiene and prevent potential issues.

Note: Looking for professional dental care to support your Invisalign journey? Consider visiting Enhance Dental Centre, where our experienced team specializes in Invisalign treatments and comprehensive dental care. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can enhance your smile with personalized, expert dental services.

Conclusion

In summary, maintaining clean Invisalign aligners is essential for successful orthodontic treatment and oral health. By following these tips consistently, you’ll keep your aligners clear and effective. For personalized dental care and Invisalign treatments, contact Enhance Dental Centre. Keep up these practices for a healthier smile and optimal results from your Invisalign treatment!

FAQs

1- What can I use to clean my Invisalign?

To clean your Invisalign aligners effectively, you can use specially formulated Invisalign cleaning crystals or the Steraligner system. These products help to remove plaque and bacteria from your aligners. Additionally, you can use a dedicated soft-bristled toothbrush with clear, unscented antibacterial soap to gently clean your aligners. Avoid using toothpaste, colored soaps, or harsh chemicals, as these can damage the aligners.

2- Is it OK to clean your Invisalign with soap?

If you need to clean with antibacterial soap, then it is possible to use a soft, clear liquid soap.

3- Why does my Invisalign smell?

Invisalign patients with poor oral hygiene may experience a foul smell from their aligners due to the buildup of dry saliva and plaque, which create a perfect environment for bacteria. To prevent this, brush your aligners every time you take them out and ensure you’re keeping up with your daily oral hygiene.