You’ve done your research, studied Invisalign cost, gone to the dentist and gotten your Invisalign trays. Congratulations, you’re on the way to getting your best smile! However, there is an important part you need to play for your treatment to be effective. In this article, we take you through every step of how to clean Invisalign aligners.
Why is it important to clean Invisalign aligners correctly?
Cleaning Invisalign is important for your aligners to stay transparent, but also to do their work and fix your issue (such as an overbite - Can Invisalign fix overbite article). The goal is for them not to get discolored and not build up bacteria. This can lead them to smell bad and also affect the hygiene, cleanliness and overall oral health. So in order to keep your Invisalign aligners clear and smelling fresh, it is important to clean them up correctly.
How to clean Invisalign? 4 do’s of cleaning Invisalign
Now that we have established the importance of cleaning your Invisalign correctly, you must be wondering, how do you clean Invisalign? Invisalign aligners have to be cleaned every day to avoid food and bacteria build-up. Here is how to wash Invisalign aligners correctly:
Rinse your aligners correctly
Rinsing your aligners when you wake up as well as whenever you remove them plays a huge role. Using warm (not hot!) water to rinse them will stop bacteria from building up after wearing them for hours straight.
Use an unscented, antibacterial soap
Invisalign has special cleaning products that you can use to clean your aligners. However, a clear antibacterial soap will also efficiently wash the bacteria away.
Brush your teeth before putting your aligners back on
It is important for your teeth to be clean when wearing aligners to avoid cavities and bacteria. After meals or after anytime you remove your aligners, make sure your teeth are clean before putting them back on.
Soak your aligners
Dedicate a few minutes every day to soak your aligners in an Invisalign cleaning solution. This will definitely remove any bacteria build-up that wasn’t removed with rinsing and cleaning. Your aligners will stay fresh and transparent.
4 don’ts of how to clean your Invisalign
As you’ve read in the above section, how to clean Invisalign at home is quite easy. However, there are some practices to avoid so they don’t get damaged.
Don’t use toothpaste as a cleaner
Even though toothpaste removes stains and plaque from teeth, they can easily damage Invisalign trays. Toothpaste will rub away the aligners' plastic and cause them to be scratched.
Don’t leave your aligners out
Your aligners will come with a carrying case. Make sure you always place them inside the closed case whenever you remove them to prevent damage and bacteria.
Don’t use scented soap
To avoid your aligners tasting bad, stick to unscented and uncolored soap.
Don’t use hot water
Hot water can damage your aligners and require you to have new ones made, therefore delaying your treatment. As stated in the “Do” section, make sure you use warm water to rinse and clean Invisalign aligners.
4 best practices to clean Invisalign
There are important points to keep in mind when it comes to the best way to clean Invisalign. If you stick to the following best practices, your aligners will stay fresh and bacteria-free.
Avoid harsh cleaners
Toothpaste, scented soap, mouthwash and denture cleaners, will all damage your aligners. Make sure you stick to unscented cleaners.
Store your aligners in their case
Make sure that, once removed, your aligners stay in their airtight closed case. You will avoid losing them and bacteria to build up.
Never use hot water
Hot water is a no-no when it comes to cleaning and rinsing your aligners. It will definitely damage them.
Avoid keeping your aligners on while eating and drinking
The most important rule when going through the Invisalign treatment is to remove your aligners when eating and drinking to avoid food particles from building up on them. Also, make sure you brush your teeth after eating and before putting your aligners back on.
How often to clean Invisalign?
Just like any health routine, cleaning Invisalign aligners should become a daily habit. Cleaning your aligners every day is important in keeping them clean and not delaying your treatment.
How to keep Invisalign clean?
We talked about the do’s and don'ts of cleaning Invisalign. It is important to know that rinsing your aligners is not the same as dedicating a bit more time to cleaning them. Following the best practices listed above is a good way to know how to clean Invisalign at home. However, to keep your Invisalign clean continuously, soaking your aligners in a tray with a “Steraligner” product (sold by Invisalign) for 3 minutes daily, then rinsing the sterilizing solutions off and brushing your aligners with warm water will keep them perfectly clean and bacteria free. The cleaning process should be done every night at the same time you clean your teeth.
As a great solution and treatment to straighten teeth, Invisalign has been proven to be efficient (check out our Invisalign vs Smile Direct article). However, for the treatment to be fully successful and worth the money you will spend (Invisalign cost article), a patient has to do their part and learn how to disinfect Invisalign trays. Aligners will need regular cleaning and maintenance to do their work to the fullest. Following the best practices listed above will guarantee your aligners staying clean and fresh. Always talk to your dentist if you find yourself struggling to keep your teeth clean. They will give you the appropriate tips to make the most out of your trays.