One of the most common questions we receive from patients wanting to get the Invisalign treatment is if they’re hard to maintain and keep clean. Keeping your Invisalign aligners clean and maintaining them is as easy as getting an Invisalign treatment done.
Having created over 11 million smiles since our inception, here are some instructions we provide our patients to keep their invisible dental braces clean, hygienic and long-lasting.
The best thing to maintain your aligners is to clean them every day. While it’s a general rule that you must remove your aligners when eating, food particles stuck in your tooth can still come in contact with the aligners when you wear them again. This can quickly let bacteria grow in your aligners and even give out an unpleasant odour. Practising frequent cleaning, at least once a day, is a must to keep your aligners clean.
Use the Right Type of Cleaner
As much as cleaning is important, it’s equally necessary to use the right type of cleaner. Retainer cleaners work perfectly on Invisalign aligners. While it is okay to use clear liquid soap, soap and water, baking soda and water, vinegar and water or the standard Sterialigner cleaning solution is highly recommended by professionals.
Never use toothpaste, mouthwash, dishwashers or cleaning soaps with added dyes. They have harsh chemicals and abrasive ingredients that can scratch and damage your aligners. Sometimes the dyes from these cleaning solutions can cause discolorations and become visible when you wear the aligners.
Soak Your Aligners For 20 Minutes At least
Another way to keep your aligner clean and maintain its longevity is by soaking them. Soaking the aligners in Invisalign crystals or retainer cleaner will help remove any built-up dirt or stains on the tray. Usually, you’ll need to soak your aligners anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Don’t let your aligners soak overnight. To get the best results from the Invisalign treatment, the retainer needs to be worn for at least 22 hours.
Brush Your Aligners
Getting into the habit of brushing your aligners while brushing your teeth can also help in maintaining and keeping your aligners clean. Keep a separate toothbrush for this purpose and opt for soft bristles. Baby toothbrushes work well to clean aligners.
You can use a small amount of gentle soap or gel and brush the aligners with water. Brush them gently, rinse them and pat dry before you put them back in your mouth.
Handle Stains Safely
The Invisalign aligners can get cloudy and stained even with proper care. Whenever you observe this, combine a 50-50 mix of warm water and hydrogen peroxide and soak the aligners for a few minutes. Then rinse it and put it back. You can also try soaking the aligners in a 50-50 mix of water and vinegar- but don’t soak for long. If there are hard stains, dip a soft toothbrush in water and baking soda and brush off the stains.
Remove Aligners While Eating or Drinking
One of the easiest but often overlooked ways to keep your aligner clean and to maintain them is to remove them when eating or drinking anything other than water. Eating or drinking with the aligners can easily allow food particles to settle in and aid the growth of bacteria. Food and beverages can cause stains in your aligners which will turn stubborn to clean after a few hours.