What Is the Best Way To Clean Clear Aligners?
The way we interact with people is crucial for everyone. No matter how old we are, we all want to look our best, and having a beautiful, healthy smile helps us in our interactions and boosts our confidence.
This is one of the main reasons why Invisalign became so popular, the treatment is convenient, barely noticeable, and the aligners are especially useful when removing them after meals. Of course, as easy and convenient as it is, we do have to be conscious and take care of our teeth, and practicing good oral hygiene will help us achieve amazing results and a healthier mouth and body.
So let’s go through some of the most common cleaning procedures and daily habits we have to follow when we want to maintain our aligners, teeth, and good general oral health.
How To Keep Your Teeth and Invisalign Aligners Clean
You should really be cleaning your aligners at least twice daily to avoid discoloration and an unpleasant smell.
Remember that the aligners should fit tightly against your teeth to exert enough pressure to move them into their correct positions. The length of treatment and number of aligners varies from person to person, depending on their needs and the severity of their condition.
The idea is to maintain your teeth and aligners always clean and in their best shape, as this helps in your treatment’s success. Here’s how to keep them clean.
What You Can Use To Clean Your Aligners
Let’s start with all the solutions at your disposal for an optimal hygiene routine that keeps your clear aligners as clean as possible. Then, we’ll see a variety of options and what to use and what not to use.
- Sterialigner: It is Invisalign’s official aligner cleaning antiseptic product, and it contains rubbing alcohol and sodium bicarbonate. Just submerge your aligners in your tray with Sterialigner and let them soak for a few minutes. You can rinse them off with warm water, and voila! You are done.
- Clear antibacterial soap and warm water: This is not only a common option but an easy one as well. Just remember to use a clear soap, as we do not want any stains on the aligners. Just soak them for at least 20 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
- Distilled Vinegar: A distilled vinegar mix never disappoints (You can use one part white vinegar with three parts of warm water). Again, soak for a good 20 minutes, and then rinse with room temperature water.
- Baking Soda: Another old remedy that works like a charm by mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with half a cup of water. This one might take a little bit longer (soak them for an hour), but it is quite effective. Once they are clean, rinse them with warm water.
What You Should AVOID To Clean Your Aligners
There are several things you shouldn’t do when cleaning your Invisalign aligner trays:
- Color added soaps: We clarified this above when we recommended clear soaps above, do NOT use soaps with added dyes; unfortunately, the color dyes will leave stains on your aligners.
- Mouthwash and Toothpaste: Due to some of the abrasive solutions and colors added to both of them, it is again not a recommended option.
- Avoid other cleaning solutions, such as alcohol, dishwasher, detergent, bleach, etc. All of them will permanently damage your aligners, and they can cause be dangerous to your health. Use only the recommended solutions marked above and given by your orthodontist.
How Often To Clean Your Aligners Trays
If you made a commitment to yourself to have an Invisalign treatment, you would have to be extra careful and follow regular oral hygiene. The first to point out is to clean your aligner trays whenever you brush and floss your teeth, especially after meals and every night.
The cleaner your teeth and trays are the best results you will get, plus by following an oral routine you will avoid having food particles, and bacteria in your mouth; and therefore avoid cavities and further infections.
Of course, if you have some stains clearly showing on your Invisalign aligners, brush your teeth and clean the aligners right away to avoid future damage.
What Foods To Avoid
It is also very important to highlight not to eat or drink while using your aligners; it is better to remove them before eating.
Don’t eat foods containing acids and avoid especially chewy or sticky foods, and hard foods might cause damage to your aligners. The same thing is for drinks, especially dark ones such as coffees, teas, and wines.
Finally, remember to always clean your aligners before storing them in their case. And wear them back after you have brushed and flossed your teeth.
If you’d like to know more about these treatments or would like us to evaluate your teeth and determine whether Invisalign would be an appropriate treatment option for you, please contact our office for an appointment; we’d be glad to take care of that for you.