How Should I Clean My Invisalign® Aligners?
Your teeth need to be cleaned off every day if you want to prevent cavities and potential gum disease development. Since you wear your Invisalign® clear aligners on top of your teeth, naturally, they require oral hygiene related attention as well. Fortunately, our Columbus, OH, dentist can help you keep your trays stain-free with easy to follow tips and advice.
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to.
The Difference Between Cleaning & Rinsing
If you wear clear aligners, it can be tempting to run them under some water and call them “clean”. However, it’s not that simple. For one, that method does nothing to address the bacteria that may be accumulating on the aligners.
Dr. Gibson recommends that instead of only rinsing your aligners, you thoroughly clean them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This can be accomplished in just a few minutes and most Invisalign patients find it easiest to clean their aligners at the same time they are brushing their teeth.
Give your aligners a proper clean by:
- Quickly rinsing them under lukewarm water after they are removed from your mouth.
- Using your soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of clear antibacterial soap to get rid of any food bits that may have stuck around from an earlier meal.
- Carefully brushing the inside and outside of the top and bottom aligner.
- Rinsing them again after you’re done brushing.
- Placing them back in your mouth or inside their protective case when not in use.
Want to use toothpaste instead of clear soap? As long as toothpaste is non-abrasive and gentle, it is fine to use for cleaning your aligners. Do not use whitening or any harsh toothpaste on your aligners to avoid damaging them.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Clear Aligners
Aside from watching what toothpaste you use to clean your Invisalign aligners, it’s important that you also refrain from ever washing them in hot water. If you do, you risk warping the plastic and ruining the set you’re cleaning.
It’s best if you use lukewarm water that isn’t too hot or cold as it will get the job done without being harmful. For times when you’d rather let your aligners soak, choose an approved cleaning solution. Never use mouthwash as alcohol within the mixture can distort your aligners and the colored dye can cause discoloration.
If you want to use a soaking solution, Dr. Gibson recommends:
- Small amount of gentle liquid soap + a cup of water
- One part vinegar + 3 parts warm water
- Tbsp. of baking soda + ½ cup water
- Denture cleanser
Cleaning Accessories From Invisalign
work just fine, but if you want additional tools at your disposal, Invisalign does offer a few options for purchase. One of which is what they call a “Steraligner”.
The Steraligner comes with a tray, rubbing alcohol, and sodium bicarbonate which is a natural antiseptic. All you need to do is place your aligners in the tray provided and soak them for 3 minutes in the cleaning solution. When the time is up, rinse them off with warm water.
Invisalign also offers “cleaning crystals” that act as sodium sulfate cleansing agents and dissolve once placed in water. Submerging your aligners in the mixture for a few moments and rinsing them afterwards does the job.
Have More Invisalign Care Questions?
No one wants stained aligners which makes cleaning them all the more important. If you need additional help with aligner care, our Invisalign dentist in Columbus, OH, can speak with you one-on-one. Call Gibson Dental today at (614) 878-9562 or request an appointment online.