How To Clean Up Invisalign: Tips, Prevention, And More
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One of the most important things to remember about Invisalign aligners is that they need to be cleaned.
Although the aligners are intended to be discarded every few weeks, they still need to be cleaned. Otherwise, you could put on a very smelly or dirty set of aligners every day.
Read on to find out how to keep your aligners clean.
Remember, when it comes to Invisalign, there is a difference between cleaning and flushing. Flushing your aligners may make them appear a little cleaner, but you haven’t done anything to fight the invisible bacteria that can build up.
The following is the basic cleaning process listed on the Invisalign nightly cleaning website:
- Rinse your aligners with water every night.
- Brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush (not the one you use to brush your teeth every day) and gentle, clear liquid soap to remove any dirt or food debris that has built up during the day.
- Rinse thoroughly after brushing.
- Store in a protective bag when not in use.
Invisalign sells a steraligner product with a tray. Ingredients include alcohol and sodium bicarbonate, a natural antiseptic.
To clean your aligners, put them in the tray and let them soak for 3 minutes. Rinse off the sterilizing solution and brush it with warm water.
Invisalign also sells a product called “Cleansing Crystals” that you dissolve in water and soak your aligners.
These crystals contain detergents, including sodium sulfate. These ingredients are similar to those found in products used to clean retainers (but not denture cleaners) if you’re looking for a cheaper and more accessible alternative.
Buy Invisalign cleaning supplies online
The basic cleaning method outlined above is often enough to keep your aligners clean at night – but it may not be the most thorough method.
A study published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology examined the pathogens on invisible aligners that were changed every 2 weeks over a period of 6 weeks.
They examined three approaches:
- rinse with water
- with effervescent tablets plus brushes
- Brush the aligners with toothpaste and a toothbrush alone
At the end of the study, the researchers found that brushing and using effervescent tablets was the most effective way of cleaning the aligners. They also found that brushing was only marginally inferior to using the tablets.
You should clean your aligners every night, usually at the same time you brush your teeth and floss. This will help remove any accumulated food, debris, and bacteria that you naturally accumulate during the day.
You can also clean your Invisalign if it appears visibly dirty, e.g. For example, if you accidentally drink something that wasn’t clear when you were wearing it, or if you put it on too quickly after eating.
In addition to more extensive cleaning procedures, you should rinse your aligners every time you take them off.
Even if you change your aligners every 2 weeks, it’s still worth cleaning them carefully.
Otherwise, the aligners may appear discolored (your teeth will look yellow) or cause bad breath. You are also constantly exposing your teeth to bacteria.
Some cleansers are just too harsh or harmful to use on your Invisalign aligners. Examples for this are:
- Denture cleaner
- Mouthwashes, especially those containing alcohol
- fragrant soaps that can taste slightly bitter
You should also not use cleaning soaps that have dyes added to them (e.g. blue, red, or green soaps). These can easily stain your Invisalign, which can lead to a long wearing time of 2 weeks.
Using a coarse-bristled brush – not a soft-bristled toothbrush – can also be too harsh for your Invisalign.
Following some tried and tested methods of caring for your aligners can help keep them clean and bacteria-free. Here are some examples:
- Always take out your aligners when you eat. Otherwise, food debris may build up in the aligners or damage the aligners and make them ineffective.
- Don’t drink anything other than water while your aligners are inside. Otherwise, you run the risk of dirtying or damaging them.
- Do not use very hot water to clean the trays.
- Store your aligners in an airtight container every time you are not going to use them. This will make them less likely to lose them and protect them from bacteria.
Using these methods can help keep your aligners clean and make your treatment the most effective.
Invisalign is a popular way for people to straighten their teeth. However, the aligners need to be cleaned regularly to be effective.
If you take some care with your aligners, you can keep them as clear and undetectable as possible. Since they are intended for disposal, they usually cannot withstand harsh cleaning methods such as abrasive brushes or very hot water.
If you’re having trouble keeping your aligners clean, speak to your dentist. They may recommend other methods that are specifically tailored to your dental needs and will help you keep your mouth and aligners clean.