Often, we get questions about “how to clean my Invisalign.” So we’ll go over the best ways to keep your clear aligners in top shape. 

Keep in mind, each set of Invisalign is only meant to be worn for a couple of weeks in general. So, they aren’t made to hold up to abrasive cleaners. Also, very hot water can warp aligners. So, be sure to take aligners out before you eat or drink something other than cool water.

Cleaning Your Invisalign Keeps Them Invisible

When it comes to Invisalign, it’s the discreet look that most people love. They are so invisible that most people won’t know you are working on your smile. Thus, teens and adults of all ages can feel more confident and avoid the look of metal braces.

However, if you don’t clean your aligners daily, they can begin to look discolored. Some foods and drinks can stain the clear SmartTrack material if you don’t take them out while you eat. Thus, your aligners can be yellowish or discolored, negating the benefits of the clear look.

Worse, bacteria can easily build up on your aligners if you don’t clean them daily. This layer of bacteria is unhealthy and can also make the aligners smell. Nobody wants bad breath, but fortunately, it’s easy to clean Invisalign.

How to Clean My Invisalign

Invisalign recommends cleaning your aligners every night. Remember, never use hot water as it can warp the aligners.

It’s easy to get in the habit of cleaning your aligners after brushing and flossing your teeth. We recommend having a separate soft-bristle toothbrush reserved for this cleaning. Make sure the bristles are soft because firm bristles are too abrasive on the thin plastic.

Invisalign sells a cleaning system, cleaning crystals, and a sterilizing tray. These are nice, but you don’t have to invest in these to get the job done. All you need is some gentle and clear liquid soap (not toothpaste) and your designated soft toothbrush. Make sure the soap doesn’t contain any coloring that can stain your aligners. 

Here are the steps after you finish brushing and flossing your teeth:

  1. Rinse your aligners under the tap. (never use hot water)
  2. Use your designated soft brush and clear soap to brush the aligners on all surfaces.
  3. Rinse the aligners again until clean.
  4. Put your aligners back in for the night.

Remember, you’ll wear your aligners at night so that your teeth continue to move into place while you sleep. In the morning, rinse your aligners again after you brush.

Additional Cleaning 

In addition to nightly cleaning, remember to rinse your aligners whenever you take them out. Otherwise, you may need to give them a good cleaning if they come into contact with any food or drinks other than water. Whenever your aligners don’t look clean, it’s a good idea to take them out, rinse, and brush them if possible.

While enjoying meals or snacks, keep your aligners in their airtight case to discourage bacteria. Even though they are disposable, you’ll enjoy a better experience by keeping your aligners clean and protected.

Cleaning Products Made for Retainers

Although Invisalign cleaning products are great, you can also use inexpensive products made for cleaning retainers. Keep in mind; these are different from products for cleaning dentures. Like toothpaste, denture cleaners can be too abrasive for delicate aligners.

As a benefit, you’ll already have the right cleaner for when your Invisalign treatment is complete. After treatment with Invisalign or braces, you’ll wear a retainer for a period of time. Thus, you’ll have the cleaning products on hand. Before treatment, we’ll go over all the things to expect with Invisalign, including the cleaning products we recommend.

We hope this information about ‘how to clean my Invisalign’ has been helpful. See more about the pros and cons of clear aligners here.

Dr. Jeff Potter and the team at Potter Orthodontics look forward to helping you get your dream smile! Find out about the extra steps we are taking to ensure everyone’s safety as we resume care in our Yorba Linda and Fullerton offices. 

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