Why You Should Consider Tooth ReplacementSeptember 19, 2022
When to See a Dentist: 5 Obvious SignsOctober 18, 2022
Just like metal brackets or wires need proper cleaning to avoid plaque and tartar buildup, so do Invisalign® clear aligners. Fortunately, it’s much easier to clean aligners on a regular basis thanks to them being removable. Our Washington, MI, Invisalign dentist can also give you additional tips though the process is quite straightforward.
Here’s how to clean Invisalign aligners.
Cleaning vs. Rinsing Your Aligners
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. Lesinski 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.
To freshen up your aligners and prevent staining:
- Quickly rinse them under lukewarm water after they are removed from your mouth.
- Use 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 brush the inside and outside of the top and bottom aligner.
- Give them another rinse after you’re done brushing.
- Place 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 Not to Do When Cleaning Clear Aligners
Aside from watching what toothpaste you use to clean your 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.
The following are acceptable soaking solutions:
- 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
Invisalign Promoted Cleaning Accessories
At-home aligner cleaning methods 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.
Make an Appointment to Discuss Invisalign Care
Keeping each set of clear aligners in your personalized series clean is important. Not only does it ensure they remain free of bacteria, but they stay clear in appearance as well. If you ever need help cleaning your aligners or have any other Invisalign questions, feel free to ask our dentist in Washington, MI. You can do so by calling Washington Family Dental at (586) 752-4545 or feel free to contact us online.