What You Should Know About Cleaning Invisalign Aligners

What You Should Know About Cleaning Invisalign Aligners By Maylands Dental Centre | January 19, 2023

What You Should Know About Cleaning Invisalign Aligners

When it comes to maintaining oral hygiene, whether you have braces or not, taking proper care of your teeth and gums is important.

For those wearing Invisalign, keeping the aligner trays clean is an additional responsibility. This can be tricky as cleaning aligners differs from simply brushing your teeth. But don’t worry! Keeping your Invisalign tray clean isn’t as hard as it may seem.

In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips on how to clean Invisalign aligners. This way, you can keep your aligners clean and avoid problems that can delay your treatment. Read on to find out!

dentist keeping dental tools and smiling in clinic

What Cleaning Products Should I Use When Cleaning My Invisalign Trays?

Maintaining clean trays is important for achieving straight and healthy teeth. Fortunately, Invisalign has a variety of products designed to make cleaning your trays quick and easy!

  • Invisalign Cleaning Crystals
    Invisalign Cleaning Crystals can be used in any aligner. The crystals kill bacteria and other microbes that can grow on removable aligners. These are packaged in small packets and can be bought together with a cleaning tub. They are dissolved in warm water to be used as a soaking bath.

  • Aligner Cleaning Foam
    Aligner Cleaning Foam is used to clean aligners while on the go. After the foam is pumped into the trays, the aligners can be immediately worn again. No rinsing is needed. Just spit out the excess. The Aligner Cleaning Foam is very compact and may be used up to four times a day.

  • Steraligner
    Steraligner is for those wanting a more thorough cleaning of their aligners. It removes food debris and helps prevent the buildup of bacteria. Steraligner is used as a soaking bath. It deep cleans your aligner trays in mere 3 minutes. It also comes with a sterilising tray. After soaking the aligner for 3 minutes, brush the aligners gently and make sure to rinse off the cleaning solution with warm water.

    Using these recommended products from Invisalign can help you keep your aligners clean and enjoy a smoother and more successful orthodontic treatment. You’ll have a healthier, straighter, more beautiful smile in no time.

How Should Invisalign Trays Be Cleaned?

Keeping your Invisalign trays clean is an important part of Invisalign treatment. They can accumulate bacteria if they aren’t properly cleaned and cared for. This can lead to bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
Here are the steps on how to clean your Invisalign:

  1. Rinse your aligner with warm water to remove saliva and other debris.
  2. Soak the trays in warm water with dissolved Invisalign Cleaning Crystals for 15 minutes.
  3. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently remove any residue from the trays. Use a separate toothbrush for your Invisalign aligners and your teeth.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with warm water before placing it back in the mouth.

The following are some cleaning tips for your Invisalign trays.

  • Clear aligner cases should be washed weekly with warm soapy water and air-dried.
  • Store aligners away from extreme temperatures when not wearing them.
  • After eating or drinking anything other than water, brush your teeth before putting back the aligners.
  • Visit the dentist regularly during treatment so they can monitor your progress and check the status of your aligners.

Are There Alternative Products I Can Use in Cleaning My Invisalign Trays?

Here are alternative products you can use to keep your Invisalign trays in top condition:

  • Mild soap:
    Anti-bacterial soaps are often used to clean Invisalign trays. Unscented liquid soaps mixed with water are also effective in keeping aligners clean. These gentle soaps won’t damage the plastic but are still effective at cleaning away debris. Brush your aligners with a soft toothbrush using these soaps. Rinse the aligners with water after brushing.

  • Mouthwash:
    Mouthwash products are antiseptic. They can help keep your aligners bacteria-free between regular cleanings. However, do not soak the aligner trays in mouthwash for a long time. Rinse off the mouthwash with warm water before putting your invisible aligners back in.

  • Denture cleaner:
    Many denture cleaners are gentle enough to be used on Invisalign trays. Rinse off the cleaning solution thoroughly and dry the tray before reinserting it.

  • Vinegar and water:
    For a more natural approach, you can mix white vinegar and water. Make a solution with three parts water and one part vinegar to create a powerful cleaning solution. Soak your aligners in the mixture for 10-15 minutes before rinsing them off with lukewarm water.

  • Baking soda:
    Baking soda is a natural antiseptic. It is an effective cleaning agent that will help eliminate tartar or plaque buildup around your retainer. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of warm water. Apply the baking soda paste directly to the aligner, then rinse with lukewarm water afterwards. Be sure to dry the aligner completely before putting them back.

  • Hydrogen peroxide diluted with water:
    This combination is great for disinfecting and deep cleaning aligners. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water, then soak your aligner for 10 minutes. Afterwards, rinse them off with warm water and dry the retainer completely before putting it back on.

  • Effervescent tablets:
    This cleaning method is convenient and only takes 10 minutes. Drop an effervescent tablet into a glass of lukewarm water, add the aligner and let it soak for 10 minutes. Afterwards, rinse with lukewarm water and dry completely before putting them back on.

No matter which of the above-mentioned cleaning methods you choose, make sure it’s pH-balanced and safe on the plastic of your Invisalign. Keeping up with regular cleaning will maximise the effectiveness of Invisalign therapy and lead to a smile transformation that lasts.

What Cleaning Products Should I Avoid When Cleaning My Invisalign?

Cleaning your Invisalign is essential for preventing staining, discolouration and bad breath. But there are certain cleaning products that you should avoid.

Generally, you should stay away from the following:

  • Cleaners that contain chlorine or bleach:
    These cleaning materials can degrade the plastic material of Invisalign, shortening its lifespan.

  • Whitening toothpaste: Abrasive toothpaste such as those used for teeth whitening can damage the smooth surface of your Invisalign.

  • Mouthwashes containing alcohol: Alcoholic mouthwashes should be avoided because they can cause discolouration and staining of your aligners.

  • Abrasive sponges:
    Abrasive materials can damage and scratch your aligners and make them less effective over time.

  • Hot water:
    This could potentially warp these plastic trays, causing them to lose shape.

  • Scented and colored soaps:
    Certain scented soaps can be abrasive and contain chemicals that could damage the plastic material of your Invisalign aligners.

The ideal way to clean your Invisalign is by using lukewarm water and cleansing agents specifically designed for cleaning dental appliances.

How Often Should I Clean My Invisalign?

Keeping your Invisalign clean is important for your oral health and the efficacy of the treatment. As such, how often you need to clean your Invisalign will depend on how much you eat and remove your aligners.

Daily cleaning is recommended for those who wear their Invisalign aligners for 20-22 hours a day. During your cleaning sessions, use a soft brush and warm water.

For those who need to take their aligners out more often, wash them after each meal or snack and before reinserting them. Doing so will help eliminate harmful bacteria and refresh the oral environment while the aligners are out of the wearer’s mouth.

Keeping your Invisalign clean is an easy but important step in ensuring that your treatment is successful.

Should I Also Brush My Teeth Whenever I Clean My Aligners?

Yes, brushing your teeth when you clean your Invisalign aligners is important. It will help remove plaque and food particles that accumulate on the teeth each time the aligner is taken out of the mouth.

Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste can also help reduce cavities and keep your smile healthy throughout treatment.

What Happens if I Don't Clean My Invisalign as Often as I Should?

Not cleaning your Invisalign as often as recommended can have serious consequences, such as the following:

  • Plaque and bacteria build-up.
    Failure to clean your aligners will lead to plaque buildup. This means that your teeth will be in constant contact with bacteria. Since the aligners will cover your teeth, there will be no way to remove or wash off the bacteria.

  • Discolouration.
    Plaque and bacteria build-up can cause the aligner to lose its translucency and discolour it. When this happens, it will be very difficult to bring back the aligner to its original colour.

  • Tooth decay.
    Bacteria accumulation can cause the weakening of teeth and lead to cavity formation. It can lead to pain and other tooth problems if not addressed immediately.

  • Gum disease.
    Bacteria in plaque can cause inflammation of the gums. Continuous inflammation may lead to bone loss, loose teeth, and, eventually, tooth loss.

  • Bad breath.
    Also called halitosis, bad breath is caused by sulphur-producing bacteria in the mouth. Failure to clean aligners can lead to the accumulation of these bacteria.

  • Treatment delay.
    When the above-mentioned dental problems occur, immediate attention is needed. In some cases, to address these problems, the Invisalign treatment must be stopped to give way to these more pressing dental concerns. These can cause treatment delays.

  • Additional cost.
    Treatment delays make Invisalign less effective in straightening teeth. In some cases, additional aligner trays may be needed to continue the treatment. Having additional trays will add to the cost of treatment.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your Invisalign trays clean is an important part of the treatment process. When wearing your trays, bacteria and plaque can accumulate on them over time. This can lead to dental health issues, such as cavities and discolouration. Therefore, it’s important to take extra care in keeping your trays clean – especially while eating or drinking anything besides water.

If you have questions about Invisalign treatment or how to keep your trays clean, please visit our website or call us at Maylands Dental Centre to book an appointment. We’re always happy to help!

Frequently Asked questions

Invisalign is not a one size fits all treatment; thus, not everyone is an appropriate candidate.

People who are not suitable candidates for Invisalign include:

  • Those who have severely crooked or misaligned teeth
  • Those with severe cases of overcrowding
  • Those with severe bite issues such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites
  • Those with very large gaps between teeth
  • Those with excessively rotated teeth and large sliding movements
  • People with significant jaw alignment issues

For these conditions, traditional braces may be a better option.
You should discuss with your orthodontist if they think Invisalign is an ideal fit for you.

Unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible and comfortable to wear. They should not interfere with your ability to speak normally. However, some patients may feel a slight lisp when they begin wearing their Invisalign trays, as it can take some time to get used to having something in their mouth. Your orthodontist can help you make necessary adjustments during your treatment if this becomes an issue.

Invisalign aligners should be changed every two weeks or as prescribed by your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will provide you with a set of trays to wear for each stage of the treatment process.

You must follow their instructions and replace the tray at the appropriate times to get the ideal results. Depending on their needs, some patients may need to change trays more often than others.

Yes, teeth usually stay straight after Invisalign with the help of retainers. The aligners apply gentle pressure to the teeth to move them into place. This pressure remains until your treatment is complete. After the treatment, it is important to continue wearing a retainer to hold the teeth in their new position. This is to keep the teeth from shifting back into their previous positions. Your orthodontist will discuss the right type of retainer for your case. With proper care and maintenance, your straightened teeth should remain that way for many years.

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Maylands Dental Centre
Content published on Maylandsdentalcentre.com.au is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any decision based on your own personal circumstances. You should take independent medical advice from a professional or independently research and verify any information that you find on our Website and wish to rely upon.

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