We have talked many times before about what Invisalign is, how Invisalign works, and how long patients should wear the clear aligners. One thing that isn’t as well-known is how to clean Invisalign trays … and those trays really need it.
Cleaning them every day is a must. After those aligners are in your mouth all day long, they can get rather dirty and may start to feel uncomfortable. They also may stain due to drinks like coffee or wine, and they can turn yellow if you place them in your mouth without brushing your teeth first. Cleaning the Invisalign trays every day will also help keep your mouth healthy and reduce the possibility of bad breath due to germs in the trays.
Cleaning Invisalign trays isn’t hard at all, and you really don’t need any special tools. However, there is a possibility of damaging an aligner, so you should be just as aware of what not to do as what to do.
How to Clean Invisalign Trays
For daily cleaning, you can use one of the following methods:
- Soak the aligners in denture or retainer cleaning solution.
- Soak them in Invisalign brand cleaning crystals, which can be ordered online through the Invisalign site.
- Lightly brush them with a mild toothpaste.
- In addition to one of the above methods, you can use a saltwater rinse to clean your mouth throughout the day if it makes you more comfortable.
- You can remove the aligner to eat, but make sure you brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth before replacing the trays.
- Gently rinse the trays under lukewarm water as needed for comfort. Be sure to replace them right away, however, as you will need to wear your aligners for 22-23 hours per day for the fastest, most optimal results.
If the aligners are stained, they may need a little extra attention. Try the following:
- Fill a bowl with a solution made of equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Leave the aligner in the solution for a couple hours or overnight.
- Soak the trays in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water for about a half hour.
- Brush the tray with a soft toothbrush dipped in baking soda.
- Do not soak them in an acidic solution longer than recommended. The acidity could break down the tray.
- Do not use hard toothbrushes or harsh toothpastes to clean the trays.
- Do not use mouthwashes while the aligners are in your mouth.
For more information about how to clean Invisalign trays or prevent discoloration of the trays, talk with Dr. Fienman or one of our hygienists. Keeping the Invisalign trays clean will make the overall experience more enjoyable for you, so make sure you are following the recommended maintenance routine.