How to Clean Invisalign Aligner – Rules to Follow

The Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign is a popular alternative to typical metal braces for many reasons. Many people prefer Invisalign because they’re clear and practically invisible. They’re also easy to use and produce great results. If you’re curious about the details or how to clean Invisalign, read on for more. There are a lot of benefits of choosing Invisalign instead of standard braces.

The Invisalign process treats various issues, including overbites, underbites, and spacing and crowding issues. Although metal braces are commonly used to treat most dental problems, Invisalign can treat almost any case – and without all the discomfort of braces. Invisalign is known to be somewhat comfortable, whereas metal braces often cause slight pain or discomfort. The smooth plastic material is less irritating than the metal of braces, and patients often insist that they forget they are even wearing Invisalign once they put them in.

How to Clean Invisalign Aligner
How to Clean Invisalign Aligner

They also do not include the risk of cutting your gums or insides of your cheeks, which often happens to people with standard metal braces. This makes Invisalign a great option for those who fear the discomfort that’s associated with braces. No wires or metal brackets are involved, and you can avoid the pain that often happens when braces must be adjusted throughout the process.

Another benefit of Invisalign is the need for fewer office visits. Most patients who need braces have to meet with their orthodontist at least once a month, and that doesn’t include the emergency meetings that may be needed for a wire to be fixed or a bracket replacement.

With Invisalign, emergency appointments are hardly ever needed, so it’s more convenient for patients with difficult schedules. Most Invisalign patients have to see their orthodontist every 2 months, so it’s great for anyone who is generally somewhat busy. Invisalign also produces results about 50% faster than regular braces.

Removability is another reason why many people choose Invisalign. Cleaning teeth can be difficult with metal braces because the food often gets trapped by the brackets and wires. It can be tough to get teeth truly clean with braces. Patients often have to put in a lot of extra effort to brush and floss around their braces and wires, which can become time-consuming. There is also a risk of developing cavities or other problems for those who struggle to clean around their braces. And if you’re spending so much money to have your teeth aligned correctly, why wouldn’t you want to keep them as clean as possible too?

There are also many restrictions and rules involved with braces, including a long list of foods that cannot be eaten. Sugary foods are often assumed to be the worst thing for your teeth, but those with braces have also to avoid some fruits and vegetables, crunchy foods, and more. But fortunately for Invisalign patients, that problem is avoided because they can be easily removed as needed. Taking out Invisalign aligners to enjoy a meal or snack is basically effortless, which is another benefit of choosing Invisalign.

Another reason why people choose Invisalign instead of standard metal braces because they are almost clear. Although they aren’t entirely invisible, the clear plastic makes them hardly noticeable. This makes them ideal for adults who want to straighten their teeth without the look of metal braces. Many teens and preteens also like the idea of avoiding metal braces, which is why Invisalign is so appealing.

How to Clean Invisalign Trays

Cleaning your Invisalign trays is an important part of good oral hygiene. Fortunately, Invisalign makes it simple with an Invisalign cleaning system that you can purchase, but there are also other easy options for cleaning your trays. Clear mouthwash is a popular choice, as you can soak your trays in it to eliminate bacteria and keep your trays fresh.

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You can also make a half and half mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide for your trays to soak in for about 30 minutes.
Vinegar can also be used to clean your Invisalign trays, and you should make a mixture of half vinegar and half water to soak your trays when they’re not in use. Although you might get a slight taste of vinegar, it shouldn’t last long.

Polident is a product typically used to clean dentures, but it can also be used for cleaning Invisalign trays. You can leave your trays to soak in Polident for about 15 minutes daily. Retainer Brite is another brand of cleaner that you can purchase for cleaning and soaking your Invisalign trays.

Cleaning Tips

In addition to the many options for cleaning your Invisalign trays, there are some methods and details that you’ll want to keep in mind.

When you clean your trays, you should brush away food particles with a toothbrush – preferably a new, softer toothbrush. An old toothbrush or one with harsh bristles will typically scratch or dull the surface of your trays and can reduce the clarity of the plastic. To clean the inside and outside, toothpaste can also be used to help. However, the most important thing to remember is to be as gentle as possible to avoid scratching or damaging your trays.

Although there are several method options for soaking your Invisalign trays, it’s important to acknowledge that some particular products can cause damage. Denture tablets will eventually stain your trays yellow, which you’d obviously want to avoid since they are intended to be clear. You should also never soak your trays in bleach or other potentially dangerous chemicals.

Note: If you use dental cleaning solutions such as Polident, you should use a toothbrush to gently remove any excess food or residue after soaking your aligners for 15 minutes. One thing to consider is that using denture cleansers could possibly make your trays look cloudy. If you want to keep them as clear as possible, you may want to consider choosing another method or be extra careful to clean off all residue gently.

Another option, using a retainer cleanser such as Retainer Brite, is better because they are usually pH balanced. There should be no harm to the plastic due to that, and there should also be no cloudiness on the plastic. As you should with any cleaning method, be sure to brush off residue and rinse.

Mouthwash is a great option for cleaning your trays, but the only thing to remember is that you should definitely use clear mouthwash. A colored one can leave a slight tint on your aligners, and no one likes the look of green or blue teeth!

Also, you can always use the Invisalign Cleaning System. This system keeps your trays odor-free, clean, and hygienic. The kit includes packets of crystals that can be added to water to make a soaking solution. Allowing your trays to soak in the solution for about 15 minutes daily should remove any plaque and make them as clean as possible.

Note: Don`t use toothpaste to clean your aligners. Many types of toothpaste (especially those with whitening agents) are abrasive and can dull your aligners or create small traps for bacteria to dwell.

Few more cleaning tips:

  • Rinse your aligners when you remove them. Dry saliva and plaque create a perfect breeding ground for foul smelling bacteria.
  • Soak your aligners. Denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, and the official Invisalign cleaning crystals are all excellent options for keeping your trays clean and sanitized.
  • Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting your aligners. Proper oral hygiene is key to maintaining healthy teeth and avoiding cavities and decay. Since Invisalign is form fitted, failing to brush and floss properly can trap harmful particles between your teeth and aligner, which increases your risk for dental issues in the future.
  • Clean your aligners with a clear anti-bacterial soft soap. A clear anti-bacterial soap is an excellent and inexpensive way to keep your aligners clear, fresh, and free from harmful bacteria.
  • Brush your aligners gently. Vigorous brushing can scratch your aligners and leave visible etchings. Brush carefully!

Storing your Invisalign Trays 

Another part of keeping good oral hygiene while using Invisalign trays is to ensure that they are kept in a safe, dry place when they aren’t in use.

Leaving your trays on a table or bathroom sink allows bacteria to easily reach them, which is why it’s a good idea to always rinse them off with water once you take them out and keep them in a clean glass of water or a container. You can also simply purchase a container intended for storing them.

Traveling Tips with Invisalign

To ensure that you’ll always have everything you need to care for your Invisalign trays, you may want to create an oral care kit. It’s important to remember to bring everything you might need so that you don’t run into any issues. Traveling can be stressful enough, so the last thing you’ll want to worry about is forgetting something you need for your Invisalign.

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You might want to include floss, travel-sized toothpaste, chewies, and a safe container to keep your Invisalign trays in. You’ll also want to include whatever solution you use to clean your trays, and you might be able to purchase a small travel-sized version depending on what you choose.

Hydrogen peroxide and mouthwash are typically available in travel-sized versions. You should also consider bringing your previous aligners with you just in case your current ones get lost or broken. Then you can use your old pair until you can obtain a replacement. Keep everything in a small bag that’s easy to carry, and you’re all set for when you’re ready to take a trip.

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These are the best methods of how to clean Invisalign and what you can do to keep your Invisalign trays in the best shape possible. Invisalign is intended to be a stress-free alternative to metal braces, and with these tips you can avoid the stress of trying to keep them clean.