Did you just get your Invisalign and your dentist gave you zero instructions on how to take care of it? Look no further, here is your guide to keeping it clean.
Table of Contents:
The best way to clean your invisalign
The absolute best way to keeping your Invisalign clean is by not eating and drinking with them on. If there is any food coloring in your food or beverage, it will stain your clear aligners. The coloring will leech off and stick onto the trays. There is also the possibility of damaging your trays if you try to chew with them on so don't do it!
Another often neglected practice is forgetting to brush and floss after eating but then proceeding to put your Invisalign on. If you didn't clean off all of the food particles on your teeth and you wear your trays, your trays will pick up the staining from the food. You will notice them start turning more yellowish over time. In fact, wearing your trays after eating without cleaning is the fastest way to stain them. Since the trays are such a tight fit, it will hug the staining foods extra closely.
It also increases your risk for getting cavities if you don't brush and floss afterwards.
Rinsing your aligners
Every time when you take your aligns off for whatever reason, you should always give them a quick rinse to remove any saliva on them. It is a safety precaution in case you had any residual foods that were left in your mouth. Just be wary of the temperature of the water you are rinsing it with.
Rinse your aligners only with cool or room temperature water.
Do not rinse your aligners with hot water because it can warp the trays. Heat applied to plastic will deform the plastic trays.
Your saliva has a lot of calcium and phosphate in it so it could cause build up on the trays.
Cleaning your Invisalign
Whenever you are brushing your teeth, you should also brush your Invisalign as well. You can actually use the same toothbrush, you don't need a specialty brush for it.
Brush your aligners with a soft bristle toothbrush and not a hard one. Hard bristles can scratch the trays.
You can use a toothpaste but make sure the toothpaste has a low abrasiveness to it. If the texture is very gritty, it can cause micro scratches in the tray. Stay away from the ones that contain the micro beads in them.
Alternatively, you can also brush your Invisalign with a low abrasive clear colored dish soap. Make sure the soap does not have any coloring in it so that it doesn't stain the tray the same color.
If you are unsure about your toothpaste, the safest thing to do is to just brush it with a wet toothbrush. That way you don't have to worry about any abrasives scratching the plastic.
Cleansers to soak your Invisalign
If you want a cleaning solution where you can soak your trays in, the only official cleanser is the Invisalign cleaning crystals. The company only endorses it's own product.
How to use the Invisalign cleaning crystals:
Remove the aligners or retainers and rinse with tap water.
Place the trays into a cup or glass and fill with 100 mL of warm water.
Add one packet of cleaning crystals into the cup of water.
Gently shake and agitate for about 20 seconds to dissolve the cleaning crystals.
Let the solution soak for about 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
Gently shake and agitate one more time for 20 seconds.
Rinse the aligners and retainers out thoroughly with tap water.
All other solutions are off label uses or home remedies that are not specifically recommended by Invisalign. With that being said, here are some alternatives that other people have tried.
Soaking with hydrogen peroxide. Add a little bit along with a lot of water. Place trays in the cup and let it soak for up to 30 minutes.
Soaking with distilled white vinegar. Add about one quarter white vinegar and three quarters of water. Let it soak for up to 30 minutes.
Remember to rinse the trays out thoroughly before wearing them!
Cleansers to avoid with your trays
Please do not soak your trays in mouthwash. Most of the mouth rinses come in a colored solution and the coloring in the mouthwash can stain your aligners. That would be counterproductive to what we want to do. We want to keep the trays clean and clear.
It is also recommended to not use the denture cleanser on your Invisalign. The denture cleansing tablets are meant for a different type of material which the dentures are made out of. It works better for acrylic which Invisalign does not have. The clear aligners are made of a hard plastic.
Last but not least, please do not put your Invisalign in the dish washer to try to clean them. The heat from the dish washer will melt your trays. Ordering replacements for your tray will come with a fee.
How often should you clean your Invisalign?
You should be rinsing them off with water every time you take them off.
You should be brushing them with a wet toothbrush and maybe toothpaste at least twice a day.
You should be soaking them in a cleanser once every week or two weeks. You can do it more often depending on how dirty they get.
If you are noticing them stain a lot quicker, you may need to increase the frequency that you clean them. For the vast majority of people, the routine above should be sufficient.
There are a variety of ways to clean your Invisalign but the best way is preventing them from staining in the first place. That involves not eating with them and also brushing your teeth before you put them back on after a meal. If you can do those two things, the cleaning process will be a lot easier. It also helps if you rinse them off with water every time after you take them off. You can brush them with the same toothbrush that you use for your teeth but just make sure the toothpaste you use is of low abrasiveness. You can also soak your trays in a cleanser once or twice a week to keep them fresh and dirt free!
If you have any questions, please feel free to give our office at 1311 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101 a call and we can answer any of your questions.