Invisalign trays can become dingy, dull or discolored if they are not cleaned properly. To achieve your sparkling smile at the end of treatment, you will need two important things — clean aligners and great oral hygiene. The good oral hygiene part is easy — simply brushing and flossing your teeth regularly helps avoid cavities and decay. Keeping your trays clean and invisible, is also simple but can be a little intimidating for new patients. Patients frequently ask “How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?” We’ve distilled the list down to these six options that can help keep your aligners clean and spotless!
- Efferdent or Polident — Soak your aligners in denture cleaner while you’re enjoying a meal to keep them fresh and clean! After soaking them for about 15 minutes, remove the trays and use a toothbrush to brush off any residual buildup that might remain. Some dentists don’t recommend denture cleansers because they say it can make the aligners look cloudy, however its a popular option among many patients.
- Retainer Brite — A retainer cleaner that cleans the same way as denture cleaners, but are more gentle on the plastic material of the aligner.
- Mouthwash — Mouthwash can be a great way to clean aligners. Some patients report that Listerine Cool Mint can leave a greenish tint on your trays, but using a whitening mouthwash can avoid this issue as the liquid is clear.
- Antibacterial liquid soap (hand or dish) — Brushing your aligners with antibacterial soap is another easy way to remove bacteria that accumulates on your aligners. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse them before you place them back in your mouth.
- Hydrogen peroxide — Hydrogen peroxide is widely known for its bacteria-killing power — that’s why we put it on cuts and scrapes! To clean aligners, soak them for 20 minutues in a half-and-half solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. It works just as well as denture cleaners, etc., but is a more affordable option. You can find a bottle at your local grocery store.
- Vinegar — Similar to hydgrogen peroxide, make a half-and-half solution with vinegar and warm water. Let your aligners soak while you’re enjoying a meal. After 20 minutes, remove them, brush them, rinse them off and allow them dry before placing them back in your mouth. If you’re worried about the taste, it wont last long.
Looking for an even simpler option? Your toothbrush and toothpaste do a great job, as long as you’re consistent with it. Some toothpaste can be abrasive, however, and can dull your trays. If this becomes an issue, try sensitive toothpaste.
For more information on Invisalign aligners, or to schedule your free consultation, please contact us at (270) 781-1025. Dr. Jay Lawless is a preferred Invisalign provider and has three convenient practices in Bowling Green, Russellville, and Glasgow, KY.