Although Invisalign trays are only worn for two weeks at a time, they can accumulate plaque, bacteria, and food particles, so they should be cleaned whenever you brush your teeth. How do you clean your Invisalign trays? Read on for the details!
Cleaning Invisalign Trays
Keeping your Invisalign trays clean and free of buildup is quite easy! Make it a habit to clean your aligners whenever you brush your teeth. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
- Rinse your retainers with lukewarm water, using your fingers to rub off any buildup on the outer surface.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean the inside and outside of the trays.
- Rinse again.
- If you notice plaque buildup, use the Invisalign Aligner Cleaning System for a more thorough cleaning. This will remove the plaque and keep your aligners looking clear.
Some dentists and orthodontists advise against using toothpaste to clean Invisalign trays, believing it creates microabrasions that harbor bacteria and give the trays a cloudy appearance. However, Invisalign states on their website that a small amount of toothpaste is acceptable for cleaning aligners. As long as you use a non-abrasive toothpaste and brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush, you shouldn't cause any damage to your aligners. Do not use the following to clean your Invisalign trays:
- Whitening toothpaste, which may have harsh abrasives
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hot or boiling water
More Care Tips for Invisalign Aligners
In addition to cleaning your Invisalign trays twice a day, follow these guidelines:
- Always remove your aligners when eating or drinking anything other than water.
- Make sure your teeth are clean before putting your aligners back in after eating. Food particles that get trapped between your teeth and aligners can cause tooth decay and make your aligners smell bad.
- Do not use hot water to clean your aligners, as it can cause them to warp and change how they fit.
- Wear your aligners as instructed. If you take out your aligners and leave them out for an extended period of time, your teeth may shift, throwing your treatment off course.
- When you’re eating, keep your aligners in the case. You’d be surprised how many patients accidentally throw their aligners in the trash because they set them in a napkin during meals!
- If you notice that your aligners are cracked or damaged, let us know right away.
By wearing your Invisalign aligners as instructed and taking good care of them, you’ll ensure that you get the best possible results!
Cleaning Invisalign Retainers
Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, you’ll be given a set of retainers to maintain your results for a lifetime. In many cases, these will be Vivera retainers, which are manufactured by Invisalign. Vivera retainers are cleaned the same way you clean your aligners, and since you’ve already established good habits keeping your aligners clean, caring for your retainers will be a breeze!