Cleaning & caring for your Invisalign® clear aligners

One of the great joys of using Invisalign is the ability to remove your clear aligners when eating and drinking. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the cleaning and care of your aligners. Here are some pointers that can help you keep your Invisalign in tip-top shape, so your treatment is as effective as possible.

How to clean your Invisalign aligners

While it’s definitely great to be able to remove your aligners when eating, you have to be careful about leftover food particles on your aligners or teeth. Leftover food particles can cause your Invisalign to develop an unpleasant smell, or worse, lead to tooth decay.

Fortunately, cleaning your Invisalign only takes a few minutes and is quite easy. We recommend our patients get into the habit of cleaning their aligner trays whenever they brush their teeth. Building on existing oral hygiene routines can be a little easier than forming a whole new habit.

To get started, you’ll need a toothbrush, toothpaste, and either a retainer or denture cleaner. Then just follow these simple steps:

  1. Rinse your aligner under room-temperature or lukewarm water (you don’t want it to be too hot or too cold).
  2. Apply some toothpaste to your toothbrush, then brush the whole aligner – inside and out – with gentle circular motions.
  3. After brushing, re-rinse the aligner and inspect it for calcium or tartar build-up. This will appear as a cloudy white film and can be difficult to remove with a toothbrush.
  4. If necessary, soak your Invisalign in the retainer/denture cleaner of your choice, being careful to follow the product’s instructions closely.
  5. After all necessary cleaning steps have been completed, you can return your aligner to your mouth or let it dry in its case before resuming use.

How to care for Invisalign

While it’s super important, cleaning is only one aspect of caring for your Invisalign aligners. They can be easily lost or broken whenever they’re out of your mouth, so we recommend placing them in their case anytime they’re not in your mouth. A little bit of vigilance will go a long way toward protecting your investment in your smile!

You’ll also want to be careful about exposing your Invisalign to certain substances. Drinking coffee or tea can stain and distort the plastic, just as hot water can. Mouthwash is another item that can potentially stain your retainers. Don’t fret! You can still enjoy coffee, soda and tea with Invisalign, we just suggest taking your aligners out while you enjoy your beverage and then brushing your teeth before you put your aligners back in.

Finally, it’s important to think about your treatment schedule when traveling. In most cases, you should be fine if you bring 3 sets of aligners – your previous set, the current one, and then your next set. For longer trips, you should consider bringing more sets. And while we recommend brushing your Invisalign every time you take them out to eat, that may not be practical during travel. Just do your best to rinse out your mouth and aligners, then brush as soon as possible.

We’re here to help you protect your Invisalign investment

Invisalign offers a convenient and discreet way to get the smile of your dreams, but the aligners do require a little bit of responsible caretaking to get the job done. In addition to routine, careful cleaning, you’ll want to avoid substances that can distort or stain your retainer.

If you’re in the West Coastal Florida area and have any questions about cleaning or caring for your aligners, feel free to contact us. And if you’re interested in seeing whether Invisalign is a good fit for your smile and lifestyle, schedule an appointment for your consultation today!