How to Clean Invisalign® Aligners Like a Pro

Invisalign cleaning crystals Carmel IN orthodontists

You already know that your teeth require daily care so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the Invisalign® aligners you wear do as well. After all, if you don’t clean them regularly, you could end up with stained aligners. To help you maintain their clear appearance, our Carmel Invisalign orthodontists have a few tips.

Here’s what you can do to keep Invisalign aligners clean.

Why Rinsing Your Aligners Won’t Cut It

If you wear clear aligners, it can be tempting to run them under some water and call them “clean”. However, it’s not that simple. For one, that method does nothing to address the bacteria that may be accumulating on the aligners.

Our orthodontists recommend that instead of only rinsing your aligners, you thoroughly clean them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This can be accomplished in just a few minutes and most teen and adult Invisalign patients find it easiest to clean their aligners at the same time they are brushing their teeth.

Freshen up your aligners and prevent stains by:

  • Quickly rinse them under lukewarm water after they are removed from your mouth.
  • Use your soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of clear antibacterial soap to get rid of any food bits that may have stuck around from an earlier meal.
  • Carefully brush the inside and outside of the top and bottom aligner.
  • Give them another rinse after you’re done brushing.
  • Place back in your mouth or inside their protective case when not in use.

Want to use toothpaste instead of clear soap? As long as toothpaste is non-abrasive and gentle, it is fine to use for cleaning clear aligners. Do not use whitening or any harsh toothpaste on your aligners to avoid damaging them.

Avoid the Following When Cleaning Clear Aligners

Aside from watching what toothpaste you use to clean your aligners, it’s important that you also refrain from ever washing them in hot water. If you do, you risk warping the plastic and ruining the set you’re cleaning.

It’s best if you use lukewarm water that isn’t too hot or cold as it will get the job done without being harmful. For times when you’d rather let your aligners soak, choose an approved cleaning solution. Never use mouthwash as alcohol within the mixture can distort your aligners and the colored dye can cause discoloration.

The following are acceptable soaking solutions:

  • Small amount of gentle liquid soap + a cup of water
  • One part vinegar + 3 parts warm water
  • Tbsp. of baking soda + ½ cup water
  • Denture cleanser

Cleaning Accessories Courtesy of Invisalign

At-home aligner cleaning methods work just fine, but if you want additional tools at your disposal, Invisalign does offer a few options for purchase. One of which is what they call a “Steraligner”.

The Steraligner comes with a tray, rubbing alcohol, and sodium bicarbonate which is a natural antiseptic. All you need to do is place your aligners in the tray provided and soak them for 3 minutes in the cleaning solution. When the time is up, rinse them off with warm water.

Invisalign also offers “cleaning crystals” that act as sodium sulfate cleansing agents and dissolve once placed in water. Submerging your aligners in the mixture for a few moments and rinsing them afterwards does the job.

Have Questions About Invisalign Care?

If you need extra assistance when it comes to cleaning your series of Invisalign aligners, don’t hesitate to ask our orthodontists in Carmel, IN. We can also help with any other Invisalign related questions you may have as you progress through your treatment. Call WestClay Orthodontics today at (317) 593-1400 to request an appointment.