How to Clean Invisalign Aligners

Are you unsure of how to clear Invisalign trays? If so, you have ended up in the right place, because this brief article is all about how to clean and maintain your Invisalign braces.

Even though every set of aligners is only meant to last you a few weeks before it can be discarded, it is still very important to keep your Invisalign trays clean in the meantime – otherwise, you might quickly find yourself with a whole new set of dental issues that will need to be addressed. And really, what is the point in spending money on the Invisalign treatment and achieving perfectly straight teeth if it means they are going to be riddled with other problems such as dental decay?

As a rule of thumb – and as recommended on the Invisalign website – you should clean your Invisalign trays at least once a day. If you make cleaning your Invisalign set of aligners a part of your evening routine, it becomes easy to remember to actually do it every time. Cleaning your aligners at the same times that you also brush your teeth is a great way of getting in the the habit and putting that habit on autopilot

It is not enough to simply rinse your aligners, and it isn’t enough to soak your aligners overnight either, since both of these approaches will only eliminate obvious food particles while leaving plenty of invisible micro-bacteria to flourish.

Without further ado, let us delve into the best practices for keeping your Invisalign aligners clean and fresh, so that they can work their magic in your mouth without causing any counterproductive damage.

How to clean Invisalign trays

When it comes to keeping your Invisalign aligners clean, it does not have to be complicated.

There is a very simple cleaning method recommended by Invisalign, which should be sufficient to keep your aligners clean and free from food particles and bacteria. However, there is also a slightly more onerous way to clean Invisalign trays which requires a few more steps and a little more effort, but you might still consider it worth it if you want to make absolutely sure that your aligners are as clean, spotless and bacteria free as possible.

Basic cleaning method

The basic cleaning method recommended by Invisalign consists of just a few simple steps.

First, remove your clear aligners from your mouth and rinse them with lukewarm or warm water. Once you have gotten rid of any obvious food particles and other debris, the next step is to gently clean your trays using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure that you are using a clean and purpose-specific toothbrush, and not the same brush that you are also using to brush your teeth with. Instead of toothpaste, you can choose to use a gentle liquid soap – just make sure that you rinse the soap off your aligners properly before putting them back in your mouth!

Now that they have been cleaned, take your aligners and rinse them thoroughly again to get rid of any traces of soap that might be lingering. Finally, if you are not going to be putting your aligners back in your mouth right away, it is best to keep them stored in a protective case until it is time to wear them again.

Advanced cleaning method

If you like to be thorough, here is an alternative method of Invisalign cleaning.

According to a study that was published in the journal ‘Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology,’ in which three different approaches to cleaning clear aligners were studied side by side, the most effective way of cleaning the aligners was to use effervescent tablets dissolved in water for an extra deep clean. The next most effective method was brushing the aligners using a toothbrush and toothpaste or soap, and the least effective method of the three that were looked at was merely rinsing the aligners with warm water.

Invisalign cleaning products

To help Invisalign clients like you get the most out of your orthodontic treatment, Invisalign sells several products through the brand’s website that are aimed at helping you keep your aligners clean and maintain the highest level of oral hygiene while going through your Invisalign treatment. These products include cleaning crystals, which are equivalent to effervescent tablets and dissolve in water that you can then soak your aligners in. Invisalign’s cleaning crystals contain a number of gentle but effective cleaning agents, including sodium sulphate.

Invisalign also sells a Stearaligner which includes a tray and cleaning agents, including sodium bicarbonate and medical-grade rubbing alcohol for when you feel the need to really disinfect and deep clean your aligners..

How to clean Invisalign aligners FAQ

What can you use to clean Invisalign?

Studies have shown that the most effective way to clean your trays is to use effervescent tablets or Invisalign cleaning crystals dissolved in water.

The second most effective way to clean your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use toothpaste or a gentle, liquid soap. Finally, you can also rinse your aligners using hot water, though this is the leat effective method as it only gets rid of the most obvious food particles and debris, and not all of the bacteria.

How often should you clean Invisalign?

You should clean your aligners every day, at least once a day. It is not necessary to clean them any more frequently than that, as you are supposed to take them out when you eat or drink anything that might stain them.

If you decide to clean your Invisalign trays at the same time that you also brush and floss your teeth, it makes it easier to remember to get it done.

How can I naturally clean my Invisalign?

The most effective way to clean your Invisalign braces is to soak them in cold water with a cleaning solution such as effervescent tables or crystals, which contain sodium sulphate and other cleaning agents.

If you are not comfortable cleaning your trays in this way, however, there is a more natural alternative that does not involve using any chemicals. You can make your own natural cleaning solution using 1 parts distilled white vinegar and 3 parts warm water. It is important that you use white vinegar, as any other kind will stain your aligners.

How do I clean my clear aligner?

There are multiple different ways to clean your Invisalign or other clear aligner trays. Studies have shown that the most effective way is to soak your aligners in water with effervescent tables or crystals, and if you don’t like idea of using a chemical cleaning solution, you can make your own using warm water and white vinegar instead.

Another method, which is almost as effective, is to remove your aligners from your mouth and brush them with a separate, soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.
Finally, it is possible to clean your aligners simply by rinsing them under the hot or cold tap, although this method is not very effective.

Can you clean Invisalign with electric toothbrush?

Yes, you can clean your Invisalign trays with an electric toothbrush. Just make sure that you are using a soft-bristled brush, and that you are handling your aligners gently to avoid causing them any damage.

Can you boil your Invisalign?

No. You should avoid boiling your Invisalign trays at all costs. Boiling your clear aligners might be an effective method of clueing them, but it is also likely to melt and misshape them to the point that you will no longer be able to use them.

Can I clean my Invisalign with mouthwash?

No. Generally speaking, you should avoid using mouthwash to clean your trays. The reason for this is that mouthwash contains all softs of chemicals and ingredients which might be detrimental to the material that your clear aligners are made from.

Closing thoughts

Congratulations! If you have read this far you now know how to clean Invisalign trays in the most effective way possible.

Keeping your aligners clean is important to achieving the best results from your Invisalign treatment, and the easiest way to remember to keep your aligners in tip top shape is to make it a habit to clean them every night.

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