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How to Clean Invisalign

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A woman holding a clear aligner on her left hand and cleaning it with a toothbrush on her right hand.

Invisalign aligners offer a discreet and comfortable way to straighten your teeth, but proper care is essential to keep them looking and feeling their best. With a few easy steps, you can keep your aligners clear and fresh throughout your treatment. 

Cleaning your Invisalign involves rinsing, soaking, and gently brushing your aligners. You have a few options for how to soak them, and it’s important to keep in mind that some cleaning solutions, like denture cleaners and mouthwash, aren’t safe for your aligners. 

We’ll get into the steps of safely cleaning your aligners, removing stains, and how to care for them on a daily basis. Ultimately, your dentist is the best resource for advice about do’s and don’ts for Invisalign care, so don’t be afraid to ask questions during your treatment!

Do You Have to Clean Your Invisalign?

It’s essential to keep your Invisalign clean to get the most out of your treatment and avoid the risk of cavities. Dirty aligners can become a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to unpleasant side effects like bad breath and tooth decay.

Failing to clean your aligners can also result in staining the aligners as well as irritating your gums, which could eventually lead to more serious conditions like gingivitis

By incorporating routine cleaning into your Invisalign regimen, you can avoid these potential risks and keep your aligners clear, fresh, and comfortable throughout your treatment.

A pictorial step-by-step guide showing how to clean invisalign.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Invisalign

Cleaning your aligners should be a daily habit, similar to brushing your teeth. Each night, you can clean your Invisalign with these easy steps:

  1. Start by rinsing your aligners with lukewarm water as soon as you remove them from your mouth. This helps remove saliva or food particles before they have a chance to dry and harden on your aligners.
  2. Soak your aligners for 15–20 minutes. You can soak them in the Invisalign cleaning crystals or simply use a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts lukewarm water. This helps remove bacteria or stains that may have accumulated on your aligners during the day.
  3. Use a clear, antibacterial soap to clean your aligners. Gently brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush, but be sure to avoid using hot water, as it can warp or damage the plastic material.
  4. Rinse with water. After you brush your teeth, you can return to wearing your aligners. 

What Not to Clean Invisalign With

When it comes to cleaning your Invisalign aligners, it’s important to avoid certain products and methods to prevent scratching or staining the plastic material. 

To reduce the risk of stains, warping, or other damage to your aligners, avoid these cleaning solutions:

  • Toothpaste
  • Coloured or scented soaps
  • Denture cleaners
  • Mouthwashes, especially those that contain alcohol
  • Coarse-bristled toothbrushes
  • Hot water
A close-up of a dentist's gloved hands holding a clear aligner used in invisible orthodontic treatment.

How to Remove Stains from Invisalign

In a perfect world, you remove your aligners before eating or drinking, always, and clean them thoroughly each night—but sometimes, we slip up. 

If your aligners do get stained, there are a few tried-and-true methods you can use to help remove them.

  • Hydrogen peroxide and warm water: To remove stains from your Invisalign, combine hydrogen peroxide with warm water and let your aligners soak for a little over 30 minutes. After soaking, brush off any leftover cleaning solution and rinse them before wearing them again.
  • Baking soda and warm water: Baking soda is a gentle yet effective abrasive that can help remove stuck-on food particles and plaque from your aligners. Dissolve a single tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water and let your Invisalign soak in the water for at least 30 minutes before taking them out and brushing them.
  • Distilled white vinegar and water: If you’re already using vinegar to soak your aligners, you can benefit from its stain-fighting power. Mix 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water to create a solution. Let your Invisalign sit in it for 15 minutes to allow the vinegar enough time to loosen up the stain, then brush it away with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Other Ways to Keep Your Aligners Clean

In addition to proper cleaning, there are a few daily habits you can follow to help keep your aligners clear and bacteria-free.

First and foremost, make sure to remove your Invisalign when eating to avoid trapping food particles and staining. It’s best to only drink water while wearing your aligners to prevent discoloration. When storing your aligners, use an airtight container to prevent bacteria buildup. 

By following these tips along with a regular cleaning routine, you can keep your Invisalign aligners clear and comfortable throughout your orthodontic treatment, helping you achieve the beautiful smile you’re looking for!

Have Questions About Invisalign? 

We’ve got answers! Reach out to us at Shawnessy Dental Centre to learn more about caring for your aligners or for a consultation to find out if Invisalign is right for you. 

Our friendly team is experienced in Invisalign treatment, and we’re happy to help you every step of the way.

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