Cleaning Invisalign Braces: Best Practices

invisalign braces

So you finally took the step of wearing Invisalign Braces to align your teeth.

Now that you have these removable aligners on, remember that one of the integral parts of wearing them is to clean them properly.

If you do not clean your aligners then soon they will start causing oral health problems.

Moreover, your teeth will look dirty and the aligners will smell bad.

Even if you have to replace the aligners in a matter of weeks, cleaning them is necessary.

If you did not know anything about cleaning them yet, this article will discuss how you should keep your aligners clean and what to use to clean them.

Keep reading to know more!

brushing aligners in morning

Morning Routine for Invisalign Braces

In order to see good results, you need to wear Invisalign for at least 22 hours a day.

This means you will wear them all night and day except removing them for eating and drinking.

Therefore, overnight all the bacteria in your mouth will accumulate onto your teeth.

Hence, including brushing teeth and flossing, your morning oral hygiene routine should also consist of cleaning your aligners.

First, remove your aligners and rinse them with water. Then brush and floss.

Next, thoroughly clean them with a toothbrush as you would with your teeth.

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and clean it with liquid soap.

That helps to remove food particles and bacteria that accumulate on the aligners overnight.

After you are done cleaning, rinse them and put them in a protective case unless you want to wear them immediately.

You can also repeat the process in the evening to clean the bacteria that build up throughout the day in your aligners.

However, cleansing and rinsing are not the same.

Rinsing will only make the aligners look cleaner while not actually cleaning them off the harmful bacteria.

Therefore, for cleaning, there are specific appliances that can make the aligners crystal clear and free of bacteria.

Let’s know more about them below!

cleaning-invisalign braces routinely

Cleaning Invisalign Braces

Use Baking Soda and Water 

Mix a tablespoon of baking soda in water and let your aligners soak in it.

This soaking helps to get rid of the bacteria.

As baking soda is abrasive, it does not harm the aligners but clears away the food debris, plaque and bacteria.

After soaking for 30 minutes, clean the aligners using a toothbrush.

Clear Antibacterial Liquid Soap

Anti-bacterial soap will get rid of the bacteria inside the aligners.

Though, you cannot use a scented normal liquid soap.

The key is to have a clear, not colored and unscented soap.

Using colored soaps is not recommended as they will leave a stain on the aligners made of clear plastic.

You can either soak aligners in water and liquid soap or use a toothbrush to clean with the soap by directly applying it.

After you are done cleaning, remember to rinse it completely.

You should not ingest antibacterial soap so ensure that none is left on the aligners as you wear them.

Steraligner 

Speaking of baking soda, Steraligner is a product that cleanses aligners using running alcohol and baking soda.

It consists of a tray and this solution.

You let your aligners soak in the tray for 3 minutes in the sterilizing solution.

After sterilizing, simply rinse the solution and brush your aligners with lukewarm water.

Cleaning Crystals

Another commercial product is cleaning crystals.

By using them, you do not need to clean your aligners by aggressively cleaning them. Soaking them in the crystals is enough.

Dissolve clear crystals in a bowl of warm water.

These crystals contain ingredients such as sodium sulfate that are essentially cleansing agents.

Let your aligners soak in it for about 15 minutes.

Then gently brush it with warm water to rinse off the solution completely.

Your Invisalign dentist Sharjah may recommend you to use these rather than soaps and other home remedies.

Using White Vinegar 

White vinegar is clear and helps to loosen up the bacteria and plaque present on your aligners.

Only use white vinegar as others are colored and can stain your aligners.

Mix 3 parts of water with 1 part vinegar and let it stay for 15 minutes.

The vinegar helps to loosen the plaque which you can later brush off.

Soaking in Hydrogen Peroxide 

Mix hydrogen peroxide solution with a low concentration in lukewarm water.

Soak your aligners in the solution for about 30 minutes.

This will remove stains that accumulate overtime on the Invisalign.

Then brush the plaque from them after rinsing it thoroughly.

Besides cleaning, you should also rinse and soak your aligners, time to time.

rinsing invisalign braces

Best Practices for Keeping Invisalign Braces Clean

Rinsing and Soaking Aligners 

Cleaning aligners by brushing only is usually not enough.

You also need to soak them once in baking soda, Invisalign crystals or other solutions to loosen the plaque.

Sometimes brushing alone cannot remove the stubborn plaque.

Hence, soaking helps to remove it with a soft brush and cleanses the aligners.

Furthermore, you should rinse aligners whenever you remove them.

Every time you remove them to eat and drink, remember to rinse them before wearing them back.

This keeps the saliva and plaque at bay and cleanses them before coming into contact with your teeth again.

Moreover, it is best to also rinse your mouth or brush your teeth before you wear the Invisalign again.

This brings us to…

Remove Your Aligners When You Eat Or Drink

It may seem bothersome at first to remove the aligners every time you are eating or drinking but this aids in the function of the Invisalign.

The only thing you can drink with aligners is water.

Other foods and drinks will stain your aligners.

Moreover, the food particles will get stuck inside them rendering them ineffective.

You cannot chew while wearing the aligners as this may break them or cause permanent damage.

This is why you never get a list of what to eat or not when you are wearing aligners.

Unlike metal braces, you need to remove these invisible braces while you eat and drink almost everything.

storing invisalign braces

Aligners Do Not Belong in The Open 

Storing aligners in a case is crucial.

Never leave them in the open as that can lead to bacterial build-up.

Moreover, if you leave them open on a table or elsewhere there is a chance you may end up losing them.

Suppose you forget them while going out for lunch, what to do now?

The best you can do is to rinse them before wearing them again.

This will clean some bacteria.

When you get back home,  soak the aligners and clean them so that you can wear them again.

Use Only Lukewarm Water to Clean Aligners

Whether you soak, rinse or brush your aligners, do so only in lukewarm water.

Do not use hot water as it can damage the aligners and cause them to break or change shape.

avoid brushing aligners vigorously

What Should You Avoid?

There are certain harsh cleaners that you should abstain from using.

For instance, you can use cleaners for removable teeth retainers but not those for dentures.

Therefore, it is better to use cleaners specifically for Invisalign.

Furthermore, scented soaps and toothpaste are not the best cleaners either.

Toothpaste and scented soaps can leave a bitter taste in your mouth which can be an unpleasant experience.

Also, using soaps with colors and dyes can leave a stain on the aligners.

Hence, if you keep wearing them for 2 weeks then your teeth will look unpleasant in social situations.

Also, refrain from using mouthwash on your aligners.

These can be bad for aligners especially those that contain alcohol.

Furthermore, make sure that you only use a soft bristle brush to clean the insides of the aligners.

Using a harsh brush can damage the aligners and cause them to break.

Rather gently brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush however, it should not be the one you use on your teeth.

Use a separate brush as that could spread the bacteria from your mouth to the aligners and vice versa.

Do not forget to take off your aligners when you eat and drink otherwise it will leave stains, damage the aligners and render your treatment useless.

In order to get a successful treatment, take good care of each set of your aligners.

wearing aligners

The Takeaway Message

If you want to straighten your teeth then consult your dentist about the orthodontic treatment of Invisalign aligners.

Find out about the treatment plan at an Invisalign Center.

Whether you get Invisalign treatment, other plastic aligners or traditional braces vary depending on the condition of your teeth.

However, the Invisalign cost is not part of dental insurance so consult about the monthly payments plan.

Once you do get them, you wear each set of the aligners for about 2 weeks.

In that short period of time, you want your mouth to look clean and the aligners to work properly in giving you straight teeth.

Hence, cleaning the aligners daily is essential.

Otherwise, the built-up bacteria and debris will accumulate on your teeth causing decay and staining.

You can clean them twice a day, in the morning and at night, or at least one.

Moreover, if they stain while accidentally drinking something other than water with them or wearing them right after eating then, clean them as required.

If you do not follow through then your Invisalign Braces will soon stain.

Hence, your teeth will appear yellow too.

Plus your teeth will have direct exposure and contact with the bacteria which can lead to plaque accumulation, caries and gingivitis.

You may also have bad breath.

All of this can hinder your alignment procedure.

Therefore, when you get Invisalign Braces you should take special care to keep them clean and hygienic.

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