If you’ve started Invisalign treatment, you know wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours a day is required ‒ but did you know cleaning your Invisalign aligners is just as important? Just like brushing your teeth, regularly cleaning your Invisalign aligners is essential to your oral health.
Here’s the importance of cleaning your Invisalign, along with how to clean Invisalign aligners.
How to Clean Invisalign Aligners
Now that you’ve invested in Invisalign treatment, it’s time to start learning how to take care of your aligners. With over 30 years of experience, our dental professionals in Omaha, NE know the best ways to help keep your Invisalign aligners clean, while making treatment as easy as possible.
Remove Your Invisalign Before Eating
While it’s important to wear your Invisalign aligners for 20-22 hours a day, they should be removed before you eat anything. Otherwise, the food you consume may stain or damage your aligners. Food particles will stick to the inside of your aligners ‒ just like they do your teeth.
If these particles cling to your trays, they’re likely to transfer to your teeth and gums, causing a build-up of plaque over time. To prevent this, we recommend cleaning your Invisalign trays (and teeth) before placing them back in your mouth. Doing so will keep your aligners invisible, while also preventing bad breath.
Clean Your Aligners When You Remove Them
Clean your Invisalign aligners each time you remove them. Rinsing your aligners with water won’t prevent bacteria, however, a colorless soap should do the trick. That said, avoid washing your aligners in hot water, as this can cause bending. Also, stay away from toothpaste, which may damage, dull, or even discolor your aligners.
How to Clean Invisalign at Home
Denture cleaning solutions and Invisalign cleaning crystals are effective cleaning methods. Invisalign cleaning crystals will eliminate plaque while preventing staining, discoloration, and odor build-up. These packets are also intended for everyday use ‒ just empty the packet into a glass of water and place your aligners in the solution.
Other recommended Invisalign cleaning methods include:
Soap and water - Using a gentle, unscented soap, soak your Invisalign in the solution for 20-30 minutes. Once done, brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Hydrogen Peroxide and water - Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water before soaking your aligners for up to 30 minutes.
Vinegar and water - Take one part white distilled vinegar to three parts water, then soak your Invisalign trays for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Baking soda and water - Combine a tablespoon of baking soda with ½ a cup of water and stir until the mixture is consistent. Allow your Invisalign to soak for 60 minutes before brushing off any residue.
Brush and Floss Your Teeth
We know what you’re thinking, but we can’t stress the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene while undergoing Invisalign treatment. Remember, food particles can become lodged between your teeth. And unfortunately, your aligners may prevent your saliva from washing these bits away. That’s why it’s essential to brush and floss your teeth after meals, or at least before you put your Invisalign back in.
How Often Should You Clean Your Aligners?
At the very least, you should clean your Invisalign aligners on a nightly basis. This will help to remove any built-up food, debris, and bacteria you’ve accumulated during the day. Additionally, you should rinse your aligners each time you take them out.
While your trays will change every two weeks, they’re still worth cleaning. These measures will help prevent your aligners from appearing discolored, smelling bad, and potentially exposing your teeth to harmful bacteria.
Invisalign Care in Omaha, NE
Now that you know how to clean Invisalign aligners, use these tips to keep your oral hygiene on track. Establishing a routine, while following our dentist’s recommended actions, will make Invisalign treatment that much easier! For more information, contact Eagle Run West Dental Group or call 402-498-8804 to set up a consultation today.