Teens and adults everywhere enjoy the benefits of Invisalign because the clear alternative to braces is affordable, comfortable, and easy to use. In today’s blog post, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you clean your aligners and keep your smile healthy. These simple ideas will help prevent your aligners from developing smells and getting discolored or dirty.
1. Don’t Eat or Drink While Wearing Aligners
The first step to keeping your Invisalign braces clean is to avoid eating or drinking anything but water while wearing your aligners. The aligners are meant to be removed during meals, and it only takes a few minutes to take them out before eating. Foods and liquids can stain your aligners and leave behind unpleasant smells, so remember to take them out ahead of time.
2. Rinse Your Aligners and Store in Water
Every time you remove your aligners, rinse them thoroughly under water to remove plaque and saliva. After rinsing the aligners, you should store them in a closed container or glass of water until you’re ready to put them back in. Keeping them in water prevents saliva from drying on your aligners and breeding bacteria. It also keeps the braces from discoloring or getting cloudy. When you’re ready to put the aligners back on, rinse them with water one more time.
3. Use Denture Cleaner or Invisalign Cleaning Kit
Try the Invisalign cleaning kit or a gentle denture cleanser to sterilize and clean your aligners. It’s typically easiest to soak the aligners in one of these cleaners during a meal, as you’ll have to remove the braces anyway. Use a cleaner once in the mornings and once in the evenings for the best results. If you see any hints of clouding, discoloration, or scratches on your aligners, discontinue use of the cleaner and ask your dentist for an alternative cleaning solution.
4. Clean Your Teeth Thoroughly Before Replacing
Always be sure your teeth are clean before replacing your aligners. Brush teeth and floss to prevent food and debris from getting trapped inside your aligners and to discourage discoloration. If your toothbrush is unavailable, be sure to at least rinse your teeth with water before replacing the aligners. Keeping your teeth clean is the best way to keep your aligners clean.
5. Brush Your Aligners Carefully
It’s also important to brush your aligners before putting them back in. Use your toothbrush and water to brush the aligners in the same way that you would brush your teeth. Generally, you should avoid toothpaste, as it can scratch the aligners or leave etchings in them—however, some toothpastes are safe for use on your Invisalign braces. Ask your dentist for a recommendation before using any products on your aligners. Scratches and etchings in the aligners provide breeding grounds for bacteria, leading to smells and discoloration, so it’s important to use a soft brush and to clean the aligners gently.
By taking care of your Invisalign braces, you’ll ensure that your teeth stay healthy and clean as you go through the treatment process—and you’ll keep your aligners invisible and clear.
image by Tom Newby Photography