How to Keep Invisalign Clean

Invisalign is a popular brand of clear aligner trays. Rather than traditional metal braces, many patients prefer the comfortable, convenient method of Invisalign. You will use clear trays that gently shift your teeth. Due to the materials, the trays are practically invisible on your teeth.

Therefore, you can take the trays out of your mouth to eat and clean, making your life easier. It is important, however, to clean your Invisalign trays properly. This will extend the lifespan of your trays and keep your mouth healthy. 

clear invisalign aligners resting on blue background with dental scaler and mirror cosmetic dentistry dentist in Mount Pleasant Michigan

Clean Daily

It is essential to clean your Invisalign aligners at least once a day. This is because plaque and food particles will stay in the plastic trays until you remove them. Unfortunately, this can create several problems. First, the buildup of plaque can leave you with bad breath. Additionally, plaque can irritate your gums and erode the enamel on your teeth. This means that you need to clean your aligner trays consistently. 

Avoid Hot Water

Usually, we might use hot water if we want to get something very clean. Hot water is effective at removing dirt and grime from many surfaces. However, it is not a good cleaning source for plastic aligners. While hot water may clean the trays, it will also warp the plastic. The thin plastic will change shape if you expose it to hot water. 

Consequently, the trays won’t shift your teeth the way they should. In fact, the aligners will likely be uncomfortable in your mouth. They can cause damage to your teeth and gums. Of course, you may not even be able to put the aligners in your mouth once the water changes its shape. This means that your progress will slow. 

Avoid Harsh or Abrasive Chemicals

If we have a device in our mouths 24/7, we want it to be clean. You may think of traditional cleaning methods to enforce a solid clean. However, you can’t use many cleaning products on Invisalign aligners. Remember: these trays will be in your mouth, so you need to be careful with how you clean them. Don’t use any cleaning chemicals other than mild dish soap. You don’t want any trace cleaning chemicals in your mouth. 

Additionally, harsh chemicals can damage the trays. Along with chemicals, you should avoid using abrasive toothpaste as well. Anything that is gritty can leave small scratches in the plastic. This includes the use of hard-bristled toothbrushes. Unfortunately, this leaves space for bacteria to grow and thrive. Over time, your aligners can turn yellow, losing their invisible quality. 

Rinse After Eating

After you eat, there are leftover food particles in your mouth. If you immediately put the trays in your mouth, those food particles will be trapped, creating plaque and bad breath. If you want to keep your trays and mouth healthy, you should rinse your mouth with water after you finish eating. This will ensure a minimal amount of food particles. Also, you should try to rinse your aligners before you put them back in your mouth.