Invisalign Maintenance Made Easy: Simple Ways to Keep Your Aligners Clean

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Invisalign treatment is a discreet way to realign your teeth. It is an effective and comfortable treatment, but you must keep your aligners clean and in good condition to achieve your desired results. This also helps keep your oral health in optimal condition during your Invisalign journey.
Keep reading for advice on how to clean your aligners and get answers to commonly-asked questions about Invisalign maintenance.

Summary of the Article

Invisalign is a discreet way to straighten teeth, without brackets and wires in your mouth, like traditional metal braces. It’s essential to clean and maintain your aligners regularly for a successful treatment. Ideally, you should clean your aligners at least twice a day, preferably at the same time when brushing your teeth. Avoid using toothpaste on your aligners, as some contain abrasive ingredients that can damage them. You can use mouthwash diluted in lukewarm water to help remove bacteria.

There are also Invisalign products designed to remove plaque buildup, such as the Invisalign cleaning crystals. To keep your aligners fresh and clean all day, you may use Invisalign cleaning foam. Other non-Invisalign products for cleaning you may use are dentures cleaning tablets and Steraligner aligner cleaning solution. In addition, safe homemade solutions, including white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and clear antibacterial soap mixed with lukewarm water, can help remove discolourations.

the dentist speaks with the female patient in modern clinic.

How Often Should I Clean My Invisalign Aligners?

Ideally, you should clean your Invisalign aligners twice a day after you brush your teeth. This will help keep food debris and bacteria at bay, preventing bad breath and oral problems. It is also advisable to rinse them with lukewarm water every time you take them out and before returning them to your mouth to minimise bacteria buildup. Remember not to use hot water in cleaning them, as this can warp the aligners and compromise the fit.

Is It Safe to Use Toothpaste to Clean My Invisalign Aligners?

Some kinds of toothpaste contain abrasive agents which help remove tooth stains. However, these can create fine scratches on the surface of your Invisalign aligners. To reduce this risk, you may use non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Alternatively, you can clean your aligners using soap and lukewarm water. Whichever method you choose, always rinse them off thoroughly before wearing them again.

Can I Use Mouthwash to Clean My Invisalign Aligners?

Mouthwash is a useful tool to help reduce bacteria and keep your mouth feeling clean and refreshed. However, it should not be used as a primary cleaning agent for Invisalign aligners, as they are too harsh on plastic materials. The alcohol content in mouthwash can also discolour or warp the aligners, compromising their fit. If you wish to use mouthwash, dilute it with lukewarm water before rinsing your aligners.

How Can I Remove Plaque Buildup From My Invisalign Aligners?

Plaque can buildup on your Invisalign aligners over time, especially if they are not cleaned regularly. The most recommended method is to soak your aligners for at least 20 to 30 minutes in a cleaning solution designed to remove plaque buildup from aligner trays, such as the Invisalign cleaning system. Homemade solutions like white vinegar and water can also help. After soaking your aligners, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse them with lukewarm water.

Are There Any Special Cleaning Solutions I Should Use for My Invisalign Aligners?

Invisalign has a range of specially formulated cleaning agents to help keep your aligners clean and fresh. These include:

  • Invisalign cleaning crystals

These are designed to remove plaque buildup, food debris, and foul odour from your aligners. Simply fill a cleaning container with lukewarm water and add one packet of cleaning crystals. Gently shake the container for about 20 seconds to dissolve and distribute the crystals. Submerge your aligners in the solution for 20-30 minutes. Afterwards, rinse the aligners with lukewarm water to remove the crystals and any remaining debris.

  • Dentures cleaning tablets

These cleaning tablets are designed to be used with lukewarm water and can help remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque buildup from your aligners. Simply drop a tablet into a cup of lukewarm water (400ml) and place the aligners in the solution. Leave it for 15 minutes or more, then brush them gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush before rinsing them off.

  • Steraligner aligner cleaning solution

This cleaning solution can deep clean and sanitise your aligners while removing 99.9% of bacteria. Pour enough of the cleaner into a soaking tray. Submerge the aligners and leave them for 3 to 5 minutes before taking them out. Wet a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrub both sides of each aligner.

Be cautious not to do this with your eyes near the cleaning solution, as it can be irritating. Rinse the aligners with running water until all the solution is removed.

How Do I Clean Invisalign Aligners That Have Become Discoloured?

If your Invisalign aligners have become discoloured, you can use cleaning solutions and gentle brushing to restore them to their original appearance. Here are four cleaning mixtures and methods you can use:

  • Distilled white vinegar

Mix 1 part white vinegar with three parts lukewarm water (1:3 ratio) in a small container. Soak your aligners in the solution for about 15 to 30 minutes, brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and rinse with warm water.

  • Antibacterial liquid soap

Use a clear antibacterial liquid soap and mix it with lukewarm water. Soak your aligners for 20 minutes, and gently scrub them with a soft toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly in warm water. Refrain from using coloured soap as they may discolour the aligner and scented soaps since they may leave residues on them.

  • Baking soda paste

Create a paste using one tbsp of baking soda and 1/2 cup of warm water. Apply the mixture to your aligners using a cotton swab or cloth and gently rub the aligner to remove the discolouration. Rinse thoroughly when done.

  • Hydrogen peroxide solution

Mix hydrogen peroxide (3%) with lukewarm water (1:2 ratio) in a small container and soak the aligners for about 20 minutes to help remove discolouration. Brush any remaining stains with a soft toothbrush and rinse off in lukewarm water.

How Can I Keep My Invisalign Aligners Stay Fresh and Clean Throughout the Day?

In addition to the cleaning solutions discussed above, Invisalign has developed Invisalign aligner cleaning foam. This is the only aligner cleaner of its kind; compact and can be used on the go. Simply dispense 1-2 pumps inside each aligner, then place the aligner back in your mouth, spitting out any excess foam. No rinsing is needed.

The Invisalign aligner cleaning foam can be used up to four times a day to keep your aligner fresh and clean throughout the day.

Can I Clean My Invisalign Aligners in the Dishwasher?

Never clean your Invisalign aligners in the dishwasher, as the hot water or air can distort them.

Are There Other Tips You Can Provide to Help Keep Invisalign Aligners Clean and Clear?

Here are more tips to help maintain the cleanliness of your Invisalign aligners:

  • Avoid sugary and acidic foods.

While you must remove your aligners when eating, these foods can contribute to discolouration and plaque buildup on your natural teeth. When this happens, it can transfer to your aligners.

  • Avoid sticky foods.

The residue of sticky foods, like gums, can cling to your aligners and cause discolouration.

  • Clean your teeth after eating.

Always brush and floss your teeth after eating and before putting back your aligners to minimise plaque buildup and discolouration.

  • Store your aligners properly.

Always keep your aligners in a safe place when not being used. Make it a habit to keep it in its case. 

  • Never share your aligners.

Sharing aligners can transfer bacteria and plaque from one person to another, so avoid sharing them with others.

  • Don’t smoke or drink coffee and tea while wearing your aligners.

Never smoke or consume foods and beverages that can cause staining, like coffee, tea, and red wine. These activities can lead to discolouration on your aligners and teeth.

  • Follow your dentist’s instructions.

Your dentist will provide specific instructions on caring for your aligners during treatment, including practising good oral hygiene. You should also visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign is an excellent option for straightening teeth without the hassle of traditional braces. It uses clear, custom-made aligners to shift teeth into place over time. To keep your aligners looking clean, fresh, and clear, it’s important to follow a cleaning routine, including using Invisalign cleaning products designed for aligners or safe homemade cleaning solutions. In addition, consider following the tips above.

Do you still have questions regarding Invisalign? Do you want to know if you are qualified for this orthodontic treatment? Call us now to book an appointment with one of the dentists at our clinic.

Comfort Care Dental is a state-of-the-art clinic equipped with modern tools and technology to provide quality dental care. Our team of dentists have been providing Invisalign procedures for patients for years. On your initial consultation, your dentist will check your oral health to see if you are a good candidate for the treatment. If you are, they will explain the procedure to you and provide care guidelines so that you can determine whether you can commit to them for the duration of your treatment.


Dr. Karthik Lakkaraju

For Dr Karthik, dentistry is the complete package. He most enjoys the feeling he gets when he sees a patient achieve a beautiful smile, or can put an end to pain and increase the quality of life. He believes oral health is a mirror of general health and reflects the person’s personality and confidence.

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