The Most Efficient Ways to Clean Invisalign Braces
This quick and easy guide will explain the best way to keep your aligners clean, fresh and new looking. It includes step by step instructions on cleaning invisalign braces and how to avoid sticky, smelly aligners. If you follow these simple guidelines not only will you have a beautiful mouth, but you will have a fresh smelling one too.
Please note that you can get more information from your Invisalign dentist and orthodontist about keeping your teeth and aligners fresh and clean. Although the information on this page is based on my own Invisalign wearing experience, it is not a substitute for advice from your Invisalign provider. This is what I have found works best after four years of wearing Invisalign.
Your New Aligners!
Every new set of Invisalign aligners comes in it’s own factory sealed packet.
After removing your aligners from the packet for the first time, examine them closely. You will notice that they are slightly dull, often with an almost chalky looking residue on them. This is quite harmless, and is simply a result of the sterilization and disinfectant procedure that takes place at the end of manufacture.
Some people, however, can be allergic to this residue so an important first step before inserting your new aligners is to rinse them thoroughly under the tap. I like to remove it because I sometimes feel that it gives me a sore throat or makes my mouth slightly sore.
Also, I just don’t like the idea of chemicals in my mouth that don’t need to be there.
Removing your aligners between meals
One of the most inconvenient aspects of Invisalign is that they must be removed before eating or drinking anything other than water. Whilst in an ideal world it would be advisable to clean your aligners thoroughly every time you remove them, in many places such as the workplace, restaurants etc. this simply isn’t practical or possible.
One of the best ways to keep your aligners fresh in this instance is to run them under running water immediately after removing them. This washes away any saliva and other residue whilst it is still wet and means that they will be a lot fresher when it comes to reinserting them.
Having run them under water place them in their case whilst you eat. Then just before putting them back in, after brushing and flossing your teeth, rinse them again. This will prevent them smelling and in turn giving you bad breath.
Many people find that using disposable brushes or prepasted disposable brushes is much easier when they are out and about.
If you are at home and are able to thoroughly clean your braces the best solution is a very soft toothbrush. Giving your braces a quick once over under running water will keep them fresh and fragrant whilst you are eating. Take it from me, there is nothing more horrible than putting braces back into your mouth that have been out for some time and have not been cleaned!
Thoroughly cleaning your aligners
Whilst rinsing your aligners provides a quick and easy way to keep them clean when out and about, more thorough cleaning will be required at other times to keep the aligners fresh and odor free.
This can be done with a soft toothbrush and cold running water. It is important that aligners aren’t placed in or under hot water as it can cause them to warp. Also, don’t use toothpaste on the aligner as it can make tiny scratches that can hold germs.
Holding the aligner firmly in your hand use a soft toothbrush to gently clean each individual tooth space within the aligner. One important thing to note is that a lot of the white film that collects on the aligners is actually on the outside of the aligner not just on the inside surface that is in contact with the teeth, so make sure you clean the outsides too!
Pay particular attention to the sides of the teeth and also any areas where there are gaps between the teeth when cleaning the aligner.
Removing all of this white film regularly will mean that it does not harden and become impossible to get off.
Many people find (although this is not recommended by Invisalign) that a daily soak in Steradent (or Polident) solution or similar denture cleaner can help to keep aligners much fresher. Often these solutions have a pinky colour and on first removing the aligner from it they can look slightly pink, however a quick rinse under running water soon gets rid of this I find.
Retainer Brite although not available in every country, seems to work even better. As long as you choose a denture or aligner sterilizing tablet you should be fine.
For a really thorough clean, the best product I have found is the SonicBrite Professional Cleansing System (see the link to it below) This means that you don’t actually have to do any brushing, and it gets right into the little dents formed for your attachments.
Are Invisalign Cleaning Crystals Necessary?
No! Invisalign cleaning crystals aren’t even available in many countries where Invisalign itself is offered. Even in the US the Invisalign system was used for many years before the new cleaning crystals became available.
My orthodontist recommends the methods that I’ve described above and says that the crystals are not necessary and are far too expensive relative to other cleaning methods, without offering any improvement over other methods in how clean they get your aligners. Our writers at Flossaroo want you to feel free to save your money to spend on whitening or something that will make a difference to how great your teeth look at the end of treatment.
In my experience Polident and Retainer Brite work just as well and are far cheaper.
Don’t forget to clean your case!
Not cleaning your aligners results in them quickly becoming smelly and unpleasant. However what many people forget is that the cases that aligners are stored in also need to be kept clean.
Invisalign provide to each customer two cases. These are where aligners are stored when eating or drinking. However, what many people fail to realize is that aligners are usually wet when placed in the case, with a mixture of water and saliva. This quickly causes the cases to start to smell and build up germs although most people don’t notice until the problem gets fairly serious.
This means that large amounts of bacteria are collecting inside the case and getting transferred onto the aligners on a daily basis.
The best way to counteract this problem is to rinse and dry your case daily. I also give the inside of mine a quick wipe over with a paper towel too and sometimes put a little dishwashing liquid in the water just to get them really clean.
Tooth Whitening With Invisalign
Did you know that you can do tooth whitening with Invisalign aligners? You use your Invisalign trays and add some gel to them. The most popular gel for doing this is Nite White gel and was recommended to me by my own dentist.
Important! Do not whiten if you have Invisalign attachments on your teeth. Either whiten in the first four weeks of Invisalign before your attachments are fitted, or in the final weeks when they have been removed.
This is because the attachments stop parts of your teeth being whitened and you would get a patchy result. I used nitewhite on my teeth with a very good result. However my dentist charged me $100 for the gel. I have now discovered that you can get it here for a much better price…