How to Care for Invisalign® Aligners

Ensure a Successful Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth. One of the key benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable, making it easy to maintain good oral hygiene throughout treatment.

However, it’s important to properly clean and care for your Invisalign clear aligners to ensure they stay clean, odor-free, and free of bacterial buildup. By following these tips from our Foster City & Belmont Invisalign provider, you can help ensure a successful and comfortable treatment experience.

dental hygiene products

How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners

Rinsing

Before you put your Invisalign aligners back in your mouth, make sure to rinse them off thoroughly. Rinse them under cold water to remove any saliva or food particles that may be on them. You should also rinse your mouth out before putting them back in. This will help remove any bacteria or food particles that may be stuck in your teeth or gums.

Brushing

When it comes to brushing your Invisalign clear aligners, it’s essential to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. You don’t want to use anything too harsh that could scratch or damage them. Gently brush your aligners, just as you would with your teeth. Be sure to rinse them off thoroughly with cold water afterward.

Soak Your Aligners

In addition to rinsing and brushing, you can also use an Invisalign cleaning solution like Invisalign cleaning crystals to help keep your aligners clean. Most dentists recommend using a clear, antibacterial soap with lukewarm water, denture cleaners, or Invisalign cleaning crystals. Mix a small amount of soap with water and soak your aligners regularly in the solution for around 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse them off thoroughly afterward to remove any leftover soap residue. Never use bleach or other hard chemicals to clean your aligners. These can damage the plastic and make it more visible.

Your Foster City & Belmont Invisalign provider may also recommend using Invisalign cleaning crystals:

  • Invisalign cleaning crystals are similar to typical denture cleaning tablets.
  • These Invisalign cleaning crystals are dissolved in water before the trays are soaked in this solution for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • The dissolved Invisalign cleaning crystals help remove bacteria, plaque, tartar, stains, and odors from the aligners.
  • Using Invisalign cleaning crystals helps keep clear aligners fresh, clean, and transparent. It removes buildup from the trays to maintain their shine.

Invisalign leaning crystals are a handy cleaning option for Invisalign patients compared to brushing aligners alone.

Dry Aligners Properly

When not in use, like during meal times, keep the clear aligners in a case and let them air dry. Avoid using a cloth as it can leave lint or other particles behind on your aligners.

Aligner Inspection

Before reinserting, inspect your Invisalign clear aligners for any calcium or tartar buildup that can appear as a cloudy white film. If you see this, you may need a specialized product or help from your orthodontist to remove it.

woman brushing her teeth and smiling

Caring for Your Teeth

Good oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. When using Invisalign, it’s essential to take extra care of your teeth to prevent cavities and other dental problems.

To maintain excellent oral health during Invisalign treatment, do the following:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damaging your teeth and gums.
  • Floss daily: Floss your teeth every day to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth. This will help prevent cavities and gum disease.
  • Use mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. This will help reduce the buildup of plaque and prevent bad breath.

Other Maintenance Guidelines

Here are some additional tips and tricks on Invisalign care that can help you get the most out of your treatment:

  • Wear your Invisalign trays for at least 22 hours a day to ensure the best results. Unlike traditional braces, you can eat and drink what you’d like. Just be sure to always remove your clean Invisalign trays before consuming food or drink. The only exception is water.
  • Use a retainer case. When you remove your aligners, store them in a retainer case or soak in Invisalign cleaning crystals to prevent loss or damage.
  • Use the right cleaning tools. Never use colored or scented soaps because they can discolor your aligners. You should also avoid toothpaste with whitening agents, as these can cause buildup and cloudiness on the aligners.
  • Schedule regular checkups with Dr. Jacklyn Kurth. Regular visits with our Bay Area Invisalign provider are essential to monitor your progress and ensure that your treatment is on track.

woman receiving an oral cancer screening

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use mouthwash to clean my Invisalign trays?

While it may be tempting to use mouthwash to clean your trays, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t. Many types of mouthwash contain alcohol, which can cause the plastic to become brittle and crack or break, rendering them useless. Mouthwash can also create small cracks in the aligners, making it easier for bacteria and other harmful substances to build up. Many dentists can provide an Invisalign cleaning system during your initial fitting.

How often should I clean my Invisalign aligners?

You should clean your aligners at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. However, it’s best to rinse them off whenever you take them out to eat or drink anything besides water. Taking these steps will help remove any food or bacteria that may be on the aligners.

Can I use a toothbrush to clean my aligners?

Yes, you can use a soft toothbrush to clean your aligners. Be sure to use non-abrasive toothpaste and rinse them off thoroughly afterward. It’s also important to be gentle when brushing your aligners, as brushing them too hard can scratch or damage the plastic. Be sure to use a light touch and gentle circular motions to help remove any buildup.

Can I use hot water to clean my aligners?

No, it’s not recommended to use very hot water to clean your aligners. Hot water can warp the aligners’ plastic, causing them not to fit properly. This can not only make your treatment less effective but can also be uncomfortable to wear. Instead, stick to rinsing with cold water or lukewarm water when using a cleaning solution to help keep your aligners clean.

Contact Our Foster City & Belmont Dentist for Your Invisalign Plan

You deserve to have a comfortable, stress-free treatment process, and that starts with proper care for your Invisalign aligners. Don’t wait another day to take action. Contact our Foster City & Belmont dental office at (650) 525-9440  to learn more about caring for your Invisalign aligners and taking the first step toward the smile of your dreams.

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