So, you’ve got your Invisalign – and hopefully love them! But to get the most from your aligners, it’s crucial that you clean them regularly.

The good news is that it’s actually fairly easy to clean your Invisalign aligners. You just need to know where to start. To help, here’s an overview of how to clean Invisalign retainers – and what not to do.

Do I Need to Clean Invisalign Retainers?

Yes! And, this doesn’t mean just rinsing them, either. Rinsing can help in a pinch, but it’s not a substitute for actually cleaning the retainers.

Think of it like brushing your teeth. You can rinse aligners as often as you wish, but all this does is make them look cleaner!

You need to use the right products to remove potentially harmful bacterial buildup. But you also need to use the right process or you risk damaging your aligners. Let’s go over the steps involved.

How to Clean Your Invisalign Retainers

You only need a few items to hand to clean and brush your aligners. You will need:

  • Soft bristled toothbrush
  • Cleaning solution (we’ll cover what to use below)
  • Invisalign tray

What Can You Clean Invisalign With?

Here’s a quick and easy process you can follow to clean any Invisalign aligners.

  • First, give your aligners a rinse with normal water. Make sure it’s not too hot!
  • Then, get your very gentle, soft bristled toothbrush. Use a cleaner, such as clear liquid soap, to carefully remove any trapped debris.
  • Rinse the aligners again thoroughly. Otherwise there may be soap left behind.

You don’t need to use clear liquid soap. Instead, you could use effervescent cleaning tablets. Or, try the cleansing foams or cleansing crystals tailor-made by Invisalign for their products. Either way, you have a few options – the basic steps are the same.

Can I Use Toothpaste on Invisalign?

It’s not the best way to clean your aligners. Why? Because most toothpastes are a little abrasive.

For example, they might contain silica, or baking soda. This means that even gently brushing aligners with toothpaste could scratch the delicate surface.

How Often Should I Clean My Aligners?

Ideally, you should clean your aligners every night before returning them to the tray. But don’t feel like you can’t clean them more frequently. Give them a clean whenever they feel or look dirty – your mouth will feel happier.

It’s also perfectly fine to rinse them with ordinary water between wears during the day, but before the nightly clean.

What Happens if I Don’t Clean My Aligners?

If you don’t clean and soak your aligners, the bacteria builds up. When you put dirty aligners on your teeth, they can cause:

They can also affect your breath and make your mouth feel less than fresh!

What Not to Do With Invisalign Aligners

Okay, so that’s how to clean Invisalign aligners. To protect your aligner between changes, here are some cleaning practices to avoid.

  • Don’t use hard-bristled brushes. They could damage the aligners.
  • Steer clear of soaps with added dyes. Otherwise, you risk staining the aligners – which could make your teeth look a little odd!
  • Avoid scented products. They could give off a bad taste, which makes for miserable wearing.
  • Avoid too-hot water. Water that’s too hot could melt your aligners or change their shape. The result? They won’t fit properly, which could be uncomfortable.

How to Clean Invisalign Trays

It’s not just the aligners you need to think about. You need to clean the Invisalign tray, too.

You may use Invisalign cleansing crystals for this. Or, use gentle, unscented and uncolored soap. Just be sure to rinse the tray thoroughly or else the scents will transfer to your aligners.

In a real pinch? Use a vinegar and water solution. It’s gentle but effective.

Replacing Your Aligners

Invisalign aligners can – and should – be replaced frequently. That doesn’t mean they don’t need regular cleaning, though. In fact, regular cleaning can help to improve the lifespan of your aligners. They won’t look (or feel) worn out so quickly.

Our team will recommend a replacement schedule as part of fitting you for Invisalign. But if you have any concerns about the condition of your aligners between appointments, reach out to us!

Learn More About Invisalign at Bergen Orthodontics

Got questions about your Invisalign products? We’ve got answers! At Bergen Ortodontics, we put patients first. We’re here to serve you and help you keep your mouth healthy for longer.

Whether you need new aligners or you’re unsure if aligners are best for you, we can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment. Or learn more about Invisalign now!