April 20, 2021
One of the most remarkable features of Invisalign is its low-profile, clear-plastic design. This allows patients to enjoy a discreet treatment process. However, the tight fit makes caring for Invisalign properly even more important. Continue reading to learn how to effectively clean your aligner trays so you can achieve an attractive and healthy smile!
The Oral Health Challenge That Invisalign Poses
For Invisalign to be effective, the aligner trays are designed to fit snugly against your teeth. This can provide a safe haven for oral bacteria to gather and form plaque, which can lead to tooth and gum decay. To protect your oral health and ensure you have a beautiful smile after your treatment is done, you’ll need to make cleaning your trays and teeth a priority.
Effective Cleaning Solutions
Here are some of the cleaning options you have for your Invisalign aligners:
Considered by many dental professionals to be the best way to clean your aligners, Invisalign crystals are designed to work without causing scratches or discoloration. You’ll simply fill a container with water, drop in the cleaning crystals and allow them to dissolve. After soaking the aligners for around 15 minutes, remove, brush (with a toothbrush that’s dedicated to your aligners only) and rinse them before reinsertion.
At low concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove stains from your Invisalign aligners. Combine the hydrogen peroxide with warm water and let your aligners soak for just over 30 minutes. After they’re done soaking, brush and rinse them off.
A unique feature of baking soda is that it contains cleaning agents that don’t scratch the aligners but help to remove bacteria. It’s also effective at lifting food particles and plaque. Start by dissolving a tablespoon of baking soda in one cup of warm water. Let the aligners soak in the solution for at least 30 minutes before removing, brushing and rinsing them.
Distilled White Vinegar
If you’re going to try the distilled vinegar cleaning method, make sure it’s white. Any other type will stain your aligners. Begin by making a solution that contains 1-part vinegar and 3-parts water. Let the aligners soak for 15 minutes, allowing the vinegar time to loosen up plaque so you can brush and rinse afterwards.
While you can’t use scented soap to clean your aligners, a clear and odorless antibacterial option will work. You can either create a solution of warm water and soap and let the aligners soak in it, or apply the soap directly. Either way, you’ll want to make sure to give the aligners a good rinse when you’re done.
In addition to cleaning Invisalign properly, it’s important to practice excellent oral hygiene. This should include brushing and flossing at least two times a day to remove leftover debris and control bacteria growth. The more diligent you are in your efforts, the better oral health and Invisalign results you can look forward to!
About the Author
A graduate of the Baylor College of Dentistry, Dr. Bita Kamali has been providing top-notch dental care for over 20 years. Not one to rest on her laurels, she has eagerly pursued more knowledge by taking several hours of continuing education. A cosmetic dental specialist, Dr. Kamali helps her patients achieve the smile of their dreams with Invisalign at Parkway Vista Dental, and she can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through her website.