Maintaining proper oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment requires you to clean your aligners at home. If aligners / Invisalign are not cleaned regularly, germs, plaque, and food particles can collect, leading to foul breath, tooth rot, and other dental issues.
We’ll go over various efficient strategies to ensure you properly clean your aligners at home using common household objects. We have you covered if you prefer homemade remedies like vinegar and baking soda. Follow these easy procedures to keep your aligners clean, fresh, and functioning to straighten your teeth properly.
Following these procedures, you may brush your aligner with toothpaste and maintain proper oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment. To maintain your aligner clean and fresh, repeat as required.
Remember that there is a distinction between washing and rinsing when it comes to Invisalign. Rinsing your aligners may make them look cleaner, but it does nothing to address the hidden germs that might grow.
You should clean your aligners every night when brushing and flossing your teeth. This is helpful in the removal of any accumulated food, trash, and bacteria during the day.
You can also clean your Invisalign if they look noticeably unclean, such as if you drank anything cloudy while wearing them or if you put them on too fast after eating.
In addition to more thorough cleaning, you should rinse your aligners every time you remove them. So even if you change your aligners every two weeks, they require regular cleaning.
Failure to do so may result in discolored aligners (causing your teeth to appear yellow) or foul breath. Furthermore, you are constantly exposing your teeth to microorganisms.
Baking soda can be a simple and inexpensive solution to clean your aligners at home. The following are the steps for cleaning aligners with baking soda:
Cleaning aligners with vinegar is a natural and inexpensive way to remove germs and smells. Here’s how to go about it:
Note: Vinegar is acidic. If You don’t use it appropriately, it might harm your aligners.
Hydrogen peroxide is a strong and effective aligner cleaning, but it must be used correctly to avoid destroying your aligners or causing harm to your dental health. Here’s how to use hydrogen peroxide to clean your aligners:
Note: Hydrogen peroxide can be abrasive. If you don’t use it appropriately, it might damage your aligners or irritate your gums.
The simple cleaning procedure mentioned above is frequently sufficient to keep your aligners clean at night, although it is only sometimes the most comprehensive option.
The three steps are:
Now that we’ve shown you the proper approach to cleaning your aligners, let’s look at the incorrect method. The following are some items you should not use to clean your invisible aligners:
Because aligners are far more fragile than natural teeth, you cannot use the same tooth-cleaning solutions. As a result, certain types of toothpaste are out of the question.
This is because most kinds of toothpaste have abrasive characteristics that might produce scratches on the plastic resin of your aligners. These scratches might make your invisible aligners much more apparent, undermining their primary function.
If you must use toothpaste, ensure it is non-abrasive.
Colored mouthwash is another dental care product that should not be used on your aligners. Because they include artificial coloring ingredients, colored mouthwashes can permanently discolor your aligners. If you must use mouthwash, ensure the product is labeled “Clear.”
Using the Dishwasher
While it may appear quick and easy to clean your aligners, there are better ideas than using a dishwasher. Dishwashers use extremely hot water to clean their contents, which might damage or discolor your aligners.
Hot water can harm the plastic in your aligners. The heat from the water can stretch the plastic, causing it to alter its form. Because aligners are custom-made for your teeth, any changes to their form will make them ineffective at straightening your teeth and, in worst-case scenarios, altogether useless.
Bleach, alcohol, and other strong chemicals should be avoided since they can permanently deform or discolor your aligners.
Now that we’ve covered how to clean your aligners at home, let’s look at what you can do during the day to maintain your trays in good condition.
Store Your Aligners in a Cool, Dry Place
Keep your aligners in their case and store them in a cold, dry place. Leaving them in moist and warm places can lead to a rise in bacteria levels, making them more odorous.
Brush and Floss Before Wearing Your Aligners
Brushing and flossing your teeth before putting on your aligners is a preventative measure for keeping your aligners clean. This method ensures that plaque, germs, and food particles are not caught between your teeth, gums, and aligner.
Remove Aligners Before Eating or Drinking
In addition to being extremely unpleasant, eating or drinking might harm your aligners if you are still wearing them. For example, food can scrape the plastic surfaces and become trapped between the trays and your teeth.
Certain meals and beverages, such as food with added coloring and dark liquids, including coffee, carbonated sugary drinks, whiskey, and even red wine, can also stain the plastic. You can use a straw to combat this, but avoiding the danger and pulling them out is far better.
Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about “How to clean your aligners at home.”
Yes, you may clean your aligners by brushing them. Brush the aligners gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush, being cautious not to scratch them with a hard-bristled brush. For extra cleaning power, apply a mild soap or denture cleanser.
Avoid using hot water or strong chemicals such as bleach or alcohol since they can damage the aligners and affect your dental health. Before attempting any new cleaning procedure, consult with your orthodontist or dentist to confirm it is safe for your aligners.
Yes, brushing your aligner with toothpaste can help clean it and eliminate bacteria and smells. Here’s how to go about it:
Remove your aligner and rinse it under running water first. Then, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, carefully brush the aligner with toothpaste. Use moderate pressure and a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratching the aligner’s surface. After brushing, gently rinse the aligner with lukewarm water to eliminate toothpaste residue.
It is critical to maintain proper oral hygiene when wearing aligners by cleaning your teeth regularly. To achieve a thorough cleaning, removing your aligners before brushing is best. This is why:
Brushing your teeth while wearing aligners can push germs and food particles further into the aligner, resulting in foul smells and tooth rot. Furthermore, toothpaste might generate a buildup on the aligner, reducing its effectiveness in straightening teeth.
To brush your teeth correctly while wearing aligners, remove the aligners and thoroughly wash your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Rinse your mouth with water after cleaning all surfaces of your teeth, including your tongue and gums.
After brushing, rinse your aligners under running water and clean them individually using one of the approved procedures (such as those described above). Once your teeth and aligners are clean, you may replace them and go about your day.
We realize the necessity of maintaining proper oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment at Atrium Dental Clinic. That’s why we’ve put together this detailed instruction on how to clean your aligners at home.
You can clean your aligners and keep them fresh, and work properly to straighten your teeth by following these easy yet effective measures.
Please contact us at (480) 940-4321, and fill out our online appointment form if you have any concerns regarding cleaning your aligners. Our skilled dental specialists will be with you every step of your orthodontic journey. Keep in mind that a healthy smile begins with clean aligners!