If you’ve just received a new pair of Invisalign trays, you know that these are a comfortable and easy way to gain and retain the smile you desire. However, there is the extra step of cleaning in order to keep them in shape.
Read on to learn how to clean Invisalign trays the right way so that you can have a healthy and beautiful smile for the longterm!
1. Establishing Routines and Habits
The same way you brush and floss your teeth every morning and evening, you should also clean your Invisalign trays as part of your everyday routine. By establishing a habit of cleaning your Invisalign trays, you’ll find that the time will pass far more quickly.
Habits are created because your brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort and energy. You can help this process along by chaining together, or “chunking,” similar actions, such as keeping a bottle of water at your bedside table in order to drink more when you get up, or keeping your toothbrush and toothpaste in the shower.
We recommend keeping your Invisalign trays’ case by the sink along with some antibacterial soap so that you’re reminded to rinse and clean them every time you enter the bathroom.
After you see the case, you know it’s time to either rinse them off and put them in your mouth, or take them off and give them a cleaning.
How do you keep yourself motivated to complete this extra step each day? One way is to think about your reward of clean, white, and straight smile which can only come with good hygiene practices.
2. Brush Your Teeth
No matter how clean your Invisalign trays are, if you’re putting them in a dirty mouth, it doesn’t matter. Be sure to both brush and floss your teeth before you insert your Invisalign trays.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristle brush. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and use gentle, small circular or back and forth movements across each touch.
Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of your teeth last because they tend to gather the most food and bacteria. Every three to four months, replace your toothbrush so that it’s just as effective.
You’ll also want to floss your teeth at least once a day. Although it seems unnecessary, flossing goes a long way to removing food particles between your teeth that your toothbrush just can’t reach.
3. Soak Your Aligners
Now that you know how to establish a regular habit of cleaning your Invisalign trays, an easy way to keep them clean is to soak them when you’re not wearing them. Use retainer cleaners or Invisalign cleaning crystals.
It’s not recommended to use denture cleaner or to soak them in mouthwash because the chemicals, especially alcohol, are too strong for the Invisalign materials.
Once you’re ready to wear them, be sure to give them a brushing with a separate toothbrush than the one you normally use for your teeth. This will help eliminate any leftover plaque or food.
If you don’t like using these kinds of products, you also have the option of using an equal-parts mixture of white distilled vinegar and lukewarm water. After soaking them for approximately 30 minutes, giving them a brush and a rinse, your trays should be clean and ready to be placed in your mouth.
If you’ve rinsed them properly, you won’t taste any residual vinegar!
4. Don’t Use Toothpaste
It’s not recommended to use toothpaste or colored soap to clean your Invisalign trays because they’re either too abrasive or leave residue. Remember that you’ll be wearing your trays for at least a few months – you want to make sure you’re keeping them in top condition so that they’re doing the best work for your teeth.
5. Rinse Often
It’s understandable to get wrapped up in life and our other responsibilities, so even if you don’t have time to brush or soak your aligners, you’ll want to at least rinse them often in cold water. Avoid hot water because this can warp your trays, forcing you to get new ones made.
6. Avoid Stains
If you have your Invisalign trays in throughout the day, you’ll want to avoid liquids such as soda, tea, coffee, and wine. These liquids have the potential of staining your aligners and causing your invisible Invisalign trays to be more visible than you’d like.
It’s also recommended to take them off before you eat. Not only is chewing in them uncomfortable and can lead to damaging your trays, but food particles will also inevitably become trapped between the trays and the surface of your teeth, leading to a build-up of bacteria.
How to Clean Invisalign Trays: Respect Your Smile
Although it may seem like an annoying step in your daily dental routine, knowing how to clean Invisalign trays and sticking with it will go a long way to keeping your smile fresh and beautiful.
Remember to use retainer cleaner, distilled white vinegar, cold water, a separate toothbrush, and clear antibacterial soap as your cleaning products of choice. Do some preparation beforehand, such as setting up your cleaning products next to your Invisalign case, in order to make the process seamless.
Ready to begin your journey to a beautiful smile? Schedule a complimentary consultation with us today!