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It’s no secret that patients are drawn to Invisalign® aligners because of the discreet appearance they promise. The fact that they still effectively straighten teeth and correct bite issues much like metal braces is also a bonus. Even when you choose aligners, however, our Cadillac Invisalign dentists expect you to keep them squeaky clean so they don’t stain.
Here’s how much you should beand what you can use to do so.
Do More Than Rinse Your Aligners
If you wear clear aligners, it can be tempting to run them under some water and call them “clean”. However, it’s not that simple. For one, that method does nothing to address the bacteria that may be accumulating on the aligners.
Our dentists recommend that instead of only rinsing your aligners, you thoroughly clean them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This can be accomplished in just a few minutes and most teen and adult Invisalign patients find it easiest to clean their aligners at the same time they are brushing their teeth.
For the best cleaning experience, try:
- Quickly rinsing your aligners under lukewarm water after they are removed from your mouth.
- Using your soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of clear antibacterial soap to get rid of any food bits that may have stuck around from an earlier meal.
- Carefully brushing the inside and outside of the top and bottom aligner.
- Giving them another rinse after you’re done brushing.
- Placing back in your mouth or inside their protective case when not in use.
Want to use toothpaste instead of clear soap? As long as toothpaste is non-abrasive and gentle, it is fine to use for cleaning aligners. Do not use whitening or any harsh toothpaste on your aligners to avoid damaging them.
What You Shouldn’t Attempt With Clear Aligners
Aside from watching what toothpaste you use to clean your aligners, it’s important that you also refrain from ever washing them in hot water. If you do, you risk warping the plastic and ruining the set you’re cleaning.
It’s best if you use lukewarm water that isn’t too hot or cold as it will get the job done without being harmful. For times when you’d rather let your aligners soak, choose an approved cleaning solution. Never use mouthwash as alcohol within the mixture can distort your aligners and the colored dye can cause discoloration.
The following are acceptable soaking solutions:
- Small amount of gentle liquid soap + a cup of water
- One part vinegar + 3 parts warm water
- Tbsp. of baking soda + ½ cup water
- Denture cleanser
Invisalign’s Own Cleaning Accessories
work just fine, but if you want additional tools at your disposal, Invisalign does offer a few options for purchase. One of which is what they call a “Steraligner”.
The Steraligner comes with a tray, rubbing alcohol, and sodium bicarbonate which is a natural antiseptic. All you need to do is place your aligners in the tray provided and soak them for 3 minutes in the cleaning solution. When the time is up, rinse them off with warm water.
Invisalign also offers “cleaning crystals” that act as sodium sulfate cleansing agents and dissolve once placed in water. Submerging your aligners in the mixture for a few moments and rinsing them afterwards does the job.
Questions? Ask Our Dentists!
Keeping your clear aligners free from bacteria and yellow stains will not only help out your teeth underneath but will also allow you to maintain a discreet look. If you have any questions about Invisalign cleaning methods or your aligners in general, be sure to ask our dentists in Cadillac, MI. Call LifeSmiles Dentistry at (231) 775-8281 to request an appointment.