Are you a new Invisalign patient? Or are you considering Invisalign treatment? Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that straightens the teeth using clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth. It may take you a few days or a few weeks to get used to your Invisalign trays, but once you do you’ll love the comfort and convenience.
As a new or potential Invisalign patient, one question you may have is how to clean your Invisalign trays. Here’s what is recommended by orthodontists and the Invisalign creators.
Steps for Daily Cleaning of Your Invisalign Trays
On a daily basis, the following cleaning regimen will keep your trays clean and fresh:
- Remove your trays and rinse them in cold water. Put them in the storage case.
- Brush your teeth with toothpaste and floss your teeth.
- Using a separate, soft-bristled toothbrush and clear, unscented liquid soap, brush your Invisalign trays. Rinse your trays in cold water.
- Put your trays back in your mouth. You now have fresh, clean teeth and trays.
Options for Deep Cleaning Your Invisalign Trays
When your trays need a thorough cleaning beyond what brushing can do, try:
- Invisalign cleaning crystals. Invisalign has their own brand of cleaning crystals that are formulated especially for your trays. There is also a cleaning kit that comes with a storage container and crystals with instructions on how to use them.
- Retainer cleaners. There are various retainer cleaning products available that are safe to use on plastic retainers. Ask your orthodontist before using any retainer cleaning product on your Invisalign trays.
What Not to Do:
These are cleaning methods to be sure and avoid when it comes to Invisalign trays:
- Do not use a denture cleaner. Denture cleaners are designed specifically for dentures, not for Invisalign trays. Dentures are made of different materials that require specific cleaners that are not necessarily safe for Invisalign trays.
- Do not soak your trays in mouthwash. Mouthwash is too harsh to soak your Invisalign trays in, especially those with alcohol. Don’t soak them in mouthwash for any length of time.
- Do not use a hard bristled toothbrush. A toothbrush with hard bristles can scratch your Invisalign trays as you brush. The trays are supposed to be clear in order to be invisible. If they get scratched up from a toothbrush they may not be as clear. And the scratches are places where bacteria can gather.
- Do not use toothpaste. Toothpaste is an abrasive substance because it is designed to scrub plaque off your teeth. Tooth enamel is more scratch resistant than your plastic trays, so many toothpastes are too harsh. As stated previously, scratches in your trays make them less invisible and create places for bacteria to hide.
Why Do Invisalign Trays Need to Be Cleaned Regularly?
You may wonder why it is necessary to clean your Invisalign trays on a regular basis. There are a number of reasons, including:
- Healthy teeth. Cleaning your trays regularly helps your teeth stay healthy. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the form of plaque. When bacteria gets between your teeth and your Invisalign trays, your teeth are at a greater risk of decay.
- Fresh breath. Bacteria are the cause of bad breath. When your trays are filled with bacteria because they’re not being cleaned, your breath may be affected. Clean your trays as often as you clean your teeth to keep your breath fresh. It can also help to rinse your trays whenever you take them out, even if you can’t brush them at that time.
- Keep your trays clear. By keeping your trays clean, you are keeping them clear so that they are less noticeable on your teeth. After all, invisibility is one of the biggest benefits of Invisalign in the first place.
Considering Invisalign? Dr. Suzanne Stock is a Certified Invisalign Provider
If you’re considering Invisalign for yourself or your child, you need a certified provider. Dr. Suzanne Stock is fully qualified to prescribe Invisalign to patients who are ideal candidates for this treatment.