How to clean your Invisalign: As an invisalign doctor site, I receive a lot of questions about how to properly clean the aligners I prescribe to my patients, so I wanted to create this guide to explain exactly how it’s done.
Put on gloves
The first thing you’ll need to do is wash your hands with antibacterial soap. This helps ensure that you’re not getting any bacteria from other parts of your body on the trays. If you don’t have gloves on hand, rubbing alcohol will do in a pinch. Start by simply rinsing out each tray under water and scrubbing gently with toothpaste. That’s usually enough for everyday cleaning needs, but if it’s been a while since you’ve worn it or if there are food particles stuck in between, using a soft toothbrush can help make sure they’re completely cleaned off. It might take some time to get used to brushing them every day—especially if you’re like me and typically brush only twice a week—but once you get into a routine, it should be easy. After washing them off, use an old towel or paper towel to dry them thoroughly. Placing them back in their case immediately after drying prevents bacterial growth during storage periods. A few times per year (or more often depending on how often you wear your aligners), take them out of their case and soak them overnight in mouthwash or baking soda/water solution (1/2 cup baking soda per quart of warm water). Be sure that they are fully submerged; otherwise, they may float up and become damaged.
Use a toothbrush (or other soft bristle brush)
To keep a healthy smile, dental hygienists routinely recommend brushing one’s teeth for two minutes twice daily. And no matter how you care for your teeth – whether it’s with an electric toothbrush or a manual one – using a soft bristle brush is important. The bristles of soft-bristle brushes are designed to be gentler on teeth and gums than other types of brushes, making them perfect for people who have sensitive mouths. We highly recommend stocking up on soft-bristle toothbrushes.
You can use toothpaste or baking soda and water as your cleanser. Toothpaste has a little bit of abrasive that can help clear away bacteria. However, it’s important not to scrub too hard because you don’t want to damage them. Gently brush from side-to-side with a small toothbrush or a cotton swab (it should be cleaned after each patient). Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, then dry completely before putting them back in your mouth. Wipe down any areas that have accumulated plaque build-up as well, like between teeth and at gum lines.
Rinse with mouthwash
Using mouthwash is a great way to freshen your breath and will help prevent bacteria from growing on your aligners. Dentists also recommend using mouthwash as it’s a powerful antiseptic agent, kills microorganisms that cause bad breath, and lowers acidity levels in mouth tissue. If you don’t have an anti-bacterial mouthwash at home, use warm water instead—just make sure it’s not too hot or cold so you don’t accidentally damage your aligners. Let it air dry before putting it back in.
Remove any residue with an alcohol wipe or cotton swab.
After you have worn them for a few weeks, it is time to take out your aligners and brush off any debris. If you have been prescribed by an invisalign doctor site to soak your teeth at night then use water or mouthwash. It is important that you keep track of when and how long you brushed your teeth, so it is recommended that you use a timer with an alarm. Make sure that you also brush all surfaces where plaque can hide like between teeth and around gums. The timer will give a warning when brushing time is up.
Finally, remove your aligners and put them in their storage case.
Remove your aligners and place them in their storage case. Wipe down both sides of each aligner with a mild antibacterial soap (like hand soap or dish soap) and warm water. Rinse well and pat dry with a towel. Patience is key when cleaning your aligners: you don’t want to leave them out too long, but you also don’t want to scrub too hard or use anything that could damage them. Soft brushes can be used if needed, as well as rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. Store them in their case (when not wearing).