The last thing you want to see when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment is stained aligners. After all, you chose Invisalign® because of its clear appearance! Our Grand Rapids orthodontist can help you avoid unwanted stains or built-up plaque with easy aligner cleaning tips.
Here’s the best way to clean Invisalign 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.
Dr. Miller recommends 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.
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.
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.
At-home aligner cleaning methods 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.
You’ll want to make sure that each set of clear aligners in your personalized series is kept clean. After all, you don’t want them accumulating bacteria or becoming stained. If you ever need help cleaning your aligners or have any other Invisalign questions, feel free to ask our orthodontist in Grand Rapids, MI. You can request an appointment by calling Miller Orthodontics at (616) 942-9320.