How to care for your Invisalign tray

How to care for your Invisalign tray

Invisalign is a comfortable choice instead of traditional metal braces, and is an excellent option for orthodontic treatment to align your teeth correctly.

The Invisalign process of clear retainers and aligner trays repositions your teeth over time, allowing Invisalign’s modern aligner system to incrementally move teeth into straighter positions. 

Each individual Invisalign aligner set is worn for approximately one to two weeks, allowing your teeth to straighten gradually. Despite the fact that your aligners are changed frequently, it’s still important to keep them clean. Here’s how.

The Importance of Cleaning Invisalign Trays

Invisalign aligning trays fit over your teeth snugly, exerting enough pressure to straighten your teeth. But, the tight fit also can trap bacteria and liquids between your aligners and teeth, because your saliva can't free flow to wash any bacteria away.

Although you’ll remove Invisalign trays for a few hours each day to eat, it's important to brush your teeth after meals and snacks, before replacing your Invisalign retainers or aligner trays again. That keeps your teeth healthy and helps to keep your Invisalign appliance clean as well.

Additionally, you’ll also need to clean your Invisalign appliance. But it’s simple to do.

Use Your Toothbrush to Clean Invisalign Retainers and Trays

One of the best ways to clean your Invisalign trays is also the simplest: your toothbrush. 

Just brush them with a soft toothbrush, and then rinse them in lukewarm-temperature water.

Don’t use toothpaste on your aligners, as it’s abrasive and will cause scratches; and never rinse them with hot water. Why? Because this can affect the fit of your Invisalign tray.

Using a colorless, unscented gentle liquid soap along with your toothbrush is also fine, however,  if the retainer or tray has started to smell bad. This is also a good idea if there’s plaque on it. Remember though, no hot water!

Use Invisalign’s Cleaning System

Invisalign also offers its own cleaning system. Their cleaning crystal system works well, but is not a necessity for aligner trays, and it's fine to save on costs by using your toothbrush to clean the aligners instead. 

Create Your Own Invisalign Aligner Cleaner Using Distilled White Vinegar

Here’s another option that is both safe and reasonable in cost. You can use distilled white vinegar to also remove built-up plaque, and clean and deodorize your appliances. Consisting of one part distilled white vinegar to three parts of lukewarm water, simply shake the mixture, put in your aligners, and soak for 15-30 minutes. Rinse with water. 

Make Your Own Cleaner Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Another cleaning idea: you can mix hydrogen peroxide with water, stir, and place your Invisalign trays in the mixture. You’ll want to mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Soak your appliance for 15-30 minutes. Then, rinse with water.

Ultrasonic Cleaner 

Finally, you can also use an ultrasonic cleaner to deep clean aligners. But although these cleaners are great for deep cleaning, you’ll still want to continue to brush your aligners or retainers between deep cleans. 

Ready to Learn More?

If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign, and how to clean your Invisalign trays, our dental team at Dental Associates of Lodi is ready to answer all your questions or to schedule an appointment. Just reach out to us today!