"How do I clean Invisalign?"
A major concern of patients and a question we get asked here at Stonegate Dental is how you should take care of your Invisalign trays. The good news is that unlike metal braces, Invisalign is easy to maintain and your oral hygiene routine doesn’t change too much!
Invisalign Braces are the Clearer Alternative to Classic Metal Braces
Invisalign Braces gained popularity in the early 2000’s as a new way to straighten teeth and misalignments without the use of metal brackets and wires. Invisalign is simply a set of plastic aligners called "trays" that are custom made for your mouth. Invisalign trays are easily popped in your mouth and can be removed at any time of the day.
The complete Invisalign system and treatment involves a set of custom Invisalign trays given to the wearer. Every 2-3 weeks, as teeth shift and realign, the wearer must change their tray to the next one in the system
Invisalign treatment ranges in time, however most patients can see results in 6-18 months—typically a lot faster than traditional braces. But, like any dental appliance, Invisalign does require a bit of maintenance and cleaning of the Invisalign trays to maintain your oral health.
Oral Hygiene and Cleaning Invisalign Trays
A major concern of patients and a question we get asked here at Stonegate Dental, is “How do I clean Invisalign Braces?”. The good news is that unlike metal braces, Invisalign is easy to maintain and your oral hygiene routine doesn’t change too much!
As a benefit, the wearer is able to easily maintain oral hygiene without having to work around metal bits in their mouth and without worry of discomfort or mouth sores. When an Invisalign tray is removed, the wearer can clean their teeth as per usual (don’t skip flossing!) but they also must take care of their Invisalign tray.
As a general rule, you should aim to make your teeth as clean as possible before you put your Invisalign tray back in (even if you are out in public and can only manage to rinse your mouth). You should also give your tray a rinse to remove any buildup, and follow a daily oral hygiene routine where you give the Invisalign tray a thorough cleaning. Otherwise, it’s bacteria city in your gums and teeth!
5 Tips on How to Clean Your Invisalign Trays
1) Use the Official Invisalign Cleaning System
Invisalign recommends using the Official Invisalign Cleaning System for your tray cleaning needs. The system uses Cleaning Crystals to remove the plaque and build up on your Invisalign trays in just 15 minutes. This method isn’t the most cost effective for everyone, but it does come straight from the source.
2) Keep it Simple and Just Brush (Gently!)
If you want a more cost-effective cleaning system, the Stonegate Dental team recommends using a soft toothbrush and a tiny amount of toothpaste to gently brush your Invisalign tray.
The key thing is to be gentle with the brushing. Going too hard can leave scratches or leave excessive toothpaste residue on your tray. This is the method that we recommend the most to patients because it is cost effective and can be easily added to your routine.
3) A Little Toothpaste Goes A Long Way
Don’t go overboard on the toothpaste when brushing your Invisalign trays. By using small amounts of toothpaste, there’s less of a chance for toothpaste build up, and you avoid deterioration of the trays.
When you’re done brushing, make sure you rinse the tray well!
4) Just Don't Soak It
Invisalign doesn’t need to be exposed to harsh cleaning procedures.
Avoid soaking your trays in bleach or dunking them in boiling water as these methods can also deteriorate and distort the trays. If you use harsh cleaning methods, the general shape of the trays may change from the system design and they won’t align your teeth as effectively as they should.
5) Steer Clear of Mouthwash
We know that Invisalign can sometimes smell funky as soon as you take it out of your mouth. But don’t think that the alcohol and scents in mouthwash will fix the problem!
The alcohol and colouring agents may damage Invisalign trays leaving discolouration and it may weaken the plastic over time. Plus, studies have shown that using mouthwash in efforts to kill bacteria on dental appliances doesn’t actually kill too much bacteria.
Save the mouthwash for your teeth when you’re running late for your next date night. You’ll thank us when you have fresh breath and your Invisalign is still looking great!
I Think My Invisalign is Clean…Wait, Am I Doing This Right?
If you’re still not too sure about cleaning your Invisalign trays, come and visit us at Stonegate Dental and we’ll do a quick check-in. We’ll give you advice on how to clean your Invisalign and if there’s any areas of your current routine that can be improved.
Remember, Invisalign is an investment in your smile. Treat the product in a way that ensures it will last over the duration of your treatment and you’ll have the results you desire!