Invisalign retainers and trays do a great job of straightening teeth discreetly. In fact, nobody knows that you are wearing them – unless the retainers and trays are stained. If you do not keep your Invisalign retainers and trays clean, it will show when you smile.
What’s more, aesthetic appeal is not the only reason to clean your Invisalign system. Bacteria can build up on dirty aligners, which increases your risk of tooth decay.
Clearly, cleaning your Invisalign trays and retainers is important, but to get the most out of it, you will need to clean them correctly. Invisalign offers cleaning crystals and a cleaning system that helps ensure deep, safe cleaning, but you can use a soft-bristled brush and a gentle toothpaste. Speak with your dentist to determine the best products to clean your Invisalign retainers and trays, as some dentists have concerns about harsh ingredients that can erode your retainers and trays.
Do not soak your Invisalign trays and retainers in mouthwash, as mouthwashes contain added colors that may stain the clear plastic components of your trays or retainers. Never use alcohol or bleach, as both products can damage your retainers or trays.
How to Clean Invisalign Trays
Rinse the Invisalign tray
Rinse the Invisalign tray under lukewarm water. Do not use hot water, as this may distort the shape of your Invisalign trays.
Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush the entire aligner with circular motions. Brush both the inside and outside of the tray.
Rinse the tray again with lukewarm water. Be sure to rinse away any remaining toothpaste.
Inspect the trays
Carefully inspect the tray for signs of tartar buildup, which appears as a cloudy, white film that is difficult to brush away; if you do see tartar buildup, soak the tray in a cleaning solution according to the product’s instructions or use the Invisalign Cleaning System.
Place the aligner back in your mouth or in a tray
Put your aligner back into your mouth or place in a tray.
Cleaning Your Invisalign Retainers
Talk to your dentist
Ask your dentist for recommendations on cleaning your Invisalign retainer, as your dentist may have special preferences based on your individual needs.
Use the Invisalign Aligner Cleaning System
To clean your Invisalign retainer, use the Invisalign Aligner Cleaning System or a similar product, or a soft-bristled toothbrush and water or a small amount of toothpaste.
Rinse your aligner in lukewarm water.
Inspect your retainer
Inspect your retainer for leftover food debris or signs of tartar.
Soak Your Invisalign Trays and Retainers
Soaking your Invisalign trays and retainers can help keep them clear, hygienic, and odor-free. To soak your trays or retainers, perform the following steps:
- Remove your Invisalign tray or retainer
- Place the tray or retainer in a cleaning container and fill with warm water
- Add one packet of Invisalign cleaning crystals
- Gently shake or agitate the container for 20 seconds to dissolve and distribute the crystals
- Let stand for 15 minutes or longer as desired
- Gently shake or agitate the container for another 20 seconds
- Rinse the trays or retainer thoroughly with warm water
- Store crystals in a cool, dry location
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