Best Ways to Clean Your Invisalign

(and 2 things you should NEVER do)

Keep Invisalign Looking invisible

 
One of the main reasons patients choose Invisalign over traditional braces is appearance. Unlike metal braces and brackets, Invisalign retainers are – as the name implies – supposed to be invisible. And one of the best ways you can keep that invisible “look” is by keeping your retainers clear and scratch-free.
Two weeks can be a long time to wear the same retainers, so one of the best ways to keep them clear is to avoid foods – and more importantly, drinks with the aligners in place.
Whether you opt to avoid those drinks entirely – or drink them through a straw to minimize impact – you’ll still want to maintain a daily cleaning regimen to keep your aligners fresh and sanitary, as well as clear.

Close up image of Invisalign Clear Aligners being placed on teeth

Here are a few dos and don’ts

DO

  • Remove your Invisalign aligners when drinking coffee or red wine.  Hot drinks will distort and warp the aligners. Red wine can stain and discolor the aligners. Clear drinks such as white wine may be consumed with the aligners in place.
  • Aligners should be worn at least 20-22 hours per day
  • Clean your retainer twice a day, preferably when you brush and floss your teeth.
  • Soak your retainer! Soaking your retainer is a simple way to effectively clean your retainer without a lot of effort. Just be sure you make the right soaking choice. Choose a solution of vinegar, baking soda, peroxide or anti-bacterial soap mixed with water for 30 minutes to an hour. You can also use Retainer Brite  tablets, which require less soak time than other options.
  • After a soak, give your retainer a gentle brushing to loosen food or dried saliva. Be sure to use a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid scratching your retainers… scratches show just as much as stains do!
  • Use that soak time to brush and floss your teeth. That way you accomplish two great dental hygiene habits at once.

 

DON’T

  • Though it may seem like a good idea, resist the urge to soak your aligners in mouthwash. Not only is it too harsh for your retainers, the mouthwash could actually stain them. And who wants retainers the color of Listerine?
  • Same goes for denture cleaner: seems like a good idea, but not the right move for your retainers. Denture cleaner is meant to be abrasive in order to clean the nylon or acrylic resin material most dentures are made from. Your Invisalign retainers may be permanently scratched by the abrasive particles, giving your retainers a cloudy, gray look.

By keeping your Invisalign retainers clean, you’ll not only get the transparent look you want, you’ll also see the results you’re after: a bright, healthy smile.

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