Although you will be replacing them every two weeks, you still must ensure you keep your aligners clean. This is important so they do not capture stains and discolour. However, it is also important to ensure your teeth are not being covered with bacteria-filled plaque.
Read below to find out the best ways to keep your aligners clean.
Best tips for your aligners
- Always take your aligners out when eating.
- Do not drink anything other than water while your aligners are in.
- Do not use very hot water to clean your aligners.
- Store your aligners in their case whenever you are not wearing them.
Should I rinse or clean my aligners?
Invisalign aligners may be rinsed throughout the day if you are in a hurry. However, I recommend that if you have 2 minutes available, especially before bed, make sure you clean them properly.
This is what the Invisalign website recommends for nightly cleaning:
- Rinse your aligners with water every night.
- Brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush – choose a different one you use for your teeth. Remember to be gentle and use a clear liquid soap to remove any food pieces that have built up during the day.
- Rinse thoroughly after brushing so bits of toothpaste are removed and are not encased by your aligners.
- Store in a protective case when not being worn in your mouth.
What does the research say?
Brushing your aligners or using effervescent tablets will most effectively clean aligners. These methods are much better at removing bacteria than rinsing or brushing aligners with toothpaste.
Other cleaning tools
Invisalign’s “Steraligner” product has a soaking dish and liquid made of rubbing alcohol and sodium bicarbonate. You place your aligners in a tray and soak them for three minutes.
How often should I clean my aligners?
Ideally every time you take them out. However, the most thorough clean must happen after you have brushed and flossed your teeth last thing at night. This ensures food and bacteria from the day is removed and will not cause problems for your teeth and gums. It will also ensure your aligners look almost invisible and clear when worn in your mouth. As a minimum, aim to rinse your mouth and aligners each time you take them off.
Tip: if you accidentally drink something that is not clear while wearing them or if you put them on too quickly after eating, you may store stains in your aligners. Try and clean them as soon as possible.
Anything to avoid?
Hard toothbrushes or abrasive and harsh chemicals should be avoided for cleaning your aligners. Examples of these include:
- denture cleaners such as tablets
- mouthwashes, especially those that contain alcohol and colours
- flavoured or scented soaps
I hope you have found these tips helpful. If you need more information, please give the Riverstone Family Dental team a call on 8678 3538.