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How Do I Clean my Invisalign?

What is involved in cleaning Invisalign aligners? What do I need to do?  How long does the invisalign cleaning process take?

Doctor Answers 17

Cleaning Invisalign Trays

This is one of those KISS principles: Keep It Simple.

Regular toothpaste with your toothbrush is fine, and recomended. Other products can discolor the aligners, making the teeth look somewhat yellow. They are replaced every two weeks, so it is a minor issue, but if it becomes too complicated it won't be followed through.

But most importantly is to brush and floss after each meal. The aligners start to act in the way a bleaching tray does, so if food and low pH saliva are trapped, the teeth will "soak" in it.

One of the advantages of Invisalign over braces is better hygiene. Without caring for the teeth before placing the aligners, it becomes a moot point.

Seattle Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Tooth brush and water, retainer cleaner or Invisalign crystals, or ultrasonic

We recommend our patients clean their aligners with water and a clean toothbrush without toothpaste. Toothpastes have abrasives in them and will scratch the surfaces of the aligners. This will make the aligner look less clear and also creates small traps for bacteria.

Invisalign does not recommend this, but retainer tablets work well once or twice a week. Our patients have not had any problems with cleaning in this manner. The Invisalign crystals can be used, but are quite costly and not available outside the United States.

Finally, there are personal-sized ultrasonic cleaner available. These devices cause very fine vibrations and waves to loosen and material stuck to your aligners.

Jason K. Tam, DDS
Toronto Orthodontist

How to clean your Clear Aligner...

Hello there,
The easiest and best way to clean your clear aligner is to take them off and brush them (on the inside and the outside) each time you brush your teeth.  When finished, rinse them with water and place back into your mouth.  Yes, it is really this simple.
Good luck with everything.

Sarah Thompson, DMD
Saint Louis Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Cleaning Invisalign aligners

Invisalign aligners can easily be cleaned with a mild denture cleaner with a normal tooth brush. After brushing and flossing your teeth you can pour a little mouthwash over the aligners and this will help in keeping your mouth feeling fresh.

Cate Vieregger, DDS
Denver Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Cleaning your Invisalign aligners!

This is one of the most frequently asked questions by my patients who I have treated with Invisalign!

The aligners are best cleaned with a dab of toothpaste using a toothbrush. I recommend using regular toothpaste and not whitening toothpaste... some whitening toothpastes are abrasive and may dull the aligner... Additionally it is not recommended to use denture cleaners or soak them in mouthwash; again this may dull he aligners and can make the aligners more visible.

Please Please Please!!! Brush and floss your teeth before replacing the aligner in the mouth... I have seen patients present with tooth decay from not taking the time to do this...

Invisalign has cleaning crystals that the aligners can be soaked in if you do prefer to soak them.

Hope this helps... any other questions please do not hesitate to ask...

Ryan Sellinger, DMD
Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist

Keeping Invisalign Trays Clean and Bright

Use a soft toothbrush with your regular toothpaste - brush gently cleaning out the center of the trays.  We suggest following this with a little diluted bleach rinse.  The small bit of bleach keeps the trays clear and clean looking.  This system has worked very well for our patients, allowing for clean trays and bright teeth.  Other products sometimes discolor the trays which could translate into yellower looking teeth when wearing the aligners.

Nancy Summer Lerch, DDS
New Haven Cosmetic Dentist
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Keeping your Invisalign aligners as clear as possible

It is very important to keep your aligners clean to maximize one of their chief attributes--their clarity.  

To maintain this clarity, it is good to periodically clear debris with a soft toothbrush and water, but do not use toothpaste due the abrasives that will create micro abrasions that make the aligners cloudy and dull.

If you want to go one step further, use retainer/denture cleaning tablets (the fizzing type) occasionally to clean your aligners.  This not only helps them stay clear-looking but also cleaner-smelling.

Finally, some foods and beverages can create color-changes (this is especially salient for those patients with pontics [fake teeth to fill spaces where teeth are missing]).  For instance, if you have a dinner date and don't want to highlight your missing front tooth (leaving your aligner in), don't order the curry.

Keith B. Wong, DDS, MS
Seattle Orthodontist

EverSmileWhite will do the trick

We use a product called EverSmileWhite which is an aligner and retainer cleaner that disinfects and also whitens the teeth while you are in treatment.

Michael Florman, DDS
Los Angeles Orthodontist

Cleaning Aligners

Invisalign recommends their cleaning crystals that you can purchase from their website. I tell patients to use water and a toothbrush. If you are close to switching to the next aligner then it is okay to use mouthwash or other denture cleaners. You might get the aligner to become a little cloudy, but you will only have to wear this aligner for a few more days. If the aligners start to really smell then you can soak them in some water mixed with a teaspoon of bleach. The bleach will kill all the bacteria that are causing the smell, just be sure to THOROUGHLY RINSE THE ALIGNERS before putting them back in your mouth.

Care Instructions for Invisalign Product

The Invisalign trays should be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste prior to placing them back into the mouth after every meal. Always use cold water as hot water could distort the trays.

Janet H. Stoess-Allen, DMD
New York Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.