Before taking the plunge with Invisalign (or any other orthodontic treatment) you need to think about extra care and maintenance required. Some systems are easier to care for than others. But all will involve some kind of extra considerations.
Invisalign is incredibly popular here in Glasgow and across Scotland, because it allows you to remove your aligners before eating, drinking and brushing. It makes it easier to enjoy your favourite food and drinks. (Some patients even report unexpected weight loss as they cut down on snacking between meals.)
All great news so far.
At the end of the day, you can remove your aligners and brush your teeth as you normally would. But this isn’t the full story, because you also need to learn how to clean Invisalign aligners.
Your aligners are in your mouth and against your teeth for 22 hours per day, so it makes sense to show them the same level of care as your teeth.
In this blog, we’re going to look a little closer at what this entails. We’ll explain how to clean Invisalign aligners and what impact this has on your life with Invisalign.
How often should you clean Invisalign?
You should clean your Invisalign aligners as often as you brush your teeth. You should also rinse them every time you take them out. When rinsing your aligners, it’s important to only use lukewarm water as hot water can warp the material.
Rinsing your aligners helps to prevent bacteria build up between brushing. Without this important step, you might start to notice a touch of bad breath.
What can you use to clean Invisalign?
Specialist cleaning tablets are available to clean your Invisalign aligners. These effervescent tablets fizz up in water and help to kill bacteria, remove stains and prevent odours from forming.
If you don’t have access to aligner cleaning tablets, you could also use denture cleaning tablets to achieve the same result. You’ll need to soak your aligners for around 15-20 minutes every night. You can then rinse them well in lukewarm running water and replace them.
You should never use mouthwash to clean your aligners as it contains chemicals which can damage the material. It is also more likely to stain the aligners, so you could be walking around with a blue or green tinge to your teeth until it’s time to switch to the next aligner.
Can I use toothpaste to clean my Invisalign?
If you find yourself without access to aligner or denture cleaning tablets, you can use toothpaste to clean your aligners. Cleaning with toothpaste is better than doing nothing at all, but this isn’t the easiest or most effective way to get your aligners clean.
If you have to use toothpaste, avoid using a toothpaste with a whitening agent such as baking powder. This is more likely to have abrasive particles that can scratch the surface of your aligners. Scratched aligners will hold on to more bacteria and stains. They can also make your teeth appear cloudy.
What stains Invisalign?
When you start your Invisalign programme, you will be told that you should only drink water while wearing your aligners. This is because a lot of drinks will leave unsightly stains on your aligners. These include:
- Dark fizzy drinks
- Tea and coffee
- Red wine
If you notice your aligners develop a yellow colour, this could be a sign that you are forgetting to remove your aligners before you drink. It could also be the result of food build up on your teeth after eating. Before replacing your aligners, try rinsing your mouth with water at the same time as rinsing your aligners.
How do I get stains out of Invisalign trays?
Most Invisalign treatment plans will require you to wear each aligner for 2 weeks. So, aligner staining might be inconvenient, but you will have the chance to switch to a fresh aligner soon enough.
If the staining is noticeable and you would like to remove it, you could try an at-home method to remove Invisalign staining. Fill a bowl with equal parts warm water and hydrogen peroxide. You can buy this at the chemist. Soak your aligners for a few hours or overnight. This should remove the cloudy appearance and make them clear again.
Don’t forget you need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day. So, taking them out overnight to remove staining could delay your treatment. If you’re unsure how to keep your aligners clean, check with your dentist or dental hygienist during your next checkup.
Ready to start your Invisalign journey? Book an appointment at Sloan Dental in Carfin, Bishopton or Merchant City today!