More and more people are improving their smiles these days with Invisalign orthodontics instead of traditional braces. Invisalign consists of clear aligning trays that fit right over your teeth to gradually move them into better position. One of the most unique features of Invisalign is that the trays are removable so they can be taken out for eating and cleaning.
It’s important to keep your Invisalign aligners clean and sanitary. It is not difficult to clean them, because usually no special tools or products are needed. You can use a regular soft-bristled toothbrush, or your dentist may provide a retainer brush instead. Either way, with a brush and regular toothpaste you are on your way to clean aligners.
All you need to do is remove the aligning trays from your mouth and rinse them well with tepid water. This is water that is not hot or cold, just in between. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to your toothbrush, and use small circular brushing motions to clean the aligners. Brush the entire aligner, both on the inside and outside surfaces. Once you’ve completed brushing, rinse again with tepid water to remove all of the toothpaste and debris.
After you’ve finished brushing, inspect the aligners to make sure they look clean and there is no calcium or tartar buildup. This might look like a cloudy white film over the clear plastic. It is sometimes more difficult to brush away calcium buildup, so ask your dentist for tips on removing it. Some experts recommend using a retainer cleaning solution or denture bath available at your local drugstore. Invisalign also offers a cleaning system from the manufacturer that some patients choose to use.
Do not be tempted to soak your aligners in mouthwash with the idea of disinfecting or freshening them. Mouthwash is not made for this purpose and can damage your aligners, especially since most mouthwashes are colored and can tint the clear plastic. Your aligners may no longer look clear if you use mouthwash.
After your aligners are clean and you have brushed and flossed your teeth as well, you can put the Invisalign trays back in your mouth and go on with your day. It only takes a few minutes to ensure that your aligners are maintained in good condition and sanitary for ideal results.