One of the greatest advantages of Invisalign is the ability to remove your orthodontic appliances. This perk alone makes it easier for our Kearny Mesa patients to enjoy easier home care or the freedom to eat what they want. But your teeth and gums aren’t the only things that you’ll want to make sure you clean; you also need to make sure you know how to clean your Invisalign trays properly.
Don’t Wear Them When You Eat or Drink
Unless you’re drinking water, it’s extremely important to take your Invisalign aligners out whenever you’re drinking, snacking, or eating a meal. If you don’t, it can trap food debris and natural sugars or artificial sweeteners between the aligner and your teeth. Not only can this cause residue to build up on your Invisalign trays, but it also puts you at a higher risk of tooth decay.
Cleaning vs. Rinsing Invisalign aligners
Understanding how to clean Invisalign also relates to knowing when to clean your trays. How often should you clean your aligners? At least twice a day, just like your teeth. But if you’re out and about during the day and take them out to eat, you want to rinse your mouth out well before you put them back in. You’re not necessarily rinsing the aligners, but you’re rinsing what they go on top of (your teeth.)
You’ll also want to rinse off your Invisalign aligners after soaking them in an effervescent cleanser. These cleaning products help loosen residue and make it easier to remove. It’s best to brush them thoroughly after they come out of the soak, then rinse them off to remove any leftover cleaning agents.
How to Clean Invisalign at Home
Plan to clean your Invisalign retainers/aligners/trays every time you brush and floss your teeth. That way you’re not re-contaminating one or the other with plaque that wasn’t removed thoroughly.
Here are some tips for how to clean Invisalign trays:
- Use a soft toothbrush to clean all surfaces of your aligners at least twice a day
- Avoid using any harsh abrasives, as these can damage the aligner material and make them more prone to buildup
- Only use room-temperature water to rinse or brush your aligners as hot temperatures will warp the material
- Once or twice a week, soak your aligner in an effervescent cleanser, such as a denture cleaner or with Invisalign cleaning tablets
How often should you clean your aligners? At a minimum, twice a day. But you might need a deeper cleaning with the denture tablets once every several days or whenever there is visible residue.
To help keep your aligners cleaner, try to rinse them any time they need to be removed. That way they’re not sitting there with any residue drying onto them. Of course, that’s not always an option, but if you’re eating at home, it usually isn’t a problem.
Remember to Schedule Regular Cleanings
As you brush and floss each day, more than likely you’ll still develop a little stain buildup or tartar on your teeth. Make sure you’re scheduling regular six-month cleanings at Landmark Dental Arts throughout the course of your Invisalign treatment. These checkups will help us keep your gums in check and intercept any areas of weak enamel that need your attention.
If your Invisalign trays need a slightly stronger cleanser, our Kearny Mesa dentists will discuss options for you to try. The key is to never do anything (like use harsh chemicals) without first talking with our Invisalign provider because you could actually damage the trays where they don’t work correctly.
Use These Tips on Your Retainer, Too
After your Invisalign treatment is complete, you’ll still need to wear clear retainers to keep your smile straight. Since you don’t change your orthodontic retainers out like you did the aligners, it’s important to clean them exceptionally well each day. With good home care, you can keep them clean for years to come.
For more information on Invisalign in Kearny Mesa, call Landmark Dental Arts.