Invisalign aligners don’t need to be seen to be believed. Completely clear, they go virtually unnoticed as they work their magic straightening smiles.
And the results speak for themselves – there are already more than 14 million beaming Invisalign smiles worldwide. But if the popularity of Invisalign lies in its discretion, how do you make sure your aligner continues to go unnoticed?
The answer? Excellent cleaning.
Worn for at least 22 hours every day, it will come as no surprise that without proper care, bacteria in your aligner will build up quickly. This can lead to staining, unpleasant odours and be detrimental to oral health. Which is why understanding how to clean your Invisalign properly is essential.
To help, here our team of experts at The Smile Clinic share their expertise on how to keep aligners clean – and clear!
What’s the best way to clean clear aligners?
You need to think about Invisalign as an extension of your existing teeth and apply the same daily care and routine cleaning.
The best way to look after them is to stick to the following simple steps:
· Regular rinsing
If you take your aligner out – for any reason – try to make it a habit to give them a quick rinse at the same time.
This might seem like a pain, especially if you’re out and about, but it’s well worth the effort as regular rinsing will help to keep on top of any dried saliva and prevent a build-up of bacteria. Just be sure to check the temperature of the water first and avoid anything too hot or too cold as this can cause damage to the aligner.
· Brush your teeth – and your aligner!
Staying on top of oral hygiene is hugely important – even more so when you’re wearing Invisalign as you don’t want food particles to become trapped against your teeth.
Essential then, to make sure you brush your teeth at least the recommended twice a day. But what you also need to remember is to brush your aligner too!
We’d suggest doing this at the same time as your teeth – so, ideally, first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed.
Just remember not to be tempted to use toothpaste. Whilst perfect for teeth, using toothpaste to clean clear aligners can leave a white residue and cause staining. Instead, use a clear liquid soap before rinsing carefully with tepid water.
On top of brushing and rinsing, aligners also need to be soaked every day to ensure they are thoroughly clean and bacteria-free.
Simply brush and then place in a cleaning solution (specific Invisalign cleaning crystals are available, but any denture cleaning tablet can be used). They only require soaking for a few minutes, so aim to do this at the start of your routine and by the time you’ve brushed your teeth, flossed and/or gargled with mouthwash, your Invisalign will be deep cleaned and ready to pop back in.
· Always remove before eating and drinking
Aligners aren’t designed to stay in your mouth when eating. Keeping them in could not only cause staining and trap food particles, but the strain of chewing could actually break them!
Instead, remove at mealtimes and when snacking or drinking anything other than water. And, if possible, always give your teeth a quick clean before you put them back in place.
· Take good care
Whilst Invisalign aren’t designed to be out of your mouth for long, it’s still important to ensure they’re properly stored when they are removed.
Stuffing in pockets or leaving them exposed, is not only a sure-fire way to result in damage but also makes them vulnerable to germs and harmful bacteria. Instead, be sure to tuck your aligner safely into the special storage case provided.
If you forget your case – or forget to use it – just remember to give your aligners a particularly thorough clean before fitting them back into place.
Can aligners stain?
Yes! That’s why it’s crucial to take proper care of them.
If you have a dark food residue on your teeth – such as a bolognese sauce or blueberries – this colouring can stain your aligners.
To avoid this happening, be sure to always brush your teeth before putting aligners back in. If that’s not possible, measures such as rinsing your mouth with water or chewing sugar-free gum will help to reduce the risk of food traces being left behind to cause problems.
Talk to the experts
We offer Invisalign alongside a range of other effective cosmetic treatments. So if you’re concerned a clean aligner will only serve to highlight the fact your teeth are stained and discoloured, why not treat yourself to a mini smile makeover too? With an effective whitening treatment offered as part of the procedure, you could be enjoying a whiter, brighter, and straighter smile in no time at all.