One of the many reasons people choose Invisalign and other clear aligners is because clear aligners are …… clear! Clear aligners are intended to be completely transparent and virtually undetectable when they’re in place.
Your aligners will start out clean and clear – but it’s up to you to keep them that way.
The good news is that cleaning clear aligners is pretty simple. As long as you dedicate time to clean your clear aligners throughout the day and deep clean them regularly, your treatment should remain invisible.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
• How to clean Invisalign and other clear aligners
• What to do with stained Invisalign attachments
• How to prevent Invisalign turning yellow
Let’s dive into everything you need to know to keep your clear aligners in brilliant shape:
How to Clean Clear Aligners
To remove your clear aligners before cleaning them, gently loosen the clear aligner by using a clean pointer finger to hook the edge of the clear aligner toward the back inner surface of your teeth. Gently pull the clear aligner downward (or upward on your bottom clear aligner) and loosen both sides to ease it off carefully.
Clean Your Aligners Daily
We advise that you clean your clear aligners with mild soap and lukewarm water every time you brush your teeth (2 to 3 times a day). This prevents food particles and debris from sticking to your clear aligners and growing bacteria.
To keep your clear aligners free of plaque and bacteria, clean your aligners as soon as you take them out of your mouth. It’s easiest to remove plaque from a clear aligner while it’s still soft. Hardened plaque can be difficult to remove!
Gently brush your clear aligner with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive, non-whitening toothpaste or mild soap and lukewarm water after every meal. You want to keep your clear aligner as fresh as possible throughout the day and night.
Soak Your Aligners Regularly
You can soak your clear aligners in an aligner cleaning solution from our very own shop, or in RetainerBrite solution – once or twice a week!
Here’s a video on how to use our powerful cleaning solution at home. You can sanitize your clear aligner trays, retainers, or mouth-guards in just 3 minutes and remove 99.9% of bacteria.
How to prevent clear aligners or Invisalign from turning yellow
Cleaning your clear aligners daily will help prevent them from turning yellow. It’s also important that you don’t eat food or drink any beverages (other than water) with your clear aligners in place. Drinking coffee, sodas, juice, or any other colored or acidic beverages with clear aligners in your mouth will quickly discolor your aligners.
If your aligners are turning yellow, baking soda is a safe, effective method for restoring cleanliness! Baking soda has natural whitening properties, making it the perfect solution to counteract yellowing and renew clear aligner invisibility.
To create a baking soda cleaning solution, mix one tablespoon of baking soda and ½ cup of water in a small container. Mix the solution until you form a paste, and soak your aligners for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how discolored they are.
Rinse your aligners with lukewarm water, and gently brush them using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Voila! Your aligners should be clear again!
How to remove stains from Invisalign attachments
Invisalign attachments are small, special appliances used to increase the effectiveness of Invisalign treatment. These appliances are clear buttons attached to certain teeth to reduce the space between the tooth and clear aligner, moving the teeth quicker on an individual basis.
Because Invisalign attachments are attached to the teeth and not removable like your aligners, it’s possible that they stain over time through insufficient oral hygiene, or drinking colored beverages.
It’s important to dedicate extra attention to your attachments when brushing and flossing your teeth, to prevent food and bacteria from building up around them. Consider using a straw when drinking beverages too! This can help to bypass your attachments.
If your attachments are stained, baking soda may help to remove surface stains. Consider mixing the baking soda paste (one tablespoon of baking soda and ½ cup of water) and GENTLY brushing the attachment with the paste.
If the stains are deeper into the attachment material, and not surface stains, there may not be a way to restore their original color. This is why it’s important to keep your teeth and attachments as clean as possible during treatment.
Let your orthodontist, Dr. Abramowitz or one of our other experienced doctors, know at your next appointment if your attachments have yellowed significantly! We can work out a solution to help you look and feel great again.
Still have questions about cleaning Invisalign and other clear aligners?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit to your last appointment.