How to Clean Invisalign® Clear Aligners

Invisalign® offers a discreet solution for straightening malaligned teeth and correcting malocclusion (bite issues). These custom-made clear aligners make cleaning your teeth a breeze, but what about the trays themselves? At Stellar Family Orthodontics in Mill Creek and Mukilteo, Washington, Dr. Chad Carver, DMD, has the best tips for cleaning Invisalign.

Before we delve deeper into how to clean clear aligners, let’s talk about what Invisalign is and how it works to improve your smile.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a system of custom-made clear aligners that straighten your teeth gradually, just like braces. The aligners conform to your top and bottom teeth to pull each individual tooth into alignment. 

What makes Invisalign unique is that it’s clear and discreet. When you smile, laugh, and talk with others, they won’t be able to tell you’re wearing Invisalign. This feature is especially appealing for teens and adults who want to straighten their teeth, but are turned off by the obvious brackets and wires of braces.

What is Invisalign treatment like?

When you arrive for your initial Invisalign consultation, we can perform an orthodontic exam to determine whether you’re a good candidate for treatment. If you are and you choose to move forward, we begin creating your treatment plan.

First, use our iTero® digital scanner to take digital impressions of your teeth. These are later used to create your custom-made aligners in our digital software.

When your clear aligners are ready, we’ll give you instructions on how to use them. In general, you want to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day, taking them out only to eat, brush, and floss.  You should receive a new set about once every 2 weeks. If you follow the treatment plan, your smile could be straighter in as little as 6 months.

How do I clean Invisalign clear aligners?

While there are many benefits to Invisalign, including appearance and removability, you do still have to clean them just like braces. It’s important to clean your Invisalign trays frequently to avoid damaging them or increasing your risk of tooth decay.

Not only do unwashed trays look dirty, they also trap plaque and bacteria inside, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. That’s why you should rinse your aligners every time you take them out and brush your teeth before putting them back in.

In addition, you should rinse out your trays when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed.

Finally, make sure to invest in Invisalign cleaning crystals. Simply fill a container with warm water and dissolve the crystals. Leave your trays inside for about 15 minutes, then lightly brush and rinse them.

Using a cleaning solution to remove bacteria and debris from your clear aligners is the best way to keep them clean. When combined with regular brushing and flossing, you can help ensure that your teeth always look clean and polished when you’re wearing Invisalign.

If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign, schedule a free consultation with the orthodontic team at Stellar Family Dentistry today!