How To Clean Aligners

Clear, tight-fitting equipment that fit over your teeth are known as invisible teeth aligners. They are a popular substitute for traditional metal braces.

How to Clean Aligners

However, because they are detachable, they require a different type of upkeep than traditional braces. In this post, we’ll show you how to clean and care for your invisible aligners, as well as what you should avoid.

How Do Aligners Work?

Aligners function similarly to traditional metal braces, but they do not require the attachment of metal brackets to your teeth or the placement of wires in your mouth.

Molds or digital scans of your teeth are used to make dental aligners.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, these molds are used to construct a set of transparent plastic mouthpieces that apply light pressure to your teeth and gradually shift them into normal dental alignment.

You will wear each pair of mouthpieces for one to two weeks before switching to a new set that will gently shift your teeth.

As long as you wear your invisible teeth aligners as you are instructed to, they are able to straighten your teeth and contribute to a perfect smile.

Cleaning Aligners

Cleaning Aligners

There are different ways that you can clean aligners and you should have the required equipment already in your kitchen cupboards.

White Vinegar And Water

Fill a cup halfway with warm water and add one spoonful of white vinegar. Mix everything together, then add your aligners and soak them for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove your aligners and properly rinse them with cold water. Allow them to dry before reintroducing them into your mouth.

Antibacterial Soap And Water

Fill a cup halfway with warm water and add one spoonful of white vinegar. Mix everything together, then add your aligners and soak them for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove your aligners and properly rinse them with cold water. Allow them to dry before reintroducing them into your mouth.

Allow them to soak for 20 to 30 minutes in the mixture. Now that the majority of the germs has been removed from your aligners, rinse them with cold water to complete the cleaning procedure.

Baking Soda And Water

Baking soda is great for cleaning your aligners at home. Soak your aligners in a cup of water with a spoonful of baking soda for 30 to an hour. Make care to fully clean them and allow them to dry before using them again.

Toothbrush And Toothpaste

If you need to get the work done quickly, we recommend using a toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. However, brushing your aligners lightly is necessary to avoid damaging and scratching the plastic.

You should also use an unused toothbrush for this since your regular toothbrush contains traces of abrasive toothpaste, which may scrape or dull your aligners.

How Often Should You Clean Aligners?

You should clean your aligners every night, generally when brushing and flossing your teeth. This aids in the removal of any accumulated food and bacteria during the day.

You can also clean your Invisalign if they look noticeably unclean, such as if you drank anything cloudy while wearing them or if you put them on too fast after eating.

As well as a more thorough cleaning, your aligners should be rinsed after every time you remove them.

Even if you change your aligners every two weeks, they still require regular cleaning. You must rinse your aligners every night but remember – this is not the same as cleaning.

Failure to do so may lead the aligners to seem discolored, which may cause your teeth to appear yellow or produce poor breath.

Furthermore, you are constantly exposing your teeth to microorganisms.

Things To Avoid When Cleaning Aligners

How to Clean Aligners

These are things that you should not do when cleaning your aligners. Doing so will prevent them from changing color, shape, and effectiveness.

Colored Mouthwash

The explanation for this is straightforward. Because they include artificial coloring ingredients, colored mouthwashes can permanently discolor your aligners. If you must use mouthwash, be certain that it is not colored.

Harsh Chemicals

Bleach, alcohol, and other strong chemicals should be avoided since they can permanently deform or discolor your aligners. Always use the milder options described in this article.

Abrasive Toothpaste

Because aligners are far more fragile than natural teeth, you cannot use the same tooth cleaning solutions on them. As a result, certain types of toothpaste are out of the question.

This is because most toothpastes have abrasive characteristics that might produce scratches on the plastic resin of your aligners.

These scratches might make your invisible aligners much more apparent, undermining their primary function.

If you must use toothpaste, make sure it is non-abrasive and in minimal amounts.

Putting Them In The Dishwasher

While it may appear to be a quick and easy method to clean your aligners, using a dishwasher is not a smart idea.

Dishwashers use extremely hot water to clean their contents, which might damage or discolor your aligners.

Hot Water

Hot water can harm the plastic in your aligners. The hot water can stretch the plastic, causing it to alter its form.

Because aligners are custom-made for your teeth, any changes to their form will render them ineffective at straightening your teeth, and in worst-case scenarios, altogether useless.

Other Ways To Care For Your Aligners

When eating, always remove your aligners. If you don’t, food particles might accumulate in the aligners and cause them to become ineffective.

You should also avoid consuming anything other than water while wearing your aligners. You risk discolor or ruining them otherwise.

Finally, while not in use, keep your aligners in an airtight container. This decreases the possibility of losing them and protects them from bacteria.


By taking care of your aligners, you may keep them as clear and unnoticeable as possible.

Fortunately, once you know-how, cleaning aligners is extremely simple; however, if you are having difficulty keeping your aligners clean, consult with your dentist.

They can also propose various strategies tailored to your individual dental needs for keeping your mouth and aligners clean.

Andrew Kemp
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