Invisalign 101 - When and How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligner

Invisalign 101 - When and How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligner

Invisalign is a modern-day blessing. Before the days of clear tooth aligners, many of us had middle-school nightmares of banded braces and all the associated complications — food stuck in brackets, yellowing teeth and a metallic smile.

Believe it or not, Invisalign comes with similar issues, minus the "brace face." Invisalign trays require daily cleanings for health and hygiene. Not sure about the right ways to keep your Invisalign and your smile clean? Don't worry! EverSmile is here to help you out.

Here, we'll cover how to clean Invisalign trays, as well as the proper preventive measures to make cleaning your Invisalign a breeze.

Do You Need to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners?

Yes, absolutely. Think of your Invisalign tray like your smile's partner in crime. You wouldn't go weeks, or even days, without cleaning your teeth — so why wouldn't you clean your Invisalign aligners?

Your mouth is home to millions of bacterial families. Plaque and biofilm are particularly harmful to your oral health and Invisalign aligners, causing unsightly effects if left unaddressed.

What's So Bad About Plaque?

Plaque is one of the harmful bacteria families that exist in your mouth. It's the sticky film that builds up in tiny crevices, like near your gumline or between teeth.

Without proper oral hygiene, plaque buildup breaks down your tooth enamel, causing:

  • Cavities.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Gingivitis.
  • Teeth discoloration.
  • Bad breath.

Your Invisalign aligners live in the same bacterial environment. And, when they're in your mouth, they create a mini-environment for plaque bacteria to thrive, increasing your teeth's exposure to these harmful effects.

When Should You Clean Your Invisalign Aligners?

Add cleaning your Invisalign aligners to your daily oral health routine. Clean them about twice a day, or whenever you notice any funk buildup. Cleaning your Invisalign aligners only takes a few minutes, so there's no excuse not to!

How to Clean Invisalign Aligners

We recommend adding a cleaning station in your bathroom that reminds you to clean your Invisalign trays. In this area, all you need is a vessel large enough to fit your trays, one that can hold sufficient water to submerge them. 

Keep your cleaning supplies — which will vary depending on your preferred cleaning method — next to your tray for convenient, fast access.

Consider using these methods to clean your Invisalign trays.

1. EverSmile® WhiteFoam™

WhiteFoam is well-known as the best way to clean your Invisalign. That's why it's the top-selling Invisalign cleaning product!

Our WhiteFoam gives you the freedom of on-the-go cleaning. It comes in a pumpable package, conveniently sized to fit in your purse or backpack. You can clean your Invisalign tray anywhere following three simple steps:

  • Place your aligner in your hand and apply one-half to a full pump of the foam cleaning agent.
  • Use the nozzle to spread the foam around your tray, ensuring an even coat.
  • Pop the tray back in your mouth and spit out any excess foam.

Within 60 seconds, the WhiteFoam kills 99.999% of bacteria — no brushing or soaking required. It also gently lightens your teeth and freshens your breath!

2. White Vinegar

You may already have white vinegar in your pantry. If not, it's inexpensive. When cleaning your Invisalign aligners with this method, follow these instructions:

  • Add one part white vinegar to three parts of warm water to your cleaning glass.
  • Dunk your aligners into the mixture.
  • Let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Grab your soaked Invisalign aligners and rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

White vinegar is acidic, so it works well at penetrating the bacteria and other particles on your Invisalign trays.

3. Denture Cleaning Tablets

Pick up your choice of denture cleaning tablets, then follow these steps:

  • Fill your cleaning glass with warm water.
  • Pop in your aligners.
  • Open the tablet package and drop it in the water.
  • Let it soak for 15 minutes, or however long the package recommends.
  • Remove your Invisalign trays and rinse them with clean water.

Though they're not dentures, Invisalign aligners experience the same bacteria buildup dentures do. It's always best to go with the other cleaning methods mentioned before using denture cleaning tablets. Additionally, some tablets have layered formulas, with one of the layers being colored. While it doesn't affect dentures, there is a chance your aligners can become discolored over time with use.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another natural Invisalign aligner cleaner you can find at your local grocery or convenience store. Clean your Invisalign trays with hydrogen peroxide by:

  • Filling your cleaning glass with one part hydrogen peroxide and equal part warm water.
  • Putting your Invisalign trays in the mixture.
  • Letting them soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Taking your Invisalign aligners out of the mixture and rinsing them with cold water.

Hydrogen peroxide is antimicrobial and antibacterial, making it one of the best methods to clean your Invisalign aligners because of its stain-fighting power.

How NOT to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners

Just like some foods and drinks can harm your teeth, specific cleaning techniques shouldn't interact with your Invisalign aligners. 

  • Toothpaste: Though toothpaste is effective at cleaning teeth, it can leave a sticky film on your Invisalign and cause it to discolor over time. Toothpaste can give your aligner a funny taste, too. Most importantly, toothpastes are abrasive, which means they can cause microscopic scratches in your aligners. These scratches will collect plaque and other stains, and make your Invisalign hard to clean. 
  • Mouthwash: Mouthwash isn't powerful enough to penetrate food particles or remove bacteria from your Invisalign, and it also causes discoloration, especially red-toned mouthwashes.
  • Using boiling or hot water: Water that's too hot can deteriorate the integrity of your Invisalign aligners, causing them to deform and impact the way the trays shape your smile.
  • In the dishwasher: Dishwasher has scalding water that can distort your trays, similar to the effects of boiling water. Plus, harsh cleaning agents like dish soap strip away food particles from plates, not your Invisalign.

If someone tells you to clean your aligners using these methods, run far, far away.

The Best Ways to Keep Your Invisalign Clean

Once you clean your Invisalign, keep it clean with these best practices.

  • Remove trays before eating or drinking: Your orthodontist probably already told you this, but you should remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water. Food particles can get stuck in your aligners, and drinks can quickly discolor them. Plus, your aligners can't withstand the force of eating, so you risk breaking your investment if you do so with them in.
  • Brush and floss after eating: How many times have you heard your dentist caution you to brush and floss your teeth regularly? Well, we're telling you again. The food particles and plaque that stick to your teeth can transfer to your Invisalign aligner, so it's best to remove them before reinserting your tray.
  • Use WhiteFoam regularly: The best way to keep your Invisalign clean is to get in the habit of cleaning your trays using the best option on the market, WhiteFoam. We may have a bit of a bias, but hear us out — our Invisalign cleaner is easy to use, whitening and clean-tasting. Why wouldn't you want to use it regularly?

Following these guidelines also makes it easier to clean your Invisalign during routine cleanings, saving you from desperate deep cleanings.

Make Cleaning Your Invisalign a Breeze With WhiteFoam — Find It Online Now!

Have you noticed a buildup of gunk inside your mouth trays and wondered how to clean your Invisalign? We hope we've convinced you of the cleaning power of EverSmile's White Foam. If so, visit our website and make a one-time purchase, or save money with a customizable subscription that matches your needs. If no, let our other customers convince you otherwise!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our friendly team online. We aim for 100% customer satisfaction, and we're eager to learn more about how we can help you.

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