It’s important to keep your Invisalign aligner clean, not only to prevent bacteria and plaque from building up but also to prevent staining. After all, the primary benefit of Invisalign over traditional braces is how inconspicuous they are, so you don’t want to ruin that look with stains and discolouration.
There a few home cleaning methods to choose from, but are they all safe? Read on to find out if hydrogen peroxide is a suitable cleaning agent for aligners.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Invisalign Aligners
Hydrogen peroxide is a safe and effective way to clean Invisalign aligners, but only when used correctly.
Soak your aligners in a solution of one part water and one part hydrogen peroxide for around half an hour. It’s essential to use lukewarm water as hot water can warp the aligners, meaning they will no longer fit properly and won’t realign your teeth. Common household hydrogen peroxide is fine to use, but make sure the concentration is no more than 3%.
After removing your aligners from the cleaning solution, rinse them in clean water and gently use a soft toothbrush to remove any plaque or food particles.
Alternative Cleaning Methods
A solution containing equal parts warm water and white vinegar is also a useful way to clean your Invisalign aligners. Simply soak them for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing them and gently brushing them clean.
Another effective way to keep your aligners clean is to use a soft toothbrush to brush them in cold water with a gentle, unscented liquid soap.
Retainer-cleaning products (such as Retainer Brite) are an excellent way of keeping aligners free from bacteria and preventing them from becoming foggy or white.
General Tips for Taking Care of Aligners
Using one of the above cleaning methods at least once each day is a good way to keep your Invisalign aligners clean and looking great, but there are some more steps you can take (and some things to avoid) to ensure your aligners remain free from plaque and stains.
Make sure to rinse your aligners every time you take them out – this will prevent plaque from forming and remove any saliva.
General oral hygiene is also crucial when using aligners. Always brush and floss your teeth twice every day, and ideally immediately before you put the aligners back in your mouth. This will prevent any food particles from becoming stuck inside the aligners and pushed against your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay.
When you have removed your aligners to eat, always store them in their case. If the aligners are left exposed to the open air, they are more likely to accumulate a build-up of bacteria.
Finally, always remove your Invisalign trays when eating – the aligners are not designed to endure the pressure of chewing and so could become warped or damaged. Furthermore, food particles can become trapped in the trays, which can lead to problems such as tooth decay and the staining of your aligners.
Keeping your Invisalign aligners clean and in excellent condition during the treatment process will ensure you end up with straight teeth and a perfect smile, we hope these tips will help you on the way.