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How to Clean Aligners and Retainers While on the Go

Clear aligners are often considered an easier option for straightening your teeth than metal braces. However, even with clear aligners, you need to pay extra attention to make sure they stay clean.

When you wear aligners for 22+ hours a day as recommended, if you neglect to clean your aligners regularly you could be putting your oral health at risk without even knowing it. Lack of proper cleaning can also result in discoloration of the aligner, making them more visible and defeating the invisible advantage of clear aligners.

If you are searching for tips on how to clean aligners and retainers while on the go, look no further. We have compiled a list of steps you can take to keep your aligners and retainers clean 24/7.

How To Clean Your Aligner on a Daily Basis at Home

If you are having trouble keeping your Invisalign trays clean, follow these steps on how to keep aligners clean at home

prevent invisalign from yellowing tips infographicStart with good home cleaning so you know how to best take care of your aligners while traveling.

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the best methods to safely and effectively clean your clear aligners at home. It is important to make sure you are cleaning your aligner multiple times a day, especially before putting it back in after meal times. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to excellent oral hygiene and a brighter smile. Let’s learn how to clean your aligners!

  • You want to clean your aligner as soon as you remove it. Trying to clean your aligner a while after you have removed it will be much more difficult as plaque buildup has had a chance to harden. Plus, you need to keep up with the 22+hour weartime, so it is best not to have your retainer out for too long.
  • When you begin to clean your aligner, start by using warm water. You don’t want to use water that is too hot or you might risk warping the shape of your aligner because of the excessive heat. 
  • Next, grab your dish soap and a soft toothbrush. Mix the warm water and dish soap together and begin to scrub extremely gently with the soft-bristle toothbrush..
  • If you are having difficulty getting your aligners completely clean with a soft-bristle toothbrush, you can always try using a cotton swab to clean out the places that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Some orthodontists recommend you soak your clear aligners instead of brushing them with a soft toothbrush, but both methods will help keep your aligners clean and prevent plaque buildup.

Use Movemints™ Smile Saver Spray for Cleaning on the Go

If you are constantly on the go and don't have time to soak or brush your clear aligners, consider investing in a specialized cleaning spray

Couple is in CoversationSmile Saver Spray will save you time and help you clean your retainers in about a minute.

If you are someone who is always on the go, whether you commute or travel often for your work, it is often difficult to take time to clean your aligners every day. Thankfully, there is a solution to cleaning your aligners or retainers on the go. Available from Movemints™, Smile Saver Spray is a peroxide free cleaner that works with just a few spritzes on your Invisalign trays. By using the Smile Saver Spray when you can’t soak your aligners, you are able to eliminate 99.9% of odor causing bacteria in just 60 seconds, you don't even need to rinse after spraying. You can also use Smile Saver Spray for those busy mornings when you need a quick refresh on your aligners.Though this is not a replacement for regularly cleaning your retainers with warm water and soap, it will help keep your mouth healthy while you are on the go.


Always Carry A Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

If you find yourself needing to clean your aligners on the go, keep a soft-bristled toothbrush with you just in case

wooden toothbrushes white and beige on marble counterMake sure your toothbrush is soft enough to keep your aligners safe.

If you are in a bind and need to quickly clean your aligners, but have forgotten your Smile Saver Spray, it is important to carry a soft-bristle toothbrush with you as long as you are wearing your clear aligners. Though it is not ideal, you can get by by cleaning your clear aligners with warm water and a soft-bristled toothbrush for a midday refresh. Only use soft-bristled toothbrushes as stiffer bristles will make tiny scratches on the surface of your aligners. Just remember to clean your aligners fully by gently brushing or soaking in dish soap when you get home. It's not a matter of if your aligners will begin to build up bacteria, it is a matter of when — so stay prepared at all times.

Refrain From Using Toothpaste and Hot Water

Don’t make these mistakes with your aligners while on the go

toothbrush toothpaste glass of water closeup bathroomJust because toothpaste works for your teeth does not mean it will work for clear aligners while traveling.

Though it may be tempting to grab some toothpaste to clean your aligners while you are out of the house, this is not a good idea. Toothpaste helps clean our teeth, but will not work the same way for clear aligners. If you use toothpaste on your aligners it will cause them to dull and even has the potential to seriously damage the trays themselves.

Another common mistake when away from home is using hot water instead of warm water to rinse or brush your aligners. As we discussed before, hot water can warp your aligner, which once placed back in your mouth, can shift your teeth. Though it may seem like hot water will kill more bacteria, warm water will do the job just as well without altering the shape of your aligners.

posterNow that we have learned some of the dos and don'ts of how to clean your aligners, you will be able to reap all of the benefits of using clear aligners to straighten your teeth.

If you are a busy person using Invisalign or another clear aligner program, you’ll not only want to check out the Smile Saver Spray, but the whole line of Invisalign accessories and pre-made bundles from Movemints. Packages include our patented aligner seating, breath freshening mints to help your trays fit better and more comfortably.

If you are ready to take your aligner care to the next level, try Movemints™ and learn about all the ways you can keep your clear aligner clean.

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