How to Clean Invisalign Aligners (The Easy Way!)

How to Clean Invisalign Aligners (The Easy Way!)

Invisalign aligners are a godsend to the self-conscious middle schooler in all of us. Whether you’re a newbie to the product or looking into your first set of aligners, this article will help you stay on track in your smile journey. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about cleaning invisible aligners, including:

  • What is an aligner, anyway?
  • How to clean invisible aligners
  • Mistakes to avoid when cleaning aligners

Woman holding a package of Movemints clear aligner mints for Invisalign with overlay text offering 15% off a purchase

Follow these tips and it’s a guarantee you’ll end up with a healthier, whiter smile.

What is an aligner?

The beauty of this product is that they are a transparent form of braces that get the job done without anyone knowing they’re there. Aligners are a much more appealing option than traditional braces, as long as you care for them properly. Otherwise, they can become noticeably discolored, scratched, and smelly. At that point, you’re better off getting that train track glued to your chompers. Read on to learn how to keep your trays in immaculate condition and bad habits to avoid.

Woman inserting clear aligner trays onto her top teeth

Invisalign aligners not only boost your confidence, but allow you to keep your confidence while working towards the smile you deserve.

Cleaning 101

Befriend a soft-bristled toothbrush

Don’t befriend just any toothbrush though, the Boka’s minimalist travel toothbrush is our favorite. This classic toothbrush is made with high quality bristles with Binchotan activated charcoal that gently cleans and reduces odor-causing bacteria. Very gently brush the inside and outside of your trays at least once a day. Vigorously brushing won’t do you any favors and will only scratch and damage your trays. It goes without saying that you should clean your teeth each and everyday, too. It’s especially crucial you stay on your A-game and never miss a cleaning when wearing aligners.

Soaking each day

The best way to make sure your aligners stay as clean as possible is to soak them for some time everyday. But since you're wearing them all day and all night, there’s no removing them to soak overnight like you would with dentures, or during the day like you would with a nighttime retainer. So you’re going to need a powerful cleanser that works fast during the two hours per day that you don't spend wearing your aligners. 

If you’re looking for the best soaking solution, we recommend the Invisalign Cleaning System that is designed specifically for your aligners. Soak during breakfast, lunch or dinner, and then use your Boka brush to remove any extra plaque or food before putting them back in your mouth.

A thorough rinsing goes a long way 

On top of the processes mentioned and to ensure your pearly whites stay clean, you need to rinse your trays each time they leave your chompers. Run them under lukewarm water that’s not hot or too cold. Hot water can warp your aligners, which can have a negative impact on your treatment journey. Finish with a pump of EverSmile Whitefoam which cleans your trays and gradually whitens your teeth. 

Floss once a day (at least)

Flossing is one of the healthiest things you can do for your teeth. In fact, our founder, Dr. David Pechersky, believes in it so much that he wrote an article about it! Bottom line, your teeth deserve a good flossing once at least once a day. Food agents get stuck between your teeth and are a common culprit for discoloration and bad breath. We've talked about how the importance of flossing is heightened during clear aligner therapy in a prior blog, but it's worthy of continual emphasis.

Knotty Floss black picks with a silver whitening pen

To make it easier to do on the go, we recommend these amazing and eco-friendly floss picks from Knotty Floss. They are made with cornstarch, not plastic, and the floss is infused with grapefruit seed extract. We love them so much we included a 30-pack in our ultimate clear aligner accessory kit so you can keep a few in your purse or pocket to floss on the go. 

SmileSaver Clear Aligner Spray

SmileSaver is a neat product, and perfect for keeping your aligners clean and odor-free on the go. Unlike other products in this category, it uses a peroxide-free formula, which contributes to a superior flavor profile. A couple spritzes onto your trays will kill up to 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria, and there's no need to rinse them off before you place them back on your teeth. It's also a great product to use first thing in the morning, because bacteria builds up inside the trays while you sleep. This makes SmileSaver a godsend for people who need a quick cleansing right when they wake up, and it's another one of the six must-have products we included in our Invisalign accessories kit

A bottle of SmileSaver Clear Aligner Spray and a Card with Product Information

Smile Saver fits perfectly in any pocket, purse or bag. You can’t beat the convenience this product offers.

The Don'ts of Cleaning Your Aligners

Never eat with your aligners in

The Invisalign trays are not built for chewing and could easily damage over time if you don’t remove them while you eat. Food and even drinks (other than water) can stain your trays, potentially lead to tooth decay, or cause the aligner to smell. Not only that, but putting them back in after eating without brushing can cause food to linger and stick in your trays. Frightening right? If that didn’t do it, make sure you click on the link for information on tooth decay. That’ll surely remind you to take them out before you eat. 

Refrain from using toothpaste to clean them

The abrasive ingredients in toothpaste can also cause damage or even create a dull sheen to the trays, making them more noticeable in your mouth. Isn’t the whole point of wearing invisalign so no one notices them? 

Stay away from staining drinks

You know that daily pick me up with a ton of caffeine? Yeah, you need to find another morning muse. You’re likely locked in with the same trays for two weeks, which is a long time to have to wear yellow trays. Kiss goodbye your coffee, tea, and even some soft drinks. Stay diligent and stick to water or clear liquids.

Cup of coffee with foam edited to look like a smile

It may be hard, but coffee is a definite no. Unless this smile is appealing to you?

Your time with Invisalign is short lived so wear them responsibly and take good care of your trays. In just a few weeks, you could cause a lot of damage to your teeth if not cared for properly. If you’re teeth aren’t healthy, then why bother trying to straighten them? Allow your trays to work their magic and keep them in good condition!


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