Invisalign aligners help simplify your life when you, as a dental patient, need to address misaligned teeth, gaps or overbites.
They’re incredibly convenient to use, making their everyday use a pleasure to work with rather than a tedious chore. Part of this is aesthetics — Invisaligns are ‘invisible’, so they help the wearer look and feel more confident than braces.
The other is the ease-of-use. Invisalign trays are removable, which means, if your teeth are prone to staining or tartar buildup, you don’t need to go in for a cleaning. You can maintain and brush your teeth yourself, without the hassle of working around metal fixtures and wires.
But their removability, like dentures, calls for a level of routine cleanliness and cleaning. In this post, we’ll show you the best at-home solutions you can use to keep your tray free of fuzz, tartar build-up and bacteria.
The ‘Everyday’ Practice
All you’ll need for an everyday practice is a soft-bristled toothbrush and some cold water.
Each time you remove your aligners, you’ll brush both your teeth and your aligner trays. Using a toothbrush, prise any trapped food from the interiors. Avoid using toothpaste, which will cause abrasions on your Invisalign trays and hot water since it can warp the plastic.
The ‘Deep Clean’
Every now and then, you’ll want to subject your trays to a round of ‘deep cleaning’, besides your daily brushing routine.
The best way to do this is by soaking your aligners in a variety of homemade or store-bought solutions. Here are a few suggestions we have for you that our current patients use for the best results:
- For discolouration: Soak your aligners in diluted bleach water two times a week by using about a tablespoon of bleach in a cup of cold water, for about a half hour each time. Give the aligners another brush and rinse after this bi-weekly cleaning.
- Using whitening mouthwash:Yes, you can soak your trays in a mouthwash as long as the liquid is clear (avoid purple or cool green mint variants, as this can stain the Invisalign trays). Do this also twice a week, around 15 to 20 minutes each time.
- Using denture cleaners: Using denture cleaners may feel like it’s ‘aging’ you but you’ll prolong the use and cleanliness of your trays. Soak in denture cleaners for about 15 minutes and then, once again, brush anything left over with your toothbrush. Monitor that your Invisalign trays don’t get too cloudy, however.
Blasting Out the Tartar
So what do you do for tartar build-up? A particularly effective method for staving off the almost inevitable side-effect of any kind of corrective orthodontic treatment worn long-term is to use white vinegar.
To create a bubbling solution, add a pinch of baking soda to the white vinegar and let the fizz chemically break down the build-up. Then, brush and rinse well to loosen any build-up, cleansing the trays of the smell or taste of vinegar, before placing them in again.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide
Another effective method for cleansing thoroughly is to use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and mix it with equal parts cool water. Soak your trays in this solution for at least 30 minutes and then rinse, once again in cool water. You’ll be killing any bacteria present.
Can You Use Ultrasonic Cleaners?
To keep your Invisalign trays in top condition, you can also use personal ultrasonic cleaners.
These handy little devices, meant to aid your cleaning routine, also work equally as well with aligner trays since the fine and fast but gentle vibrations get rid of and loosen build-up. You can use ultrasonic cleansers together with your denture cleaners as well.
You may have heard that Invisalign, as a brand, offers its own Cleaning System. This is true. The cleaning kit comes with a tub and a pack of 50 cleaning crystals. There are also refill packs available. You can use these crystals with water to soak your aligners for 15 minutes. However, these methods stated above are cost-effective and easy to use, especially if you’re travelling and don’t have access to refill packs.
Use any combination of these cleaning methods to keep your Invisalign trays going strong. For more information on how Invisalign can help enhance your smile and change your life, contact our team of dental professionals at Hawthorn East Dental Clinic today!