Invisalign retainers are one of the most popular tooth-straightening methods on the market today. Not only are they less invasive and more attractive than braces, but patients also report greater satisfaction and better gum health when they use Invisalign.
Even so, that doesn’t mean they’re completely maintenance-free. To protect both your teeth and your aligner trays from harm, you need to know how to clean Invisalign retainers without damaging them.
Read on for the four tips you need to keep your aligners in tip-top shape.
1. Clean Them Often
Do you know the sticky film that builds up on your teeth in between brushes? That’s called dental plaque, and it’s made up of microbes and food particles that can be harmful to your teeth and gums.
When you wear Invisalign retainers, plaque can transfer from your teeth to the inside of the trays. If it’s left on for too long, it can lead to tartar, dental cavities, and gingivitis. That’s why it’s important to rinse out your aligner trays every time you remove them and give them a deep cleaning at least once per day.
2. Give Them a Good Soak
Leaving your aligners out on the table when you’re eating is a great way to make sure they get thrown in the trash by accident. But even if you’re careful to keep them in sight, being exposed to air lets harmful bacteria build up and can contribute to tartar formation.
Instead, let your Invisalign retainers soak in a cup of lukewarm water and sanitizer while you eat. Some good sanitizers to choose from include Invisalign cleaning crystals, denture tablets, and Retainer Brite.
3. Scrub Gently
Soaking alone isn’t always enough to get the stubborn residue off your trays.
Instead, scrub the inside and outside of the trays gently with a toothbrush and liquid antibacterial softsoap. Rinse them out afterward, but be careful to use room-temperature water—hot water can warp the plastic.
If you want to avoid staining your trays, it’s a good idea to steer clear of cleaning them with colored soaps. You should also avoid using toothpaste, as the abrasives can damage the plastic over time.
4. Don’t Eat With the Trays In
The easiest way to keep your Invisalign trays clean is to prevent them from getting dirty in the first place. When your orthodontist asks you to avoid putting anything other than water in your mouth while wearing your retainers, it isn’t because they want to make your life miserable.
Eating food and drinking colored or sugary beverages can stain your aligners, making them no longer invisible. Even worse, the plastic can absorb the smell of what you’re eating and drinking, giving you a serious case of bad breath.
Learn How to Clean Invisalign Retainers the Right Way
Understanding how to clean Invisalign retainers is a huge part of effectively straightening your teeth. To make sure they stay in perfect condition, keep up with your regular brushing and flossing routine as well.
If you have any remaining questions about caring for your aligner trays or are interested in starting Invisalign treatment, contact Yuba City Orthodontics today. Our team is happy to help you on your journey to a new and improved smile.