Learn How to Properly Take Care of Your Invisalign Trays So You Can Maximise Your Clear Aligner Experience

BY: Dr. Sandeep Sharma
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Learn How to Properly Take Care of Your Invisalign Trays So You Can Maximise Your Clear Aligner Experience

For those looking for a way to subtly straighten their teeth, Invisalign trays are a viable option. It’s a popular alternative to metal braces since the transparent trays allow for discreet orthodontic treatment. However, taking proper care of your trays is important to maximise their effectiveness.

In this blog post, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide for Invisalign patients. This includes the steps necessary to make your Invisalign trays last as long as possible. Included here are Invisalign tray cleaning tips and what to do in case of discolouration.

By following the steps below, you can maximise both treatment longevity and oral health while undergoing aligner therapy. Get ready for a beautiful smile that radiates like never before!

Summary of the Content

  • Cleaning Invisalign trays helps prevent bacterial growth, discolouration, irritation, and other dental problems.

  • As part of Invisalign tray hygiene, they should be cleaned on a daily basis. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, mild soap or Invisalign cleaning crystals, and cold or lukewarm water.

  • Do not use hot water, abrasive toothpaste, mouthwash, hard-bristled toothbrushes, or harsh cleaning products to clean the trays. Also, do not put them in the dishwasher or store them on napkins or tissues.

  • Proper storage involves keeping the trays in their provided case, ensuring they are dry, and keeping them away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

  • To prevent staining, avoid drinking dark-coloured liquids and consuming food that can stain teeth.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Invisalign Trays

Keeping your Invisalign trays clean is important for the success of your orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the reasons why cleaning your Invisalign trays is essential:

  • Prevents Bacterial Growth:
    The inside of your mouth is warm and moist. This environment is a breeding ground for bacteria that can accumulate on your Invisalign trays. Regular cleaning can help eliminate these foul-smelling bacteria. By doing so, you can prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and other dental issues.

  • Avoids Discoloration:
    Invisalign trays are made of clear plastic. Over time, they can become discoloured and stained if not cleaned properly. Discolouration and staining can make your trays more visible. This defeats the purpose of a discreet treatment with invisible aligners.

  • Effective Treatment:
    If your Invisalign trays are dirty, they may not fit properly. This will compromise the effectiveness of your dental treatment. Dirty trays can also irritate your gums and cause discomfort, delaying progress.

  • Prolongs Tray Life:
    Proper Invisalign tray maintenance and cleaning can prolong the life of your aligners. This can save you money and lead to faster treatment. Neglecting to clean them can lead to damage which will require replacement trays and additional expenses.

Overall, keeping your Invisalign trays clean is essential for achieving successful treatment. Regular cleaning and Invisalign tray maintenance should be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine for optimal results.

african american woman having dental treatment at dentist's office.

How to Clean Your Invisalign Trays

Maintaining good Invisalign tray hygiene is a simple process. You can make a habit out of it and simply incorporate cleaning them into your daily routine. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Remove Your Trays:
    Take out your plastic trays before eating or drinking anything other than water. Eating or drinking while wearing Invisalign trays can cause the buildup of bacteria and plaque. It can stall any improvements being made.

  2. Rinse Your Trays:
    Rinsing your aligners with water can remove food residues or traces of saliva. Hot water can cause damage, so avoid using it when cleaning the trays.

  3. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush:
    Always use a soft toothbrush that can gently but effectively clean your oral trays. Furthermore, avoid using abrasive toothpaste. These could scratch the aligners.

  4. Use a Gentle Cleanser or Invisalign Cleaning Crystals:
    When cleaning your aligner trays, use a mild antibacterial soap, gentle cleanser, or Invisalign cleaning crystals. Follow the instructions on the aligner cleaning solution or crystals carefully.

  5. Rinse Your Trays Before Putting Them Back:
    Once you have cleaned your trays, rinse them thoroughly with cold water. This will help remove any residue from the cleaning solution or soapy water. Once your trays are clean and dry, you can put them back in your mouth.

Remember to clean your trays at least once a day. Follow this cleaning method to maintain good oral hygiene throughout your treatment.

What Not to Do When Cleaning Your Invisalign Trays

There are certain things you should avoid when cleaning aligners. This is to prevent damaging or compromising the trays’ effectiveness.

Here are some things you should NOT do when cleaning your Invisalign trays:

  • Do not use hot water to clean your trays:
    Hot water can cause the trays to become warped. A warped tray is no longer effective.

  • Do not use toothpaste or mouthwash to clean your trays:
    These products contain abrasive and harsh ingredients. These can scratch the trays, making them more susceptible to staining and discolouration. You may use liquid soaps instead.

  • Do not use scented soaps or denture cleaners in cleaning your trays.
    Scented soaps and denture cleaning tablets may contain harsh, abrasive and fragrant chemicals that could damage the aligners. 

  • Do not use a hard-bristled toothbrush to clean your trays:
    Hard bristles can damage the trays. This will result in poor fit and reduced effectiveness.

  • Do not put your trays in the dishwasher:
    The high heat of the dishwasher can cause the trays to soften, warp, and crack.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you contribute toward the longevity and effectiveness of your Invisalign trays in achieving straight teeth. You also get to maintain good oral hygiene throughout your treatment.

How to Store Your Invisalign Trays

A part of taking care of your Invisalign trays is knowing how to store them the right way. Proper storage will help keep your aligners free from damage. This also helps maintain their effectiveness throughout treatment.

  • Always store your trays in their case when not in use:
    When you’re not wearing them, store your trays in a container that’s made specifically for Invisalign. This container is provided by your dentist and contains desiccants to absorb moisture.

  • Store your trays dry:
    Make sure your trays are completely dry before storing them. If they’re still wet, harmful bacteria and other microorganisms can grow on them.

  • Keep your trays away from heat sources and direct sunlight:
    Heat and direct sunlight can warp your aligners and damage their shape. To avoid this, keep them out of areas with high temperatures or direct sunlight.

  • Do not leave your trays on a napkin or tissue:
    Napkins and tissues can be easily torn, potentially causing damage to your aligners. They may also get thrown away accidentally. Instead, store them in the container provided to you by your dentist, as it is safe and secure.

These simple tips can help your Invisalign trays remain clean, functional, and effective for a long time.

How to Prevent Staining of Your Invisalign Trays

Invisalign trays can become stained over time, especially when consuming certain foods or beverages. Here are some tips to help prevent staining of your Invisalign trays:

  • Avoid drinking dark-coloured liquids while wearing your trays. This includes coffee, tea, or red wine.
  • Drink water throughout the day. Water helps to keep your mouth hydrated. It can also wash away food particles or bacteria that may lead to staining.
  • Brush your teeth before putting your trays back in your mouth.
  • Rinse your mouth with water before putting your trays back in your mouth.
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products, as they can cause yellowing and discolouration of your trays.

Following these simple tips can help prevent staining and keep your Invisalign trays looking clean and clear throughout your treatment.

What to Do If Your Invisalign Trays Become Stained

If your Invisalign trays become stained, there are a few steps you can take to help remove the discolouration:

  • Clean your trays gently but thoroughly:
    Start by using a soft-bristled toothbrush. This can help remove any surface stains or debris that may be causing the discolouration.

  • Soak your trays in a cleaning solution overnight:
    You can also try soaking your trays in an Invisalign tray cleaning solution. Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully, as some solutions may require diluting them with water before use.

  • Use Invisalign cleaning crystals to remove stubborn stains:
    Invisalign cleaning crystals are specifically designed to remove stubborn residues and discolourations from your Invisalign trays. Simply add the crystals to a cup of water and soak your trays for a few minutes before scrubbing away the stains.

  • Use homemade cleaning solutions made from the following:

    • Hydrogen peroxide:
      Mix 1-part warm water and 1-part hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl or glass. Soak your Invisalign trays in this solution for about 15-30 minutes, then gently brush them with a soft toothbrush to remove any remaining stains. Rinse thoroughly with water before placing them back in your mouth.

    • White vinegar:
      Mix 1-part vinegar and 3-parts water in a small bowl or glass. Soak your aligners in the solution for 15-30 minutes, then use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the trays. Rinse the aligners thoroughly with clean water before wearing them again.

    • Baking soda:
      Regular cleaning and Invisalign tray maintenance can help prevent staining and discolouration from occurring in the first place. Be sure to follow the instructions provided by your dentist for caring for your trays. Also, avoid consuming foods and beverages that are known to cause staining.

Regular cleaning and Invisalign tray maintenance can help prevent staining and discolouration from occurring in the first place. Be sure to follow the instructions provided by your dentist for caring for your trays. Also, avoid consuming foods and beverages that are known to cause staining.

How to Deal with Discomfort While Wearing Your Invisalign Trays

It’s normal to experience some discomfort when you first start wearing your Invisalign trays. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help manage the discomfort:

  • Use orthodontic wax to cover any sharp edges or rough spots:
    If you have any sharp edges or areas of your trays that are causing discomfort, you can try using orthodontic wax to smooth out the surface. Simply roll a small piece of wax into a ball and place it on the problem area. Orthodontic wax is available at most drugstores and will help protect your gums and cheeks from the edges of your trays.

  • Take over-the-counter pain medication as directed by your dentist:
    Pain relievers can help reduce the irritation and discomfort you may feel while wearing your trays.

  • Take breaks from wearing your trays:
    If the discomfort is severe or persistent, you can try taking breaks from wearing your trays for short periods of time. Talk to your dentist for guidance on how long you can safely go without wearing your trays.

  • Practice good oral hygiene:
    Keeping your teeth and gums clean can help reduce discomfort and irritation. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, and rinse your mouth with clean water after meals before putting your trays back in.

Discomfort is normal when you first start wearing your Invisalign trays. It should gradually subside as your mouth adjusts.

If you’re experiencing severe or persistent discomfort, talk to your dentist.

How to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene While Wearing Invisalign Trays

Maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing Invisalign trays is important. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy during the orthodontic treatment.

Here are some tips to help you maintain good oral hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth and Invisalign trays regularly:
    Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and brush your Invisalign trays every time you remove them. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your teeth thoroughly. You can use a separate toothbrush to clean your trays or a special Invisalign tray cleaning solution recommended by your dentist.

  2. Floss regularly:
    Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene. Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove food debris and dental plaque in between teeth. 

  3. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to kill bacteria in your mouth:
    Use an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce the risk of bacterial plaque buildup and gum disease.

  4. Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings:
    Regular visits to your dentist are important, even while wearing Invisalign trays. Your dentist will check for any problems and provide tips on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

  5. Eat a balanced diet:
    A balanced diet with plenty of calcium-rich foods will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Avoid sugary and acidic foods as much as possible. Sugary or sticky foods can easily get stuck in your teeth and Invisalign trays. This will make it difficult to keep them clean.

These tips can help you maintain good oral hygiene while wearing Invisalign trays. By doing so, you contribute toward your orthodontic treatment’s success and improve your oral health.

Final Thoughts

Proper Invisalign tray cleaning and maintenance should never be overlooked. Keeping the aligners clean and well-stored is important. Doing this not only prevents potential health risks but also optimises orthodontic treatment results.

When it comes to your oral hygiene, don’t leave anything up to chance. Make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

For more information about Invisalign, book an appointment through our website or call Clear Choice Dental today. Our friendly and professional staff are always on hand to provide honest advice and personalised treatment plans just for you.

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