Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to keep your Invisalign aligners clean

A quick rinse and gentle scrub with a soft bristle toothbrush is a good idea after eating.  This is a good habit to get into and will prevent unpleasant odours from developing. Although a toothbrush is recommended, we suggest staying away from using toothpaste since it tends to be abrasive.  Such abrasion results in tiny scratches providing a breeding ground for bacteria. We recommend using a mild dishwashing soap such as Dawn instead. If brushing and rinsing alone is not effective in removing unpleasant odours, soak your trays in mouthwash for a few minutes while you brush and floss your teeth. This will help your trays and mouth stay fresh and clean!  Failure to clean your trays on a regular basis will result in your aligners looking foggy and murky. It is this build up that is responsible for these unpleasant smells and if left long enough, it becomes very difficult to remove.

A more thorough cleaning once a week with a retainer (Retainer Brite) is also recommended. Leaving trays in a bath for 10 minutes usually allows for a thorough cleaning and neutralizes any offensive smells. Remember to rinse under water and give trays a quick scrub with a soft bristle toothbrush after removal from bath. If you are looking for an effective but more economical home-made option, you can soak your aligners in diluted vinegar or hydrogen peroxide solution which is mixed with 50% water.

Lastly, your Invisalign cases need cleaning too. When you remove your aligners they often have excess saliva that can easily be transferred to your case. After a few days, these cases can turn into a science project! Giving them a good rinse daily can solve this problem. As with the Invisalign aligners a gentle scrub with a soft toothbrush can help them stay hygienic.

It is also a good idea to sterilize your Invisalign aligners before storing them. As you finish with each set of trays, sterilize them using a denture cleaner and place them back in the re-sealable bag in which they arrived. If you need to reuse them for any reason at a later date they will be clean and ready for use.

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