8894 Stanford Blvd Suite 200 Columbia, MD 21045-5162

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Clean Invisalign, Healthy Smile

Invisalign is a popular brand of plastic aligner trays. These convenient appliances slowly shift your teeth and adjust different malocclusions. Rather than using traditional metal braces to straighten your teeth, you would use several sets of plastic trays.

Many patients love the invisible quality of Invisalign aligners. You can remove the aligners to eat and for important occasions. If you choose to use Invisalign, you should know how to best keep them clean. Keeping your aligners clean helps keep your mouth healthy. 

cropped image of person in white shirt holding an invisalign tray cosmetic dentistry dentist in Columbia Maryland

Wash Them Daily

To keep your mouth healthy, you should clean your aligners at least once a day, preferably before bed. This will help protect your teeth while you sleep. Although the aligners are plastic, plaque will still stick to their surfaces. Plaque is a harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. If you don’t remove it from your teeth or aligners, you increase your risk of several dental problems. 

Therefore, you should brush your aligners when you brush your teeth. However, cleaning them once a day can suffice. When you wash them, use a mild dish soap and cool to warm water. You shouldn’t use abrasive cleaners or hot water. You can damage the shape and surfaces of your Invisalign aligners. 

Rinse Mouth after Eating

If you have Invisalign aligners, you must take them out of your mouth before you eat. This is because the impact of eating can damage your aligners. Also, you may increase your chances of hurting your teeth or gums. Along with removing your aligners, there are other tips that you should follow to keep your mouth healthy. 

After you finish eating, it is best to rinse your mouth before you replace your aligner trays. This will help reduce the amount of plaque and food particles in your mouth. Excess plaque and food particles can increase your chances of developing cavities or gum irritation. Because you must keep aligners in your mouth for roughly 20-22 hours a day, whatever food particles or bacteria reside in your mouth will stay close to your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, this can cause gum disease or tooth decay. 

Therefore, it is better to rinse your mouth. 

Avoid Abrasive Materials

When cleaning your plastic aligners, it is important to avoid using abrasive cleaning materials. This would include hard-bristled brushes, some types of toothpaste, or other gritty cleaners. Stiff bristles and abrasive cleaners can leave small scratches on the plastic. With the scratches, your trays are more likely to collect plaque, which can be harmful to your oral health. 

If there are minor scratches in your Invisalign aligners, plaque and other harmful bacteria will reside within them. Unfortunately, this makes it more difficult to get rid of the bacteria. This can lead to an increased chance of developing tooth decay or gum disease. Additionally, the bacteria can cause the plastic to turn yellow. As a result, the clearness of the aligners will fade.