How to Clean Invisalign Trays: The Complete Guide

Over the past 20 years, over five million patients started using Invisalign aligners to straighten their teeth. In a single year, orthodontists prescribed Invisalign to over 931,000 people.

If you’re a new Invisalign patient, congratulations! Before you start using your aligners, however, it’s important to know how to clean Invisalign trays. Otherwise, your trays could become discolored.

One of the main benefits of Invisalign is that no one will see your aligners! If you want to keep it that way, keep reading.

In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know to clean Invisalign trays daily. Start your road to a straighter smile with these tips today.

1. Take Them Out Every Morning

First, it’s important to remind yourself to take your Invisalign trays out every morning. You might want to keep this guide on how to clean Invisalign trays handy. That way, you can review these steps to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Removing your trays gives you the chance to clean them after a long night’s rest. Bacteria can build and spread against your trays, even as you’re sleeping.

Reminding yourself to use your Invisalign cleaner guide every morning will ensure they’re fresh for a new day!

Think of cleaning your aligners as part of your preexisting morning routine. Consider putting a sticky note on your bathroom mirror the first few days you wear your aligners. It can take a little time to adjust to this new step in your routine.

Taking your aligners out to clean them is part of maintaining your oral hygiene. Otherwise, you could go through the day with bacteria clinging to your aligners. In addition to causing discoloration, bacteria can also cause you to develop bad breath.

After removing your trays, clean both your teeth and the trays thoroughly. Make sure to review this step before bedtime, too. We’ll discuss how to clean your trays in the steps below.

2. Rinse Them Out

It’s important to dedicate yourself to learning how to clean Invisalign trays from the moment you start wearing them. Otherwise, bacteria from the food you eat will harden into plaque. Dry salvia can build against your aligners, too.

In order to keep your aligners clean, you should rinse them every time you remove them to eat. That’s in addition to your morning and evening cleanings.

Cleaning your aligners regularly will ensure bacteria and plaque don’t build against the trays.

You can clean your aligners using a clear, antibacterial soap. Try to use a soft-bristled brush. Brushing your trays will remove any particles that are stuck against the trays.

That way, they’ll look clean and clear—perfect for a bright smile!

Make sure to pack your toothbrush and a small bottle of soap everywhere you go. That way, you can clean your aligners throughout the day (instead of waiting until you get home).

3. Soak Them Once a Day

In addition to brushing and rinsing your aligners, you can also give them a nice soak. Soaking your trays in an Invisalign cleaner or denture cleaner will ensure they look and smell their best.

After letting your aligners soak, use an extra brush to clean away any plaque or food particles.

Then, give them a rinse and put them back into your mouth.

For the best results, it’s important to wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours every day. You’ll also need to change to a new set of trays every one to two weeks (per your orthodontist). Once you clean them, it’s important to promptly put your trays back in.

Otherwise, you might extend the timeframe for your treatment.

You can learn more about your Invisalign timeline here.

4. Brush and Floss First

Before you put your trays back in, make sure your teeth and gums are free of food particles and bacteria. Make an effort to brush and floss before putting your trays in. Otherwise, you could trap food particles against your teeth.

Remember, food particles contribute to the spread of bacteria, which can cause plaque buildup. Plaque hardens into tartar, which can lead to gingivitis (gum disease).

Brushing and flossing first will ensure your clean Invisalign trays stay clean.

5. Don’t Leave Them in the Open

Invisalign trays cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000. The price range can vary depending on your insurance coverage, the severity of your case, and where you live. Regardless of how much you spend on your aligners, they’re an investment.

You wouldn’t want that investment to go to waste by failing to take care of them properly.

Each time you take your aligners out, make sure to put them back into their case. Leaving your trays in the open could expose them to bacteria. You could risk losing or damaging your trays, too.

If you do forget to put your trays in their case, make sure to soak them before putting them back into your mouth.

6. Know When to Take Them Out

Don’t eat or food or drink water when wearing your Invisalign aligners. Only drink water when your trays are in. Otherwise, food particles can stick to your aligners.

Food dyes, coffee, and tea can also stain your aligners.

Take them out before you eat, brush your teeth, clean your aligners, then put them back in.

7. Avoid Colored or Scented Products

The best way to clean Invisalign aligners is to gather the right equipment. You can use:

  • Clear mouthwash
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Vinegar
  • Polident
  • The Invisalign Cleaning Kit

Make sure to avoid cleaning your aligners with toothpaste. Most kinds of toothpaste contain abrasive ingredients. These ingredients can cause discoloration, build up, and odor to develop.

Instead, use a mild detergent or soap to brush your aligners.

Make sure the soap you use is free of color dyes or scents. Otherwise, you could risk discoloration. Your trays won’t taste great when you put them back in, either.

How to Clean Invisalign Trays: 7 Tips for a Whiter Smile

Ready for a whiter, straighter smile? Keep these tips for how to clean Invisalign trays in mind before you put your trays in for the first time. That way, you can keep your smile looking its best (and your breath smelling minty fresh)!

Eager to discuss your treatment options? Contact us today to get started!