Smile Big!

You’re on your way to straighter teeth and the smile of your dreams. You have Invisalign; the clear braces treatment option in cosmetic dentistry.

How exciting!

However, at the end of the day, when it comes time to brush your teeth for the night, have you ever wondered . . .

What steps do I need to take to care for my Invisalign retainer?

Not to worry! In this guide, we are going to go over, what not to use, what to use, and how to care for and clean an Invisalign tray.

Let’s get started . . .

What to Avoid when Cleaning Invisalign Retainers

Some cleaning agents can be harmful to the clear braces tray that you have either from your cosmetic dentist or orthodontist.

So what should you be avoiding and why?

Here is a list of what you should avoid when cleaning an Invisalign tray:

  • Hard-bristled toothbrush: Brushing your Invisalign with a hard-bristled toothbrush can create scratches on your retainers.
  • Mouthwash: Using mouthwash can cause damage to an Invisalign retainer.  If you follow proper cleaning methods you will kill all bacteria and will reduce the chance that you will need to use a mouth wash.
  • Toothpaste: Cleaning your Invisalign with toothpaste can cause discoloration to the retainers.
  • Bleach: Soaking your Invisalign in bleach can cause damage to your retainers, and can be harmful to your health

And now on to what you should be using and doing. . .

3 Things to Use When Cleaning Invisalign Trays

From vinegar, crystals, to baking soda, there are so many things that you could be used to clean your clear braces tray. Do all three of those fall under the ‘safe to use’ category for cleaning your Invisalign retainer?

Yes! They do! But each has a different method of cleaning and how it is recommended to be used when you go to clean your clear braces. And each cleaning agent has its own benefits. You may switch up the cleaning product that you use depending on what you are needing.

Let’s look at each of the steps for cleaning and the benefits now . . .

1. Vinegar

Here’s how to use vinegar:

  1. Use: Use 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water
  2. Soak: Soak your Invisalign retainers in the water mixed with white vinegar for about 30 minutes
  3. Brush: Lightly brush the retainers with a soft-bristled brush
  4. Rinse: Rinse with lukewarm water

Benefits of using vinegar:

  • Affordable: Vinegar is an affordable cleaning solution. A bonus is it can also be used when doing another cleaning in your home or cooking. So it can be bought for cleaning your Invisalign and have other uses throughout your home.
  • Destroys: Vinegar is an acidic substance. It helps destroy bacteria.
  • Removes: It softens plaque on the teeth which makes it easier to remove and insert a clear braces tray.

2. Crystals

Here’s how to use crystals:

  1. Stir: Stir cleaning crystals into water in the container provided with the crystals until the crystals fully dissolve.
  2. Soak: Soak your Invisalign retainers in the water mixed with cleaning crystals for about 15 minutes.
  3. Brush: Lightly brush the retainers with a soft-bristled brush.
  4. Rinse: Rinse with lukewarm water

Benefits of using crystals:

  • Eliminates: Eliminates harmful bacteria the mouth
  • Softens plaque: Softens plaque on teeth. This can help you with overall oral health and promote the cleanliness of each Invisalign retainer.
  • Cleans: Cleans in a gentle manner that helps with the longevity of a plastic Invisalign retainer.

Baking Soda

Here’s how to use baking soda:

  1. Dissolve: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in ½ a cup of water
  2. Soak: Soak your Invisalign retainers in the water mixed with baking soda for around an hour
  3. Brush: Lightly brush the retainers with a soft-bristled brush
  4. Rinse: Rinse with lukewarm water

Benefits of using baking soda:

  • Stabilizes: Stabilizes the pH of your mouth naturally which gets rid of bacteria in the mouth.
  • Reduces: It helps to reduce the likelihood of bad smells
  • Safest: Baking soda is the safest cleaning agent to clean your Invisalign retainer.

How do we know baking soda is the best cleaner for Invisalign? Keep reading to find out. . .

6 Steps to Cleaning Invisalign

So now, we have explored three different ways of cleaning Invisalign. Is there a best way?

A recommended way?

According to a study done by the NCBI, baking soda was proven to be the most effective way to clean your Invisalign retainers and to keep them free of bacteria.

For this study, subjects were asked to first brush their Invisalign retainers with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste and then were asked to soak their retainers for at least 20 minutes in water mixed with baking soda.

There are multiple different materials you can use to clean your Invisalign retainers, but regardless of what material you decide to use, the process of cleaning your Invisalign will be the same.

At Princess Center Dentistry, Dr. Lewandowski recommends that you follow the following six steps when cleaning your Invisalign trays:

  1. Remove: Remove your Invisalign retainers from your mouth and clean them when they are still wet.
  2. Rinse: Rinse your Invisalign with lukewarm water while brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  3. Choice: Choose the material you are going to use to clean it with between baking soda, vinegar, and crystals.
  4. Mix: Mix the material of your choice with water, using the correct amounts listed above.
  5. Soak: Soak your Invisalign retainers in the water for the accurate time period listed above.
  6. Brush: Lightly brush your Invisalign with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse with lukewarm water.

Now that we have gone over how to clean Invisalign, are you wondering where to turn for answers to other questions on clear braces?

At Princess Center Dentistry, we know it can be a challenge to find the best cosmetic dentist in Scottsdale, AZ to ask your questions and expect reliable and experience-backed answers.

However, when it comes to Invisalign treatment and cosmetic dentistry we feel confident that Dr. Chris Lewandowski really is the best, and we want to prove it.

Give us a call today.