So many patients who are looking to get a straighter smile turn to Invisalign to get there. It’s such a popular option because of how successful it is all while being completely discreet and noninvasive. 

The key to having a successful treatment process is to take great care of the retainers. This ensures that they stay in the correct shape to help mold your teeth to their new positioning. It also makes it easier and more pleasant for you to wear them as often as recommended. 

But not all cleaning is created equal, there are some mistakes with cleaning Invisalign that should be avoided as much as possible. Follow this guide to learn how to clean Invisalign.  

1. Using Mouthwash

Similar to the way many people clean their dentures, Invisalign users often leave their trays to soak in mouthwash for a period of time. There are a few reasons this won’t work but mainly because it’s ineffective. 

The alcohol in mouthwash has the potential to break down the plastic the trays are made of. This could lead to warping, weak spots, or even holes which would make it much harder for the trays to do their job. Not only that but it would also make wearing your Invisalign trays much more uncomfortable. 

Extended exposure to the colors in mouthwash could also potentially dye your trays, which defeats the point of them being invisible. 

2. Leaving Them In

Possibly the biggest offense people make when taking care of their Invisalign retainers is never taking them out. It’s true you’re supposed to wear them as much as possible, but they should always be taken out whenever you’re eating or drinking something (other than water). 

When you leave them in while doing these things it’ll be much harder to achieve that thorough clean afterward. 

The leftovers of whatever you’re eating or drinking will be so ground into the trays, it’s almost impossible to get completely off. Not only that but the food debris could get stuck between the tray and your teeth and cause damage to your gums and enamel as well. 

3. Putting Them Directly Away 

It’s not enough to simply take the Invisalign trays out and leave them on the counter while you eat though. Cleaning Invisalign trays correctly includes rinsing them every single time they come out of your mouth and then keeping them in their container. 

First, it’s important to have a designated spot for the trays so that they don’t accidentally get thrown away, lost, or damaged. 

Next, when you take the few seconds to rinse them off after they’re removed you are making a deep clean much easier in the future. All of the little things that get caught inside will be removed, they will smell much fresher, and they won’t become sticky. It only takes a second but can make a big difference. 

4. Wrong Tools 

Chances are if you’re going through the Invisalign process you’re committed to seeing the results all the way through. Don’t make it harder on yourself by not getting the right tools to thoroughly clean the trays, making them uncomfortable to wear. 

There are a lot of Invisalign cleaning kits available to help you achieve that thorough, sparkling clean. While they are helpful, it’s also something you can put together yourself. It’s most important to have a small brush that will be able to reach into the nooks and crannies of the trays. 

5. Poor Oral Health 

Cleaning your Invisalign trays is pretty pointless if you aren’t also cleaning your teeth at the same time. Poor oral hygiene combined with wearing Invisalign trays will only increase the negative side effects. 

One of the major Invisalign benefits is that it makes it easier to brush thoroughly and avoid cavities. As your teeth get straighter and straighter, there are fewer places for the food debris and bacteria to hideout. You’ll be able to get between your teeth much easier while flossing as well. 

It’s important to start practicing perfect oral hygiene habits long before you’re done with Invisalign to get into those good habits. 

6. Exposing Bacteria 

No one wants to think about it, but our mouths are hot spots for bacteria and a great environment for it to grow. This is especially true when you are wearing any kind of appliance. 

Good oral hygiene habits will help to reduce the number of bacteria that can build up on your Invisalign trays, but you have to take care of them when they’re not in your mouth as well. This means not leaving them out wherever you remove them but instead keeping them in their designated carrying case. 

Their case should have vents that will allow the trays to dry so that they’re ready to put back in as soon as you are! 

7. Missing Days 

The most important maintenance tip is to conduct daily Invisalign cleaning. This should go beyond the rinsing that takes place when you take them out. 

Each day you should be thoroughly brushing the trays with a soft toothbrush and high-quality toothpaste. This will allow you to remove everything that’s built up, keep them smelling fresh, and avoid any unnecessary staining from prolonged exposure. When these things are done every day, you’ll eliminate all of the potential problems. 

In order to make this a habit that’s never missed, it’s a good idea to do this cleaning at the same time every day. We suggest giving them a thorough cleaning right before bed so you can enjoy that fresh feeling as you’re falling asleep! 

Mistakes with Cleaning Invisalign to Avoid 

Failing to avoid all of these mistakes with cleaning Invisalign can lead to a variety of consequences. Chances are you’ll have bad-smelling breath at the very least. But it could also make it hard for you to wear them all of the time which will definitely impede your progress. 

Taking a little bit of extra time to clean your Invisalign trays will help you stay on track towards that beautiful, straight smile you’re looking for!

If you’re looking for more health, wellness, or beauty tips we’ve got you covered! Check out our other articles today!