You’ve made the investment in clear aligner therapy and you’re committed to wearing them as directed to get the smile you’ve always wanted. But keeping your clear aligners clean is just as important as wearing them consistently. If you don’t properly clean your aligners, they can get stained, warped, or develop odors that make wearing them less than pleasant. Here are 5 best ways to clean clear aligners so you can have confidence in your smile.
Importance of Cleaning Aligners
Keeping your clear aligners clean is super important for your oral health and making sure they function properly. Your aligners go in your mouth for hours each day, collecting bacteria, plaque, and stains. Here are a few reasons why cleaning your aligners should be a priority:
I. Prevents plaque buildup
II. Eliminates bad breath
III. Minimizes staining
IV. Avoids bacterial growth
V. Maintains their effectiveness
How to Clean Aligners: Dos and Don’ts
Clear aligners are virtually invisible and easily removable, facilitating uncomplicated maintenance of your oral hygiene routine. Let’s discuss the do’s and don’ts of aligner cleaning, so you can keep your aligners in top condition and achieve your desired smile transformation.
- Daily rinse: Thoroughly rinse aligners upon removal to eliminate saliva and plaque, preventing bacterial buildup and odors.
- Soft-bristled Brush: Gently brush aligners daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush, addressing both inner and outer surfaces, and paying extra attention to attachments for residue, stains, or plaque.
- Regular Soaking: Periodically soak aligners in denture cleaner or a specialized solution to eliminate stubborn stains, bacteria, and refresh the aligners.
- Pre-Wear Oral Care: Brush and floss teeth before reinserting aligners to remove particles or plaque, reducing the risk of cavities and bad breath.
- Use Non-Abrasive Toothpaste: Avoid regular toothpaste, as its abrasive components can scratch and damage aligners. Choose non-abrasive toothpaste designed for aligners to maintain their visibility and effectiveness.
- Cold Water Cleaning: Steer clear of hot water, as it can distort the shape of your aligners. Always use cold water for cleaning to preserve their form and comfort.
- Remove When Eating or Drinking: Keep aligners clean by taking them out when eating or drinking anything other than water. This helps prevent staining and bacterial growth.
- No Harsh Chemicals or Mouthwash: Refrain from using harsh chemicals or mouthwash on your clear aligners, as these can harm the plastic and cause discoloration.
Brushing aligners with toothpaste
Brushing your aligners with toothpaste is a simple and effective method to keep them clean and free from bacteria. Before starting the clear aligner cleaning process, rinse the aligners under cold water to remove debris. Then, gently brush with circular motions, avoiding whitening toothpaste to prevent discoloration. After brushing, rinse thoroughly to remove any residue. Finally, store the aligners in their designated case after completing your oral care routine.
Rinsing With Water and Mouthwash
Keeping your clear aligners clean is easy with a water and mouthwash routine. Start by rinsing them under cold water to eliminate saliva and food particles. Fill a container with cold water and add alcohol-free mouthwash.
Submerge your aligners in this mixture for 15-20 minutes. After soaking, gently brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush to remove any remaining debris. Rinse under cold water to clear any mouthwash or toothbrush residue. Pat them dry with a clean towel and store them securely in their case for safekeeping.
Clear Aligners Cleaning Crystals
This special clear aligner cleaner is specifically designed to help maintain the quality and appearance of your aligners. Begin by filling a clean container with lukewarm water, adding the specified amount of crystals, and stirring gently to dissolve.
Soak your aligners in this solution for the recommended 15 minutes. After soaking, remove the aligners and thoroughly rinse with water. Gently pat them dry with a clean, soft towel, and store them according to your orthodontist’s guidelines to maintain their quality and appearance.
Using denture cleaner tablets
Denture cleaners are specially formulated to clean dentures and other dental appliances, making them suitable for cleaning aligners as well. Fill a bowl with warm water as instructed on the denture cleaner packaging and add a cleaning tablet, initiating a fizzing action.
Submerge your aligners in the solution for 15 minutes, then remove and rinse under running water. Gently brush the aligners with a soft toothbrush to eliminate any remaining debris, and give them a final rinse before reinserting into your mouth for continued use.
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
Clean your aligners naturally and affordably using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. In a small bowl, mix equal parts of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide until a paste forms. Soak your aligners in this solution for approximately 15 minutes to eliminate stains and bacteria.
After soaking, give them a final rinse with water to ensure no residue from the cleaning solution lingers. The antibacterial properties of these ingredients make them an effective choice for maintaining the clarity and hygiene of your aligners.
How often Is It Needed To Clear Aligners & Why?
It is recommended to clean your aligners every day, ideally before you put them back into your mouth. This daily cleaning routine eliminates any bacteria or residue that may have accumulated on your aligners throughout the day. By incorporating aligner cleaning into your dental hygiene routine, you can protect your teeth and gums from potential complications.
Mastering Aligner Hygiene with Orthodontic Experts
So there you have it, five simple ways to keep your clear aligners sparkling clean and fresh. If you’re wondering how to clean clear aligners effectively at home, Orthodontic Experts can provide you with guidance. Remember, cleaning your aligners regularly is key to keeping your teeth healthy and your treatment on track. Now, go grab your clear aligner cleaners and give them a quick clean—your pearly whites deserve it!
To clean your aligners effectively, it is essential to use a dedicated aligner cleaner. Orthodontic Experts recommend using a formulated aligner cleaner, which is designed to remove bacteria, plaque, and odors without damaging the aligners
Using regular toothpaste to clean aligners is not recommended. While toothpaste effectively cleans teeth, it can be abrasive and damage the aligner material, leading to scratches or discoloration. To ensure the longevity and clarity of your aligners, it is best to use a specialized aligner cleaner.