The Most Common Invisalign Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

18 May 2023

Invisalign is a popular option for straightening teeth that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It offers a nearly invisible solution to traditional metal braces but requires careful attention to keep clean. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial to ensure the success of Invisalign treatment, but there are common cleaning mistakes that many patients make. So, to help ensure that you can make the most of your Invisalign we have produced an article on the most common Invisalign cleaning mistakes to avoid.

Not Cleaning Your Aligners Enough

One of the biggest mistakes patients make is not cleaning their aligners enough. The aligners should be cleaned every day, just like your teeth. Not cleaning your aligners enough can lead to a build-up of bacteria and food particles, which can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. When cleaning your aligners, make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle cleanser that is specifically designed for Invisalign.

Using Toothpaste or Mouthwash to Clean Your Aligners

While toothpaste and mouthwash are great for cleaning your teeth, they should never be used to clean your aligners. Toothpaste is abrasive and can scratch the surface of your aligners, making them more susceptible to staining and bacteria build-up. Mouthwash can also be too harsh on the plastic material, causing it to warp or crack over time. Instead, as mentioned above, always use a cleanser that is specifically designed for Invisalign. We would also always recommend that you use cleaning tools specifically designed for Invisalign trays.

Not Rinsing Your Aligners Properly

When cleaning your aligners, it’s important to rinse them thoroughly to remove any leftover cleanser or debris. Not rinsing your aligners properly can leave residue on the surface of your aligners, which can cause them to become discoloured or smell bad. Always make sure to rinse your aligners under running water for at least 20 seconds to ensure they are completely clean.

Using Hot Water to Clean Your Aligners

Hot water should never be used to clean your aligners. Hot water can warp and change the shape of the plastic material, causing your aligners to no longer fit properly. Always use lukewarm or cold water when cleaning your aligners.

Leaving Your Aligners Exposed to Air

Leaving your aligners exposed to air can cause them to become dry and brittle, making them more prone to cracking or breaking. Always make sure to store your aligners in their case when they are not in use. The case will also protect your aligners from bacteria and germs that can be found on surfaces like countertops and tables.

Not cleaning your Invisalign trays immediately

Just like teeth, your Invisalign trays can become built up with bacteria from being worn approximately 22 hours per day. Not cleaning your Invisalign trays immediately after use or when taking breaks to eat or brush your teeth can lead to a bacteria accumulation which is harder to clean off. For this reason and to prevent you from re-inserting bacteria into your mouth you should always clean your trays immediately after use.

Not maintaining a good oral hygiene routine

When you insert your aligners, you are essentially sealing any bacteria and food particles that are present in your mouth inside them. To avoid this, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth before inserting your aligners. This will help to remove any bacteria or food particles that may be present in your mouth, reducing the risk of infection or decay. For the best results, ensure that you are brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. You can read more about the best way to clean your teeth here or the best ways to maintain a good oral hygiene routine here.

Eating or Drinking with Your Aligners In

Invisalign aligners should never be worn while eating or drinking anything other than water. Food particles and sugars can get trapped between your teeth and the aligners, leading to bacterial growth and decay. Beverages like coffee or tea can also stain your aligners, making them more visible. Invisalign trays are strong and durable but are not designed to withstand the pressure of chewing which may also lead to damaging your Invisalign trays. For this reason, we would always recommend you to remove your Invisalign trays for eating.  We hope that by becoming aware of these common cleaning mistakes for your Invisalign trays helps you to make the most out of your Invisalign treatment and get the results you’ve dreamed of. Unsure if Invisalign is for you? You can find our article on any potential questions you may have here and how affordable it is here. If you are looking for a dentist in Nidderdale you can register with our practice in Pateley Bridge by contacting us here.