Invisalign braces arrive from the factory sealed and sparkling. This guide is designed to explain to you how to keep your braces fresh and new looking and avoid discolouration and unpleasant odours.
Cleaning Before First Wear
Invisalign arrive from the factory in small, sealed, individual packets. Whilst they have undergone an extensive cleaning and sterilisation process they do sometimes have a chalky residue. Whilst this is harmless some people have reported an allergic reaction to this residue so it is always best to give your Invisalign braces a thorough wash before inserting them for the first time.
Cleaning Invisalign Between Meals
On removing your aligners to eat, the first thing that you should do is either give them a thorough rinse under running water, or place them in a glass of water whilst you eat. This helps to prevent a white coating developing on the plastic and also avoids them having an unpleasant odour when you come to reinsert them.
After eating, remove the trays from their case or glass of water and give them a quick brush with a soft toothbrush. This will help to remove any residue that is left from their last wear. If this isn’t possible another rinse under running water will be sufficient to keep them fresh until further brushing can be done.
More Extensive Cleaning Options
In order to keep Invisalign aligners fresh a more extensive cleaning is required once a day.
Firstly, aligners should be placed under running water and a soft toothbrush should be used to gently clean each of the individual tooth segments. Care should be taken to remove any white residue that could eventually result in nasty odours. It is very important not to use toothpaste as this can cause tiny scratches on the surface of the aligner. Not only could these scratches look unsightly they can also provide a breeding ground for bacteria.
Aligners should always be rinsed in cold water; warm water can warp the plastic of the aligner.
Once a day aligners can be placed into a sterilising solution. Some dentists recommend a bleach and water solution (consult your dentist for appropriate proportions before trying this); however denture cleaning tablets can also be used in a denture bath. Invisalign advise against the use of denture tablets, however many patients use them successfully throughout their treatment.
When you receive your Invisalign you should be provided with a red and a blue case to store them in. Whilst these cases are very useful they can also become very dirty quite quickly. Often they look quite clean to the naked eye but develop a strong odour due to aligners being placed in them that have not had all of the saliva removed from them. For this reason it is important to clean your invisalign cases as well as you aligners. You can do this in a similar way to the way that you clean your braces. A rub with a soft toothbrush and even a squirt of dishwashing detergent will help to keep them clean.
If you use other implements such as outie tools to remove your aligners from your teeth you should also keep them scrupulously clean by washing them regularly. Similarly always wash your hands before inserting and removing aligners and use an alcohol gel where handwashing isn’t possible.