29 Oct Caring for Your Retainer: 8 Invisalign Cleaning Tips
There are two important rules for using Invisalign. Wear them as often as possible and keep them clean. These two simple actions are the best way to ensure that your treatment stays on track. They help your retainers do their job without putting your teeth at risk of infection or prolonging how long they take to straighten out.
The first rule is easy to follow. Its main requirements are that you track how long you take your Invisalign out when eating or drinking and that you always put your retainers back in right away.
Invisalign cleaning, though, can be trickier. This rule asks that you prioritize proper cleaning throughout the day. Once you get into a good cleaning habit, you’re all set!
Here are eight tips to remember about cleaning Invisalign to keep your retainers and teeth clean and healthy.
1. Never Eat or Drink with Your Retainers
Try to only drink water whenever you have your retainers in. When craving coffee, tea, a glass of wine, or even a breath mint, take your retainers out.
Otherwise, you risk staining your retainers with whatever color your food or drink is. Eating or drinking with Invisalign retainers in also means that particles of what you’re consuming can get locked in between your retainers and your teeth, leading to serious dental issues if it’s a regular occurrence.
2. Take Your Toothbrush Everywhere
While it’s best not to eat or drink with Invisalign in, this doesn’t have to get in the way of you enjoying your meals! Simply keep your case, a travel toothbrush, and toothpaste handy.
You’ll always be prepared to clean your retainers and teeth before putting your Invisalign back in. Whether you’re at the office having your morning coffee, getting dinner with friends, or snacking on something at home, brushing your teeth and retainer when you’re done eating and drinking is a great Invisalign cleaning habit to start.
3. Brush the Inside and Outside
Maybe you’re already using the tips above to keep your retainers clean, but you only brush the inside of your retainers. It makes sense to focus on the inside since this is what has direct contact with your teeth every day.
However, you should also give a good rinse and gentle brush to the outside of your Invisalign retainers. Cleaning the outside is as important as cleaning the inside. This supports a healthy mouth and prevents the buildup of bacteria on your gums and teeth, as well as on your Invisalign retainers.
4. Make Extra Time in the Morning and Evening
In addition to cleaning on-the-go between meals, it’s good to take a bit of extra time to clean your teeth and retainers when you wake up in the morning and before bed each night.
This is a great time to take your time. Give a little extra attention to the back corners of your mouth and the inside of your teeth, making sure you brush every part of your retainers as well. This only takes a few minutes, but it can have a significant impact on your dental health.
5. Keep a Regular Deep Cleaning Schedule
Another Invisalign cleaning tip is deep cleaning your retainers. Choose one night a week to be the time when you soak your retainers in either Invisalign cleaning crystals or a clear denture cleaning solution.
A deep cleaning helps you fight any build-up of bacteria on your retainers. In addition to brushing your retainers regularly, this helps ensure your retainers are as clean as can be.
6. Don’t Use Mouthwash for Invisalign Cleaning
Do not reach for the mouthwash to clean your trays if you run out of cleaning crystals or denture solutions. Soaking your retainers in mouthwash can do more harm than good because the color of the mouthwash can stain your retainers.
Even though you’d get rid of the bacteria on your Invisalign, using mouthwash to clean your trays means you’d be walking around with blue- or green-looking teeth.
7. Check Retainers for a Cloudy Color
It’s easy to avoid color-stained Invisalign trays, but preventing your trays from getting a little cloudy is harder. Even with all the tips above, your trays may have a bit of discoloring. Take a close look at your retainers as you take them out and put them back in every day.
Paying close attention to the color of your trays helps you adjust your Invisalign cleaning habits if need be. It may mean that you deep clean right away instead of waiting until the day you soak your trays, or it could be a sign for you to take more time when brushing your trays every day to be sure they’re as clean as you’d like them to be.
8. Always Clean Your Old Retainer
Speaking of taking extra time to brush your trays, do you wash your old retainer before starting a new set? If you don’t, it’s time to start.
You never know when you’ll lose your new set or if they’ll be a little painful. In such cases, it’s best to go back to the old trays for a few days before moving on to the next number, but make sure that your old tray is clean first!
Waiting until you need an old tray to clean that set allows bacteria to build up over time. Cleaning that set right before you pull out a new one, on the other hand, is a much better way to guarantee that you’ll always have clean trays.
Invisalign vs. Standard Braces: Everything You Need to Know
Are you still deciding between getting Invisalign or braces and want to know about the pros and cons of each? It’s worth taking the time to learn about everything from Invisalign cleaning to brushing and flossing with standard braces before starting your orthodontic treatment.
Each method can create the smile you’re looking for, but Invisalign does tend to be the better choice. Check out this article to find out why!