Here’s the thing: if you have a dentist like Dr. Lasry, then you were probably given instructions on how to clean Invisalign retainers.
But who actually keeps those manuals?
If you’re feeling a bit guilty about tossing it out, you’re not the only one. Our patients have to ask for a second set of these guidelines all the time.
So we decided it’s about time we provide digital instructions!
While it may look like a daunting and even confusing task, cleaning these retainers is not as hard as it seems.
However, there are some strict do’s and dont’s you need to follow if you don’t want to ruin your retainers (talk about expensive). If you want to make sure you’re giving your Invisalign the proper care it requires, here’s how it’s done.
How Often Do You Clean Invisalign Trays?
Knowing how often to clean your Invisalign retainers is a big part of this puzzle. Dr. Lasry recommends that you wash your trays twice a day, preferably after brushing your teeth. Gently brush your trays with a soft bristle brush and rinse them off in cool water.
Getting Invisalign can be intimidating. I speak from experience when I say that I know caring for them can be a pain, especially if you don’t know how to care for them. When I got my retainer, I just knew I had to take it out when I ate, but that was it.
If this isn’t your first time dealing with retainers, you probably have an idea of how to care for your Invisalign, but would like to be sure before you try anything.
However, if you’re new to this, rest assured that there are easy solutions on how to clean Invisalign retainers at home.
How To Clean Invisalign Retainers: The Do’s and The Dont’s
Just like with braces, Invisalign needs to be correctly taken care of if you don’t want to wear them longer than you have to. While it’s certainly easier to clean these removable retainers, neglect is also easier.
Maybe you keep telling yourself to remember to clean your retainers every night and do your deep clean once a week. But then days become weeks, and weeks become months until, before you know it, your trays are entirely yellow or cloudy.
Neglecting to clean your Invisalign consistently can also make your teeth turn yellow. Now, in addition to paying for Invisalign treatment, you’re going to want a teeth bleaching by a dentist, too.
Here’s how to clean Invisalign retainers to help you save money and preserve that perfect smile.
The takeaway? If you consistently brush your retainers twice and day and habitually rinse them off, you probably won’t stain or damage them! But just in case, here are a few fancy methods for how to clean Invisalign retainers.
1. DO Use Invisalign Cleaning Crystals
Cleaning these retainers became such an issue that Invisalign designed their own cleaning method for their products: Cleaning Crystals!
To use the Invisalign Cleaning Crystals, all you have to do is:
- Take off your retainer
- Open your crystals
- Dissolve them in water
- Let your retainers soak in the solution for about 15-30 minutes (be sure they’re fully submerged).
After soaking your retainer, take it out and rinse it with lukewarm water. You can also gently brush the retainer with your toothbrush.
If this sounds like an appealing way to clean your Invisalign, you can get 50 packets of Cleaning Crystals on their official site. You can use these crystals on either their SmartTrack Invisalign clear aligners or the Vivera Invisalign retainers.
2. DO Clean with Hydrogen Peroxide
This method isn’t so much for regular cleaning, but more so for when your Invisalign gets stained. If you want to clean your Invisalign retainer at home, you can do it with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Simply mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water, then let your retainer soak.
If the staining is severe enough, the best thing to do is let your retainers soak overnight. Another thing you can add to this solution is two teaspoons of baking soda. This will help remove plaque and food from your retainer.
3. DO Consider Deep Cleaning Them
If you want to know how to deep clean Invisalign retainers, there’s more than one way!
- Method #1: This method will remove stains that aren’t too bad. You’ll need white vinegar (avoid the apple cider kind) and water for this solution. Mix half and half of each liquid in a cup, and let your Invisalign retainer soak for thirty minutes.
- Method #2: Use three parts water and one part vinegar, but let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. Then, you can use your toothbrush to gently wipe away the plaque and stain buildup.
Regardless of which method you choose, after letting them soak, you should gently brush your retainer with your toothbrush and rinse it with lukewarm water.
If you want to get the most out of your Invisalign retainers, you won’t want to accidentally ruin them when you are trying to clean them. Here are the most common mistakes for you to avoid when you’re cleaning them:
1. DON’T Use Hot Water
Using hot water could melt or warp the material, which would change its shape, and it wouldn’t work the same. The best thing to do is to use lukewarm water.
2. DON’T Wear Your Retainers Before Brushing Your Teeth
While most dentists recommend you wear your Invisalign for 22 hours every day, you need to ensure your teeth are clean before you put them on. If you don’t thoroughly clean your teeth before wearing your Invisalign, your trays could eventually become stained with all the bacteria and plaque from your teeth.