Clear aligners Gainesville and Lake City FL orthodontists

When you’re on the path to a straighter, more confident grin, it’s important to remain committed to oral hygiene. Unfortunately, clear aligners and your teeth aren’t going to clean themselves! Our Gainesville and Lake City, FL, orthodontists expect you to make the effort each day to properly care for your trays after you’ve taken them out for eating.

Here are some ways you can keep clear aligners clean and smile brightly throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Why a Quick Rinse Isn’t Enough for Your Aligners

No matter if you wear Invisalign® clear aligners or our very own Progressive aligners, it can be tempting to run them under some water and call them “clean”. However, it’s not that simple. For one, that method does nothing to address the bacteria that may be accumulating on the aligners.

Our orthodontists recommend that instead of only rinsing your aligners, you thoroughly clean them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This can be accomplished in just a few minutes and most teen and adult orthodontic patients find it easiest to clean their aligners at the same time they are brushing their teeth.

Ward off stains and bacteria buildup on your aligners by:

  • Quickly rinsing them under lukewarm water after they are removed from your mouth.
  • Using your soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of clear antibacterial soap to get rid of any food bits that may have stuck around from an earlier meal.
  • Carefully brushing the inside and outside of the top and bottom aligner.
  • Giving them another rinse after you’re done brushing.
  • Placing back in your mouth or inside their protective case when not in use.

Want to use toothpaste instead of clear soap? As long as toothpaste is non-abrasive and gentle, it is fine to use for cleaning clear aligners. Do not use whitening or any harsh toothpaste on your aligners to avoid damaging them.

The Don’ts of Cleaning Your Clear Aligners

Aside from watching what toothpaste you use to clean your aligners, it’s important that you also refrain from ever washing them in hot water. If you do, you risk warping the plastic and ruining the set you’re cleaning.

It’s best if you use lukewarm water that isn’t too hot or cold as it will get the job done without being harmful. For times when you’d rather let your aligners soak, choose an approved cleaning solution. Never use mouthwash as alcohol within the mixture can distort your aligners and the colored dye can cause discoloration.

Different soaking solutions we recommend include:

  • Small amount of gentle liquid soap + a cup of water
  • One part vinegar + 3 parts warm water
  • Tbsp. of baking soda + ½ cup water
  • Denture cleanser

Invisalign Specific Cleaning Aids

At-home aligner cleaning methods work just fine, but if you want additional tools at your disposal, Invisalign does offer a few options for purchase. One of which is what they call a “Steraligner”.

The Steraligner comes with a tray, rubbing alcohol, and sodium bicarbonate which is a natural antiseptic. All you need to do is place your aligners in the tray provided and soak them for 3 minutes in the cleaning solution. When the time is up, rinse them off with warm water.

Invisalign also offers “cleaning crystals” that act as sodium sulfate cleansing agents and dissolve once placed in water. Submerging your aligners in the mixture for a few moments and rinsing them afterwards does the job.

Let’s Talk Treatment

Save your teeth, gums, and aligners from all that accumulates throughout the day by giving them quality cleaning sessions regularly. If you feel like you need to do more to keep everything pristine and are stumped, our orthodontists in Gainesville and Lake City, FL, are happy to chat! Call one of our Progressive Orthodontics offices today to request an appointment.

Get Started Today

If you’re ready to achieve your dream smile, contact our office today!