How to Clean Invisalign Aligners/Trays with Dental Boutique

Written by Dr. Reuben Sim
Published: 11-08-2022

Invisalign 1

When you think of teeth straightening, it’s likely that metal wires and brackets come to mind. Traditionally, braces were the only teeth-straightening methods on the market.

If you’ve had braces in the past, you’ll know they can be quite bothersome. Braces typically require you to change your diet and often cause headaches and pain, particularly in the early stages of treatment. They also require periodic visits to the dentist to have them tightened and adjusted.

Fortunately, modern dentistry has evolved and braces are no longer your only teeth-straightening option. Dental Boutique has an experienced team that performs Invisalign clear aligners to make teeth straightening an easier and more pleasant experience.

Invisalign aligners are removable, which means it is easy to remove and keep the aligners and your teeth cleaner compared to braces. In this guide, we explain how to clean Invisalign so that they can deliver the very best results.

Invisalign Retainer

Modern technology continuously develops to make achieving a beautiful, perfectly aligned smile as quick as possible.

Invisalign pioneered the completely-clear aligner movement and revolutionised the way dental professionals approach teeth straightening.

Invisalign is a modern orthodontic treatment that is digitally customised for every patient using clear plastic aligners that are virtually invisible.

Even though individual results may vary, Invisalign has a high success rate in straightening smiles and side-steps the common hassles associated with traditional metal wires and brackets.

Factors to Consider in Your Decision

How To Remove Invisalign Trays Easily

Unlike metal braces, one of the best things about Invisalign is that they don’t require you to drastically change your diet. You can eat and drink the way you used to by simply removing your retainers first before having your meal.

Still, some find Invisalign difficult to remove and new retainer patients often struggle to do so seamlessly on their first attempt. It takes a little practice and time, but with the right techniques you’ll be able to quickly remove your Invisalign retainers and tuck into your food!

Remember to be patient, relaxed, and gentle, as pulling at the retainers roughly can the damage your teeth, and retainer. Plus, your fingers will hurt from all that tugging!

As for how to remove Invisalign trays easily, there are three methods to follow:

The first way is to pop on some thin surgical gloves to get a nice, firm grip on your Invisalign retainer. At the back of your mouth, try to lift the aligners from the molars on each side and slowly pull toward the front teeth.

Alternatively, still wearing your gloves, start at one end of the mouth and shift towards the other side. You may need to lift the retainer up and over the teeth if you find it stuck at some point.

Lastly, if you don’t have surgical gloves lying around, you can grab some paper towel or kitchen paper in your hands, then place it over your tooth, firmly hold the retainer and pull off the molars. Do the same for the opposite side. Then, work your way towards the front section.

How to Clean Invisalign Retainers

We understand that a lot of first-time Invisalign retainer patients have some concerns about using, managing, and maintaining their new retainers.

As mentioned, it’s important to practice how to clean your Invisalign retainer properly to ensure its quality is maintained. This will also help to prevent tooth decay in the long-run.

Rinsing Your Aligners

Remember, there’s a difference between cleaning and rinsing your aligners. Rinsing may make your aligners appear clean, but you’re not really working away at the bacteria build-up in the retainers.

After meals, give your teeth a rinse before you put your aligners back in to ensure no food is getting stuck between them. It’s also a good idea to give your aligners a rinse at this point, too.

Soaking Your Aligners (Twice Daily)

It’s important to get into the habit of giving your aligners a proper clean twice a day. It can be helpful to do this at the same time as you brush your teeth.

For the most professional retainer clean, we suggest using the exclusive Invisalign cleaning solution.

Invisalign’s ‘Steraligner’ product comes with its own tray. The ingredients include rubbing alcohol and sodium bicarbonate, which is a natural antiseptic.

Simply place your aligners in the tray and let them soak for three minutes. Then, rinse the steralizing solution off and brush the retainers with a toothbrush warm water.

Invisalign also offer cleaning crystals, which you can dissolve in water as an alternative soaking solution. The crystals contain cleansing agents, such as sodium sulfate. They are the cheaper of the two alternatives.

After soaking them in the crystal solution, rinse them off and brush them with a soft toothbrush before placing them back in.

It’s a good idea to have a separate toothbrush for your aligners, as toothpaste may damage your aligners.

Soak In Warm Water, Not Hot Water

Hot water can misshape your aligners, so be sure to rinse and soak them in lukewarm water instead.

Clean Your Aligner Case

To keep your aligners in good nick, you’ll need to store them in their protective case when you’re eating them or not wearing them for any other reason.

This will help to keep them clean and prevent bacteria from coming into contact with them.

The case itself will need regular cleaning, so get into the habit of washing it every few days when washing your other dishes in the sink.


How to Remove Plaque from Retainers

The cloudy appearance – or ‘white stuff’ – in retainers is actually dental plaque.

Dental plaque is essentially a build-up of bacteria that creates a film over our teeth. If you forget to soak and properly clean your retainers regularly, plaque may begin to build up on your retainers.

This can cause damage to your mouth and retainers over time.

Therefore, cleaning your Invisalign retainers properly and regularly is essential for your oral health and for the longevity of your retainers

To remove plaque from your retainers:

  1. Give your teeth a good brush.
  2. Brush your Invisalign retainers with a soft toothbrush to gently remove the plaque build-up.
  3. Soak your retainers using your Invisalign solution or cleaning crystals as instructed above.
  4. Rinse your retainers thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth.

To soften the cloudy plaque build-up, you may also need to soak your Invisalign retainer in distilled water for a few minutes.

Distilled water is preferable to tap water because it’s less likely to contain chemicals and bacteria that regular tap water may contain.

You may also want to combine hydrogen peroxide at a low concentration with warm, distilled water. Let your Invisalign retainer soak for thirty minutes. Then, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any residual plaque and rinse once more.

For heavy build-up, mix distilled water and baking soda and let your Invisalign retainer soak overnight.

Never use boiling water, bleach, alcohol, or regular toothpaste to clean your Invisalign retainers. These products can melt, distort, and potentially damage your retainers.

geordie before after

Can I Use Polident to Clean My Invisalign?

So, can you clean Invisalign with denture cleaners?

The opinions are mixed on this one, but we generally advise against using denture cleaners such as Polident.

These cleansers are quite harsh and potent, and may end up damaging your aligners.

Stick to the above recommendations for best results.

A Final Word

If you still have some concerns on how to clean the Invisalign retainer, it’s still best to consult with your Invisalign provider or dental professional for more options.

Have a question about Invisalign? You can get in touch with us today.

If you’re ready to start your tooth straightening journey, you can book an appointment with Dental Boutique and we can discuss your options with you.