Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on January 18, 2023
5 min read

How to Clean Your Invisalign

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To get the best results from Invisalign, keep the retainers clean. Similar to the way you would clean your Invisalign aligners, your retainers also need consistent disinfecting.

Keeping your retainers in good condition can help you avoid costly repairs, bacteria buildup, and infections.

6 Best Ways to Clean Invisalign Retainers 

How often you need to clean your Invisalign retainers depends on how much you use them. However, it’s recommended that you clean it after each use and before you put it back in the case.

Deep clean your retainers once a week. Cleaning often reduces the chances of harmful bacteria buildup and unwanted smells.

The six best ways to clean your Invisalign retainers include the following:

1. Toothbrush

For daily cleaning, a toothbrush can do the trick. A soft-bristled toothbrush is perfect for gently washing away bacteria. 

However, you should never use toothpaste on your retainers. Toothpaste is too abrasive and may scratch the plastic. 

Instead, use a colorless and odorless antibacterial soap to remove plaque. Afterward, rinse with warm water. Hot water can warp the shape of your retainers and ruin the fit.

2. Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar makes a great DIY retainer cleaner. Not only is it safe to use, but it can remove plaque and bacteria buildup.

After gently brushing your retainers, mix one part of distilled white vinegar with three lukewarm parts of water in a container. Then, completely submerge the retainers in the solution. 

Allow it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Finish by rinsing off the water and vinegar solution.

3. Retainer Cleaning Tablets

Retainer cleaning tablets remove debris from retainers. This process is similar to using a distilled white vinegar solution.

Place a retainer cleaning tablet in a container with lukewarm water. Stir until the tablet dissolves. Then soak your retainers for 15 minutes or as directed.

4. The Invisalign Cleaning System

This system uses Invisalign cleaning crystals to remove bacteria. This is often regarded as one of the best ways to clean your retainers. 

If you don’t want to use a DIY cleaning solution, then the Invisalign cleaning system may be right for you.

To use the cleaning crystals, remove your retainers and rinse with cold water. Next, place them in a container and cover them with lukewarm water. Add a packet of Invisalign cleaning crystals to the water and lightly shake to dissolve and distribute. 

Let your retainers soak for 15 minutes. Then, gently shake the container before rinsing the retainers with water.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another DIY cleaning option. Hydrogen peroxide is excellent for cleaning, disinfecting, and removing stains.

To use, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Next, drop the retainers into the solution, ensuring they are completely submerged. Let them sit for 15 to 30 minutes before removing and rinsing.

6. Ultrasonic Cleaner

An ultrasonic cleaner is a great option if you want to splurge on something that will easily clean your retainer. Ultrasonic cleaning devices are excellent at quickly cleaning off bacteria and debris from retainers. 

An ultrasonic cleaner uses cleaning solutions to clean the smallest areas of your retainer for thorough results.

Cleaning and Rinsing Invisalign Retainers

Cleaning and rinsing your Invisalign retainers are vital to keeping it and your teeth healthy.

Rinse your retainer after each use before putting it back in the case. Doing so keeps your mouth and retainer free from harmful bacteria.

Consider cleaning your retainer gently with a toothbrush and antibacterial soap as often as possible. Do a deeper clean and soak at least once a week.

ZocDoc

Find a Local Dentist for an Invisalign Consultation

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3 Best Invisalign Cleaning Products

There are many Invisalign cleaning products to choose from. There are also several cost-effective DIY options.

The most promising and popular Invisalign cleaning products are:

How Often Should You Clean Your Invisalign?

If you wear your retainers 24/7, clean them twice daily or whenever you brush your teeth.

If you only wear your retainers at night, clean them in the morning before returning them to their case.

Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Invisalign

Some things to avoid when cleaning Invisalign include:

  • Using mouthwash, dishwasher soap, or harsh cleaning soaps 
  • Using hot water to rinse or soak
  • Scrubbing with anything other than a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Roughly cleaning your retainer
  • Soaking your retainer for too long
  • Abrasive toothpaste

Other Retainer Care Tips

Cleaning isn’t the only vital step when caring for your teeth and your retailer. Other critical care tips to remember and practice are:

Rinse Your Retainer After Each Use

Rinsing after each use is one of the most important ways to keep your retainer intact and clean.

Without rinsing, your retainer will build up with bacteria and plaque, leading to infections, stains, and bad smells.

Don’t Eat or Drink With Your Retainer In

Always take out your Invisalign retainer when you eat or drink anything other than water.

Never eat with your retainer in your mouth. Eating with a retainer can cause food buildup between your teeth and the retainer. Food buildup can damage your retainer and your teeth.

Don’t Smoke With Your Retainer In

Never smoke while wearing your Invisalign retainer. Smoking will stain and damage your retainer. Nicotine and tobacco can also become trapped between your teeth and retainer, which can decay teeth.

ZocDoc

Find a Local Dentist for an Invisalign Consultation

ZocDoc can help you find a dentist in your area that:

  • Takes your insurance
  • Can schedule an appointment ASAP
  • Is close to your home
  • Is top-rated by actual customers
Local Dentist Insurance

Summary

  • You should rinse retainers after every use and gently brush them as much as possible to avoid bacteria and plaque buildup
  • Deep clean, gently scrub, and soak retainers at least once a week
  • Never use harsh products, hot water, or rough scrubbing on retainers
  • There are many effective ways to clean your retainer, including DIY options

Last updated on January 18, 2023
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on January 18, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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