As a leading Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and Ardsley, NY Invisalign, Clarity and 914 Aligners provider, Dr. Rishi Kothari and his team at 914 Smiles help patients get straight teeth and a healthy bite conveniently and comfortably. Clear aligners have become a popular alternative to traditional braces among our Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow orthodontics patients. The clear, BPA-free, thermoplastic trays are virtually invisible, removable and comfortable. However, while clear aligners are a convenient way to get a new smile, you will have to care for them. By knowing how to clean Invisalign trays or other types of aligners, your appliance will remain clear and odor-free.
Caring for Your Smile During Clear Aligner Treatment
At 914 Smiles, we offer Invisalign and Invisalign Teen, as well as a variety of Invisalign alternatives, including 3M Clarity Aligners and our own in-house 914 Aligners. Whether you have crowding or an overbite Invisalign, Clarity and 914 Aligners are an excellent way to help you achieve a straight, new smile.
One of the major benefits of clear aligners is that they’re removable. While flossing with braces requires special tools and learning a new technique, you’ll take out your Clarity, 914 or Invisalign aligners to brush and floss your teeth, making oral hygiene a breeze.
That said, clear aligners fit snug against the teeth and your saliva doesn’t flow freely across your pearly whites while you’re wearing them. So, if you drink or eat something with your aligners in your mouth, or you don’t clean your teeth and aligners before putting them back in, food, liquid or plaque can get trapped beneath the aligners. When this happens, the plaque, sugars and starches sit on the teeth for much longer than they normally would, which can increase your risk of tooth decay.
This is why, before we move on to how clean Invisalign, Clarity or 914 Aligners, we want to note how important it is that you brush your teeth after eating or drinking before you put your aligners back in.Or, if you forget your toothbrush, at least rinse your mouth out really well with water. While you’re taking care of your teeth, it’s a good idea to rinse your aligners off too.
Cleaning Your Aligners: An Overview
As you’re wearing your clear aligners throughout the day, dried saliva, bacteria and plaque will build up on the surface. This can cause your aligners to look cloudy and a little discolored. If you don’t regularly clean the plaque and spit off your clear aligners, they will start to smell too. Sometimes, patients worry about bad breath with Invisalign, Clarity or 914 aligners, however, the odor is often coming from the aligners themselves. To combat this, always rinse your aligners after taking them out and before putting them back in your mouth, and brush them in the morning and before bed. You can also give them a deeper clean either once a day or once every few days, which we’ll get to shortly. This will keep bad smells at bay and make sure the aligners are clear and clean when they go back over your teeth.
Tips on How to Clean Invisalign, Clarity and 914 Aligners
Now that you know the why and how often when it comes to how to clean Invisalign trays, Clarity Aligners or 914 Aligners, we’re sharing our six best tips for keeping your clear aligners sparkling clean:
1) The easiest and most affordable of all of the ways to clean your Invisalign, Clarity and 914 aligners is to simply brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. We do recommend skipping the toothpaste since it can be abrasive and scratch the aligners, making them more noticeable when you wear them. Use your toothbrush to gently eliminate plaque, bacteria, saliva and any food debris. For some extra cleaning power, you can also use a clear, unscented, gentle liquid soap when brushing. Finish by rinsing your aligners in lukewarm water. Avoid hot water since it can warp the plastic and affect the fit. Even if you are giving your aligners a deeper clean, you’ll still want to brush them in the morning and before bed as part of your regular maintenance routine.
2) If you’re wondering how to clean stained Invisalign, you might need to opt for a deeper clean to eliminate stains. The makers of Invisalign do sell a cleaning system that you can purchase that contains Invisalign cleaning crystals. To use the Invisalign cleaning crystals, take your aligners out and rinse them with water. Place the aligners in a container and immerse them with warm (not hot) water. Add a packet of the cleaning crystals and shake the container to dissolve and distribute the crystals. Let your aligners sit for 15 minutes or, if you’re trying to clean stained Invisalign, you may want to let them soak a little longer. When you’re done, shake the container again, remove your aligners and rinse them with lukewarm water.
3) Denture cleaning solutions are good for keeping your Clarity, 914 or Invisalign clear aligner trays clean and using denture cleaner is one of the best ways to clean Invisalign retainers or other clear retainers too. Many denture cleaners come in tablet form and dissolve in water, forming a bubbly solution that will clean plaque from your aligners and leave them smelling fresh. As for how to clean aligners with denture cleaner, drop your aligners in a container and cover them completely with warm water. Add a denture cleaning tablet and stir the mixture or shake the container to make sure it’s dissolved. Let your aligners soak for about 15 minutes and then rinse them.
4) Ultrasonic cleaner appliances are available at retail stores throughout Westchester, NY or online. These devices are really effective for cleaning clear aligners, retainers, mouthguards and other similar appliances. Most cost less than $50 but we have to say, while some patients like them, they’re not a necessity and you can absolutely keep your aligners clean without one. If you do have one, you can do a deep, ultrasonic cleaning at night. However, you will still want to rinse your aligners before putting them back in your mouth throughout the day and brush your aligners when you brush your teeth.
5) Aside from brushing your aligners, using distilled white vinegar is definitely the cheapest solution on this list of how to clean aligners and another of the best ways to clean Invisalign retainers as well. White vinegar is a safe and effective way to get rid of germs and buildup and deodorize your appliances. To make a DIY clear aligner cleaner, mix one part distilled white vinegar with three parts warm water in a large mug or other container. Stir the solution so that the vinegar is evenly distributed. Place your aligners in the container, being sure they’re completely submerged, and let them soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove your aligners and rinse them clean with warm water.
6) For our final tip, we’re turning to another tried and true DIY aligner cleaner. In a container, combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water and stir it well. Place your 914, Clarity or Invisalign aligners in the container and let them soak for about 30 minutes before rinsing them off with lukewarm water. Hydrogen peroxide will help disinfect your aligners and keep them nice and clear.
Now that you know exactly the best ways on how to clean Invisalign, Clarity and 914 aligners are you ready to get a straight, new smile? To learn more about your options for clear aligners or braces in Ardsley NY, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow NY, Irvington NY, Dobbs Ferry NY and Westchester County, NY, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Rishi Kothari today!